NSF Awards Grants For Integrative Innovation In Graduate Education

September 28, 1998

The National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced the awarding of $40.5 million over five years to 17 doctorate-granting institutions to promote integrative graduate education and research training. These training grants are intended to produce a diverse group of engineers and scientists well-prepared for a broad spectrum of emerging career opportunities in industry, government and academe.

NSF's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) grants will provide students with an in-depth, multidisciplinary education through coursework and research experience. In addition, career development will be emphasized by the high priority placed on students' communication and teamwork skills, experience with modern instrumentation, responsible conduct of research and international awareness.

"A new pedagogical approach is needed to meet the needs of tomorrow's Ph.D.s," said NSF acting deputy director Joseph Bordogna. "As well as being astute in a discipline, they must also be prepared to address intellectual issues that transcend disciplinary boundaries, since much new knowledge is increasingly created at the interfaces of traditional disciplines. The IGERT investment is an attempt to develop educational models toward this end, with a direct focus on the integration of education and research," he said.

The resulting programs will also offer experiences relevant to both academic and non-academic careers by linking graduate research with research in industry, national laboratories, and other non-academic settings.

NSF's Assistant Director of Education and Human Resources, Luther Williams, described the agency-wide program as being consistent with NSF's overall education agenda to encourage change at all levels of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education. "IGERT is the first NSF program to demonstrate concretely NSF's strategic goal to integrate education and research at the graduate level, consistent with the National Science Board's commitment," Williams noted of the Board's recent recommendation on graduate education. "Further, through collaborations between academe and industry, graduates will be well-positioned to take the lead in facing multidisciplinary challenges of the future," he said.

IGERT also responds, in part, to recommendations of the National Academy of Science's Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP), whose 1995 report, Reshaping the Graduate Education of Scientists and Engineers, advised repairing the "misalignment" between how graduate students are trained and what employers seek. COSEPUP identified communication and teamwork skills, multidisciplinary and applied research experience, and adaptability as essential elements in training.

Graduate students supported under these traineeships will be exposed to multidisciplinary graduate programs?developed by the awardee institutions?in emerging areas of science and engineering, areas that penetrate traditional boundaries and unite faculty from several departments and/or institutions. Supported projects are based upon a multidisciplinary research theme and organized around a diverse group of investigators from U.S. doctorate-granting institutions.

In addition to NSF's Office of Polar Programs and institutions in EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research), all NSF directorates are participating in the IGERT program.
-end-
Editors: For more details about IGERT see: http://www.nsf.gov/igert/
-end-


National Science Foundation

Related Engineering Articles from Brightsurf:

Re-engineering antibodies for COVID-19
Catholic University of America researcher uses 'in silico' analysis to fast-track passive immunity

Next frontier in bacterial engineering
A new technique overcomes a serious hurdle in the field of bacterial design and engineering.

COVID-19 and the role of tissue engineering
Tissue engineering has a unique set of tools and technologies for developing preventive strategies, diagnostics, and treatments that can play an important role during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Engineering the meniscus
Damage to the meniscus is common, but there remains an unmet need for improved restorative therapies that can overcome poor healing in the avascular regions.

Artificially engineering the intestine
Short bowel syndrome is a debilitating condition with few treatment options, and these treatments have limited efficacy.

Reverse engineering the fireworks of life
An interdisciplinary team of Princeton researchers has successfully reverse engineered the components and sequence of events that lead to microtubule branching.

New method for engineering metabolic pathways
Two approaches provide a faster way to create enzymes and analyze their reactions, leading to the design of more complex molecules.

Engineering for high-speed devices
A research team from the University of Delaware has developed cutting-edge technology for photonics devices that could enable faster communications between phones and computers.

Breakthrough in blood vessel engineering
Growing functional blood vessel networks is no easy task. Previously, other groups have made networks that span millimeters in size.

Next-gen batteries possible with new engineering approach
Dramatically longer-lasting, faster-charging and safer lithium metal batteries may be possible, according to Penn State research, recently published in Nature Energy.

Read More: Engineering News and Engineering Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.