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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.

April 6, 2015

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 Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.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) 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, 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 2023 budget of $9.5 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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