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Graduate Education (DGE)
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About Graduate Education (DGE)

The Division of Graduate Education (DGE) advocates for innovative, inclusive, high quality graduate education in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields.  DGE manages innovative cross-Foundation programs that directly or indirectly support U.S. citizens and permanent residents in their quest to become the leading scientists and engineers of the future.  To better inform its programs, DGE supports research and other activities that will generate exciting new ideas on the graduate education of the future.  Publications and data on graduate students provided by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) can be found here.

Fellowship Program

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is the oldest federal fellowship program directly supporting graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. GRFP is a critical program in NSF's overall strategy in developing the globally-engaged workforce necessary to ensure the Nation's leadership in advancing science and engineering research and innovation. A high priority for NSF and GRFP is increasing the diversity of the science and engineering workforce, including geographic distribution and the participation of women, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans. Fellowships are awarded to individuals selected early in their graduate careers based on their demonstrated potential for significant achievements in science and engineering. Three years of support is provided by the program for graduate study that is in a field within NSF's mission and leads to a research-based master's or doctoral degree. NSF Graduate Research Fellows are free to use their Fellowship at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose. They can also take advantage of opportunities for international research and professional development

Traineeship Programs

The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program (IGERT) prepares students to do interdisciplinary and collaborative research in academia, industry, or entrepreneurial ventures.  Created in 1998 to respond to the increasing need for a scientific workforce that could address challenges of a broad scope and interdisciplinary nature in a variety of workplaces, this program has stimulated new ideas about graduate education and has had a strong impact on institutions of higher education as indicated by the program's third-party evaluations published in 2006, 2010, and 2011.  To further explore how interdisciplinary research in science and engineering and interdisciplinary graduate education impact graduate students, faculty, and institutions, the program sponsored a workshop.  These IGERT materials, including 2012 videos depicting trainees' research projects, can be found at the resource center supported by the program.

The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program-CIF21 Track adapts the IGERT graduate education framework to the need to educate and support a next generation of researchers prepared to address fundamental challenges in computational data enabled science and engineering and cyberinfrastructure research.  It fits within the Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21).

The Graduate STEM Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) program prepares its fellows to convey their cutting-edge research to K-12 students and teachers, thereby preparing graduate students with superior communications skills as well as providing a vertical integration of science teaching in the schools.  This program is no longer accepting applications.

Research Program

Research on graduate education is supported through several programs in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources.

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