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News Release 98-060

NSF Awards Grants for Integrative Innovation in Graduate Education

September 30, 1998

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced the awarding of $40.5 million over five years to 17 doctorate-granting institutions to promote integrative graduate education and research training. These training grants are intended to produce a diverse group of engineers and scientists well-prepared for a broad spectrum of emerging career opportunities in industry, government and academe.

NSF's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) grants will provide students with an in-depth, multidisciplinary education through coursework and research experience. In addition, career development will be emphasized by the high priority placed on students' communication and teamwork skills, experience with modern instrumentation, responsible conduct of research and international awareness.

"A new pedagogical approach is needed to meet the needs of tomorrow's Ph.D.s," said NSF acting deputy director Joseph Bordogna. "As well as being astute in a discipline, they must also be prepared to address intellectual issues that transcend disciplinary boundaries, since much new knowledge is increasingly created at the interfaces of traditional disciplines. The IGERT investment is an attempt to develop educational models toward this end, with a direct focus on the integration of education and research," he said.

The resulting programs will also offer experiences relevant to both academic and non-academic careers by linking graduate research with research in industry, national laboratories, and other non-academic settings.

NSF's Assistant Director of Education and Human Resources, Luther Williams, described the agency-wide program as being consistent with NSF's overall education agenda to encourage change at all levels of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education. "IGERT is the first NSF program to demonstrate concretely NSF's strategic goal to integrate education and research at the graduate level, consistent with the National Science Board's commitment," Williams noted of the Board's recent recommendation on graduate education. "Further, through collaborations between academe and industry, graduates will be well-positioned to take the lead in facing multidisciplinary challenges of the future," he said.

IGERT also responds, in part, to recommendations of the National Academy of Science's Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP), whose 1995 report, Reshaping the Graduate Education of Scientists and Engineers, advised repairing the "misalignment" between how graduate students are trained and what employers seek. COSEPUP identified communication and teamwork skills, multidisciplinary and applied research experience, and adaptability as essential elements in training.

Graduate students supported under these traineeships will be exposed to multidisciplinary graduate programs developed by the awardee institutions in emerging areas of science and engineering, areas that penetrate traditional boundaries and unite faculty from several departments and/or institutions. Supported projects are based upon a multidisciplinary research theme and organized around a diverse group of investigators from U.S. doctorate-granting institutions.

In addition to NSF's Office of Polar Programs and institutions in EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research), all NSF directorates are participating in the IGERT program.


Integrative Graduate Education and Research Grants (1998)

This listing of the first round of IGERT awards includes award number, principal investigator, institution, and title. Abstracts can be accessed by award number on the world-wide web at:







Dana Z. Anderson

Univ. of Colorado-Boulder

Graduate Training in Optical Science and Engineering

Jim Scott


Gregory W. Auner

Wayne State Univ.

Smart Sensors and Integrated Devices

Tom Tigani


Leonaidas G. Bachas

Univ. of KY

Res. Foundation Integrated Sensing Architectures

Carl Nathe


Charles DeLisi

Boston University

Graduate Research Training in Bioinformatics

Joan Schwartz


Joseph S. Devinny

Univ. of Southern California

Urban Environmental Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Doctoral Education Program

Bob Calverley


Timothy J. Ebner

Univ. of MN-Twin Cities

Integrative Graduate Training of Neuroscientists and Computational/ Physical Scientists

Teri Charest


Mark E. Johnson

Brown Univ.

Learning and Action in the Face of Uncertainty: Cognitive, Computational and Statistical Approaches

Kristen Lans


David M. Mark


Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training in Geographic Information Science

Ellen Goldbaum


Patricia Mokhtarian

Univ. of California-Davis

Transportation Technology and Policy Program

Sylvia Wright


Peter J. Nowak

Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison

Human Dimensions of Social and Aquatic System Interactions

Jeff Iseminger


Rebecca Richards-Kortum

Univ. of Texas-Austin

A New Pathway for Multidisciplinary Graduate Education in Optical Molecular Bio Engineering

Robert Meckel


Jin-Joo Song

Oklahoma State Univ.

Advanced Graduate Training in Photonics Research

Nestor Gonzales


James T. Staley

Univ. of Washington

Astrobiology: Life in and Beyond Earth's Solar System

Vince Stricherz


Steven H. Strogatz

Cornell Univ.

Program in Nonlinear Systems

Bill Steele


Michael Tabor

Univ. of Arizona

Multidisciplinary Training at the Interface of Biology, Mathematics and Physics

Julieta Gonzales


Thomas L. Theis

Clarkson Univ.

Environmental Manufacturing Management

Michael Griffin


William J. Wilson

Harvard Univ.

Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy

Susan Green

Media Contacts
K. Lee Herring, NSF, (703) 292-8070, email:

Program Contacts
Paul W. Jennings, NSF, (703) 292-8696, email:
Lawrence S. Goldberg, NSF, (703) 292-8339, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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