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News Release 13-038

STEM Graduate Students Challenged to Submit Innovative Ideas to Improve Graduate Education

The NSF 'Innovation in Graduate Education Challenge' calls for entries by April 15

graduate student in lab

Georgia Tech graduate student Priyanka Rohatgi tests nuclear receptors engineered in yeast cells.

March 7, 2013

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 Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.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 is calling for currently-enrolled graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields to share their unique perspectives on graduate education. Entries are solicited for ideas with the potential to improve graduate education and professional development, and can be submitted at the 2013 Innovation in Graduate Education Challenge website by April 15, 2013. Winners will receive prizes from $1,000 to $3,000, as well as national recognition for their ideas.

There is growing interest in the future of STEM graduate education as evidenced by recent reports from the NIH Biomedical Research Workforce Working Group, the Council of Graduate Schools, the National Academies Board on Higher Education and Workforce, and scientific societies like the American Chemical Society. The NSF Innovation in Graduate Education Challenge ensures that graduate students' voices are part of the larger national dialogue about graduate education modernization.

Everyone can get involved in the challenge through the community choice voting that opens on May 15 and closes on May 29, 2013. All entries that are chosen for the final round of judging will be open to community choice voting.

All are encouraged to "Like" the challenge on Facebook and follow on Twitter @GradEdChallenge.

Send questions to


Media Contacts
Maria C. Zacharias, NSF, (703) 292-8454, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2021 budget of $8.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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