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News Release 15-032

NSF announces first NSF Research Traineeship awards

Each project addresses an interdisciplinary topic of national importance

Researcher with computerized conversation assistant

Ehsan Hoque has created an automated conversation assistant that senses body language and emotion.
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April 6, 2015

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is pleased to announce the first awardees for the recently launched NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program.

All of the NRT projects address an interdisciplinary topic of national importance, and six of the eight NRT projects strongly emphasize Data Enabled Science and Engineering, including analytics and Big Data. Innovative approaches to graduate training used across these projects include industry internships, international experiences, citizen science engagement, interdisciplinary team projects, and training in communication with the media, policy makers, and general public.

The principal investigators, institutions, and project titles are

The NRT program, which succeeds the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, was developed to energize and advance cutting-edge research in high priority areas; increase the capacity of graduate programs to produce interdisciplinary STEM professionals with technical and transferrable professional skills for a range of research and research-related careers within and outside academia; and develop innovative approaches and knowledge that will promote transformative improvements in graduate education. Further information about the program plus the current solicitation can be found on the NSF website.

"With the launch of the NSF Research Traineeship program, we are building on what we learned with the earlier IGERT program and continuing to catalyze high priority interdisciplinary research," said Joan Ferrini-Mundy, who leads NSF's Education and Human Resources directorate. "NRT is focused on preparing future STEM professionals for multiple career pathways and aligning graduate training with both workforce needs and new training needs in rapidly changing science and engineering fields."


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

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) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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graduate student doing experiment
Graduate student Emily Hoff exposes a superhydrophobic surface to complete submersion in water.
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researcher with data visualization in the background
Berkeley's NRT will advance research at the intersection of social, natural, and data science.
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graduate student at a poster session
Graduate student Julie Gerard discussing her research on child language learning at UMd.
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researchers on a ship doing sediment coring
Sediment coring on Lake Kivu, Rwanda, using Syracuse University research vessel.
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collage of images with different logos
Northwestern's NRT project will lead to the development of new data tools with broad applicability.
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