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The IGERT Program Preliminary Proposals. June 2008 Carol Van Hartesveldt IGERT Program Director. IGERT Overview. Proposals submitted to the IGERT program must describe integrative, research-based, graduate education and training activities in emerging areas of science and engineering .

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The IGERT Program Preliminary Proposals

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The igert program preliminary proposals

The IGERT ProgramPreliminary Proposals

June 2008

Carol Van Hartesveldt

IGERT Program Director

Igert overview

IGERT Overview

Proposals submitted to the IGERT program must describe 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 and 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.

In contributing to a diverse science and engineering workforce for the future, the IGERT project must include strategies for recruitment, mentoring, and retention aimed at members of groups underrepresented in science and engineering, including women, racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities.

Thegraduate 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.

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.

Summary points to remember

Summary Points to Remember

  • Read and re-read the Solicitation

    • Proposal requirements and review criteria

  • Be sure to address each section required

  • Get input from all involved EARLY

    • Be sure all disciplines involved fully contribute

  • Be sure to clearly integrate and articulate

    • Exceptional value of the interdisciplinary science and the research to be done with the interdisciplinary educational curriculum (Intellectual Merit)

    • Inclusion and broadening participation (Broader Impacts)

  • Address challenges or risks



  • The Review Process

  • The Preliminary Proposal by Topic

    • Project Summary

    • Vision, Goals, and Thematic Basis

    • Major research efforts

    • Education and training, including recruitment, mentoring and retention and international awareness

    • Institutional commitment

    • Other resources and connections

    • Recent traineeship experience

    • Supplementary Documentation

Review process igert preliminary proposals

Review Process: IGERT Preliminary Proposals

  • Multiple interdisciplinary panels

  • No standing panels

  • High demand (400-450 proposals in recent years)

  • High Priority 15%; Medium priority 20%

  • About 80-100 invitations for full proposals

  • About 20 awards

Project summary

Project Summary

  • First impression for reviewers

    • Avoid excessive background information

  • Be specific and clear about the goals, focus and value-add of your IGERT

  • Independently and explicitly address

    • Intellectual Merit

    • Broader Impacts

    • Include key words

Vision goals and thematic basis

Vision, Goals, and Thematic Basis

  • Set the stage

  • Interdisciplinary theme

    • Vision, overview and need for this integration

    • Why it is important to train graduate students in this emerging area

  • Value-add

    • Why this collaboration of disciplines, individuals, constructs, institutions, etc., is important

    • Why it will work

Major research efforts

Major Research Efforts

  • Interdisciplinary research in science/technology/engineering/math

  • Science/engineering: cutting edge; in emerging areas

  • Why this is important and will hang-together/integrate as a theme

  • Project future interdisciplinary research collaborations

    • Topics

    • Faculty collaborators

Education and training

Education and Training

  • In the context of the interdisciplinary research theme – for consideration…

    • What is novel and innovative?

    • What level of facility in the various disciplines in required for trainee success?

    • How will trainees in all the disciplines involved become familiar/facile with the all disciplines involved? (No trainee left behind!)

    • What will each element contribute, and why is it important?

    • What faculty will be responsible, and are they on board?

    • Evidence of your careful planning and integration

    • How will trainees gain an appreciation for the globality of the science?

    • How will you recruit, mentor, and retain trainees?

Recruitment mentoring and retention

Recruitment, Mentoring, and Retention

  • Evidence of careful planning

    • Plans for all students

    • Plans for groups underrepresented in science and engineering

  • Using what you have – will it work and be enough?

    • Look critically at what you have

    • Plans tailored to your proposed IGERT

    • Partnerships documented with letters

Recent traineeship experience

Recent Traineeship Experience

  • Experience with ANY graduate traineeship program, NSF or other

  • Renewal proposals

    • Outcomes of previous award

    • Added value of potential new award

  • Do not provide results of traditional NSF-supported research projects

Supplementary documentation

Supplementary Documentation

  • Limits on letters

    • Up to 5, with one internal from senior level administrator

    • No paper documents accepted

  • Content of letters

    • Explicit in solicitation

    • Give this information to letter-writers

    • Negotiate early with your institution



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