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GRADUATE EDUCATION $128,380,000

The FY 2003 Budget Request for the Graduate Education (DGE) Subactivity is $128.38 million, an increase of $22.88 million, or 21.7 percent, over the FY 2002 Current Plan of $105.50 million.

(Millions of Dollars)

   

FY 2001
Actual

FY 2002
Current Plan

FY 2003
Request

Change

Amount

Percent

Graduate Student Support

88.08

105.50

128.38

22.88

21.7%

Total, DGE

$88.08

$105.50

$128.38

$22.88

21.7%

The Graduate Education Subactivity aims to recognize and support a diverse pool of outstanding individuals in their pursuit of advanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education; to reform graduate education; and to build stronger links between higher education and K-12 education. These efforts help strengthen U.S. education at all levels and help ensure continued U.S. economic and research preeminence. Individuals are supported through research and teaching fellowships and traineeships at the graduate level. The increase of $22.88 million reflects the Foundation's commitment to increasing graduate stipends to a level that will attract the high quality students necessary for the nation's future and to increasing the number of supported graduate students.

Graduate Research Fellowships (GRF) support the most promising science, mathematics, and engineering students in the U.S. to develop their knowledge and skills so that they perform at the forefront of education and research. In FY 2003, priorities include achieving greater diversity in the applicant and awardee pools, and continuing to increase support levels to strengthen the competitiveness and prestige of the program. Since 1952, nearly 37,000 U.S. students have received GRF awards. Many have been recognized for their contributions to scientific research and to society, including five of the twelve 2001 Nobel Prize recipients. In FY 2003, funding for this program increases within DGE by $6.20 million to $73.45 million. In academic year (AY) 2003-2004, the annual stipend will be increased by $3,500 to $25,000, and the cost-of-education allowance will be maintained at $10,500. Over 2,000 active Fellows will be supported in FY 2003.

Graduate Research Fellows study a wide variety of fields in many different settings. Fellows have many noteworthy accomplishments while graduate students, as illustrated by these two examples:

  • Anna Tischler at Tufts University is investigating systems that modulate cholera toxin expression in response to environmental conditions. She is co-author of a paper that implicates a regulatory protein involved in stress responses as an important V. cholerae virulence factor.

  • Erika Iyengar at Cornell University received the Best Student Paper Award at the American Malacological Society conference and the Best Student Poster Award at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology conference. She was a Visiting Scientist at a Connecticut high school, served as a scientific advisor for a new exhibit on invasive species at the Point Defiance Aquarium in Washington State, and worked with a junior high school biology teacher to develop a laboratory on stream ecology.

Graduate Teaching Fellowships in K-12 Education (GK-12) support graduate and advanced undergraduate STEM students as content resources for K-12 teachers. This NSF-wide program links the acknowledged excellence of U.S. graduate education with the critical needs of the K-12 sector. Graduate Teaching Fellows assist K-12 teachers in the science and mathematics content of their teaching, demonstrate key science and mathematics concepts, and gain pedagogical skills necessary at all education levels. Professional development opportunities are provided for the K-12 teachers. Approximately 624 graduate and 241 undergraduate students will be supported across NSF. In AY 2003-2004, the graduate stipends will be increased from $21,500 to $25,000. The FY 2003 Request for GK-12 is $34.75 million, an increase of $11.76 million over the FY 2002 Current Plan. This funding level should support current Graduate Teaching Fellows and fund an additional 200 Fellows to total about 800 students in the program.

The GK-12 program continually demonstrates the excitement that can result from connections between graduate education and the K-12 learning environment. Elizabeth Cameron, a GK-12 Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, has developed hands-on lessons and demonstrations in the field of biotechnology that are ingenious, according to her mentor teacher. Elizabeth works with students at Paul Laurence Dunbar Community High School. Her mentor teacher reports that Elizabeth's lessons and demonstrations are making science much more meaningful for the students. The students were also very excited to visit Elizabeth's lab to see examples of gel electrophoresis and polymerase chain reactions, thus allowing them to see the relevance of scientific principles to real-life applications.

Daniel Gruner, a GK-12 Fellow at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, is working with students across grade levels from schools in the district of East Hawaii Island on a project he developed to determine the impact of invasive species (ants) on the local economy and lifestyles, and on the native biota. Daniel's project design calls for involving as many of the schools and classes as possible in East Hawaii. At least two new invading species, previously unrecorded from Hawaii, have been discovered by the K-12 students' efforts. Through Daniel's leadership in demonstrating the relevance and significance of scientific fieldwork, the students have become a powerful monitoring network for the distribution of invading species before they become well-established.

Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeships (lGERT), an NSF-wide program initiated in FY 1998, promotes new paradigms in graduate education. Graduate students engage in a broad array of coursework and research opportunities that cross disciplinary boundaries, explore career options through internships, develop skills such as communication, computation, and teamwork, and engage in international activities. Support for IGERT within the Graduate Education Subactivity increases by $4.92 million to $20.20 million in FY 2003. Stipends for Trainees will be increased in AY 2003-2004 by $3,500 to $25,000 per year. A total of approximately 300 current Trainees will be supported by the Graduate Education Subactivity, and up to 80 new Trainees will also receive funding.

 
  Last Modified: Sep 17, 2004
 
   

 

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Last Updated:
09/17/04
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