NSF: Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program

February 22, 2006

Dear Colleagues,

An updated program solicitation is now available:

Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program (IGERT)

Please see

http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf06525

Preliminary Proposal (required) Due Date: March 27, 2006 Full Proposal (by invitation only) Deadline: September 29, 2006

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From the solicitation:

Proposals submitted to the IGERT program must be integrative, research-based, graduate education and training activities in emerging areas of science and engineering. The IGERT project should be organized around an interdisciplinary theme involving a diverse group of faculty members and other investigators with appropriate expertise in research and teaching. The interdisciplinary theme provides a framework for integrating research and education and for promoting collaborative efforts within and across departments and institutions. Students should gain the breadth of skills, strengths, and understanding to work in an interdisciplinary environment while being well grounded with depth of knowledge in a major field. As an opportunity for faculty to experiment with new approaches to graduate education, the IGERT project should provide students with experience relevant to both academic and nonacademic careers. This may involve such activities as internships and mentoring in industrial, national laboratory, academic, or other settings. Globalization of research and career opportunities places importance on providing students with an international perspective. This may be gained through programs within the institution, or through strongly integrated, collaborative research experiences and/or fieldwork at foreign institutions and sites. The graduate experience should contribute to the professional and personal development of the students and equip them to understand and integrate scientific, technical, business, social, ethical, and policy issues to confront the challenging problems of the future.

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The following items are major revisions to the previous program

solicitation:

1. While IGERT stipends are primarily for supporting doctoral students, they may now also be used to support students from minority-serving masters-granting institutions for the purpose of broadening participation of underrepresented groups. If a minority-serving masters-granting institution is included, it must be a collaborating partner in the IGERT program and the proposal must include a concrete plan for a Masters-to-PhD bridging program.

2. No more than four preliminary proposals may be submitted by an institution (previously there were no restrictions on the number of preliminary proposals submitted by an institution). No changes have been made to the rules for full proposal submission, which is by invitation only.

Institutions are restricted to a maximum of two single-institution full proposals, and as lead institution with other participating US academic institutions, only one multi-institution full proposal.

3. The following new text in Paragraph H under Section V.A., Full Proposal Instructions, clarifies the need for institutional support in IGERT. "No cost sharing funds are required for IGERT proposals. However, because the IGERT program seeks to catalyze institutional change in graduate education, indications of institutional support for the program and its sustainability, through whatever means seem most appropriate, must be included in the proposal."

4. For new awards only the first year base amount has been increased from $300,000 to $400,000. Together with the first year start-up allocation of $200,000, this increase results in a first year total budget of $600,000.

The budget totals for years 2 through 5 remain unchanged at $600,000 per year. No changes in the budget amounts for renewal awards. No changes to international component which is limited to $200,000 per award during the years 2 through 5.

5. New text added in several places (examples below) urging PIs (new and

renewal) to enhance diversity in their IGERT programs:

* "If your campus currently participates in an NSF-sponsored program to enhance diversity (AGEP, LSAMP, HBCU-UP, TCUP, CREST, etc.) you are strongly encouraged to partner with them as part of your overall recruitment strategy."

* "Renewal proposals must also clearly address efforts made and results achieved toward increasing participation of women and minority (students and faculty), and outline new approaches, if appropriate, to increase or sustain the diversity goals."

* IGERT Review Criteria for renewal proposals: "Adequacy of the efforts made and quality of the results achieved toward increasing participation of women and underrepresented groups (students and faculty); potential of (new) approaches cited to increase or sustain the diversity goals."

6. In preliminary proposals, Current & Pending Support is not required for PIs or Co-PIs.

7. Compliance with the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) font requirements is required for all proposals submitted in response to this solicitation, Arial

11 and Times New Roman 12 are suggested fonts for readability.

8. In the full proposal preparation instructions, PIs are requested to use a starting date of July 1, 2007, or later.


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