Internal Competition – NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program

Admin Internal Competitions

The following grant opportunity, NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program (NSF 15-542) has become available, and there is a limit of (4) proposals (2 for each track, including subawardees) that can be submitted by our institution.

For this reason, we have developed an internal competition procedure for selecting the applicants that will submit LOIs to this program on behalf of the institution.  Submitting a Letter of Intent on or before December 9, 2015 is required, and all letters must be submitted through the R&D Center’s Proposal Submission Unit.  If you are interested in submitting a Letter of Intent to this program, either as lead institution OR subawardee, you must complete the internal competition form found at this link: by November 2 at 12:00 noon.  The form can also be accessed via the following (alternate) link:  If you do not submit a response via this form, you will not be able to participate in the internal competition.

SPECIAL CONDITIONS: There are 4 options to choose from on the internal competition form:  one for each track, and one for each track as a subawardee.  There can only be 4 total submissions by UPRM:  2 from each track, whether they are with UPRM as lead institution or as a subawardee.  An individual may serve as Lead Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on only one proposal submitted to the NRT program per annual competition.  All applicants will be competing for the same 2 slots per track.

Once we know whether the proposal limit for this opportunity is exceeded or not, we will then determine whether it will be necessary to submit a pre-proposal document to the R&DC for internal review.

If you have any questions related to this process, or the funding opportunity outlined below, please feel free to contact us at and  The full announcement can be found at this link:


Full Proposal Deadline: February 9, 2016

Synopsis:   The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative models for STEM graduate education training. The NRT program seeks proposals that ensure that graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers. The NRT program includes two tracks: the Traineeship Track and the Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Track.

The Traineeship Track is dedicated to effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary research areas, through the use of a comprehensive traineeship model that is innovative, evidence-based, and aligned with changing workforce and research needs. For FY2016, there are four priority areas: (1) Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (DESE), (2) Understanding the Brain (UtB), (3) Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS), and (4) any other interdisciplinary research theme of national priority.  The priority research areas for the FY2017 competition will be (1) UtB, (2) INFEWS, and (3) any other interdisciplinary research theme of national priority.
The IGE Track focuses on test-bed projects aimed at piloting, testing, and validating innovative and potentially transformative approaches to graduate education.  IGE projects are intended to generate the knowledge required for their customization, implementation, and broader adoption. While the Traineeship Track promotes building on the current knowledge base to develop comprehensive programs to effectively train STEM graduate students, the IGE Track supports testing of novel models or activities with high potential to enrich and extend the knowledge base on effective graduate education approaches.

The NRT program addresses both workforce development, emphasizing broad participation, and institutional capacity building needs in graduate education. For both tracks, strategic collaborations with the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, national laboratories, field stations, teaching and learning centers, informal science centers, and academic partners are encouraged.