March 2009 Building Global Leaders through Transformative Research and Education



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  • Supporting U.S. Doctoral Students through NSF’s Division of Graduate Education
  • Holly Given, Ph.D.
  • AGEP National Conference
  • March 2009

Building Global Leaders through Transformative Research and Education

  • Pre-college
  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate
  • Early Career
  • Career Preparation and Development
  • R & RA Areas
  • of National Priority:
  • Climate Change, Energy, Environment, Water Quality and Resources, CI and CL, Nanotechnology, etc.
  • NSF’s Division of Graduate Education
  • Part of NSF’s portfolio to support graduate education
  • Uniquely responsive to emerging research areas without
  • regard to disciplinary boundaries
  • Unique opportunities for graduate students, with
  • spinoff value for institutions and PIs
  • Designed for U.S. citizens and permanent residents,
  • developing an inclusive national workforce. /
  • Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRF)
  • Integrative Graduate Education and Traineeships (IGERT)
  • Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 (GK-12)

GRF and IGERT

  • Awards to INDIVIDUALS
  • Focused on the individual’s potential and achievements
  • Sparks independence in early stages of graduate career
  • $65M/year for 1600 awards
  • Awards to INSTITUTIONS
  • Focused on an Interdisciplinary theme, usually in an emerging field
  • Sparks new faculty collaborations and expects institutional sustainment
  • $65M/year for 20 awards
  • Supported U.S. citizen/resident doctoral students receive $30K/yr stipend + $10.5K/yr cost-of-education allowance
  • Fellow Juliana Rangel-Posada,Cornell, studies how honey bees communicate.
  • NSF’s oldest NSF program (since 1952)
  • > 43,000 Fellows to date;
  • > 20 Nobel laureates
  • Competition involves research plans, personal essay, and recommendations; 11% success rate
  • The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program
  • Fellow Elizabeth Thomas, SUNY at Buffalo, does climate change research in the Canadian Arctic.
  • 30K/year stipend to Fellow, $10.5K/year cost-of-education to institution
  • 3 years of support
  • $1,000 international travel allowance
  • Award follows the Fellow
  • The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Graduate Research Fellowship Program Impacts

  • Fellow Stuart Williams, Purdue, developed a new technique to precisely position nano-scale particles with a laser for application in bioimaging.
  • In 2007-08, 3200 Fellows studied at 180 US and 12 international institutions. They reported:
    • 2132 presentations
    • 1954 publications
    • 205 discoveries, patents and inventions
    • 501 broadening participation activities

Disciplinary Distribution of Graduate Research Fellows

Climate change and water resources: glacier hydrology

  • Fellow Jacob Gulley, University of Florida explores a water conduit in the Khumbu Glacier in the Himalaya
  • Fellow Jason Gulley incorporates studies of glacier ice caves into models on the melting of the world’s glaciers with implications for sea level rise.

Career Plans of NSF Graduate Research Fellows

  • N = 3,500
  • Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program (IGERT)
  • 139 Active IGERT awards at 87 institutions
  • Dual focus on a transformative interdisciplinary research
  • theme and an aligned innovative educational plan
  • Awards to institutions ($3M/5 years); senior PIs; 80% of award goes directly to graduate student support
  • Recent competitions have > 400 preliminary proposals, ~20
  • awards (5%)
  • In 10 years:
    • 215 projects
    • 103 institutions in 41 states
    • ~25 trainees/award supported for 2 years
  • Intended to catalyze sustainable institutional change
  • Characteristics of IGERT Awards

Climate Change and the Human Environment

  • UCSD: Marine Biodiversity – Understanding Threats and Providing Solutions
  • George Washington University: Dynamics of Behavioral Shifts in Human Evolution: Brains, Bodies, and Ecology
  • Dartmouth: Polar Environmental Change

Clean Energy and Engineering Processes

  • University of Delaware: Sustainable Energy from Solar Hydrogen
  • Texas Tech University: Wind Science and Engineering
  • University of Tennessee: Sustainable Technology through Advanced Interdisciplinary Research

Cutting Edge Research Themes

  • MIT: Interdisciplinary Quantum Information Science and Engineering
  • Rice University: Nanophotonics: Fundamentals and Applications in Emerging Technologies
  • Countries IGERT trainees visited in 2007-2008
  • About half of all IGERTs include an international component

IGERT and Broadening Participation

  • IGERT proposals must include strategies for recruitment, mentoring, and retention of trainees from groups underrepresented in science and engineering, including women, racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities
  • More than half of all IGERT proposals have letters of support from Minority-Serving Institutions
  • Many proposals mention their AGEP relationships
  • Peer-to-Peer faculty relationships develop, and continue
  • IGERT outreach activities frequently include diverse communities

Coming in June: www.igert.com

Report from 2008 Institutional Workshop

Thinking about an IGERT proposal?

  • Foremost is the cohesive interdisciplinary research theme
  • Educational plan must be innovative and aligned with research theme
  • The WOW Factor: Would I like to do the program?
  • Strategies for broadening participation
  • Broader impacts and sustainability of the investment
  • Will graduates be different, and make a difference?

Building Global Leaders through Transformative Research and Education

  • Pre-college
  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate
  • Early Career
  • Career Preparation and Development
  • R & RA Areas
  • of National Priority:
  • Climate Change, Energy, Environment, Water Quality and Resources, CI and CL, Nanotechnology, etc.



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