September 2021 NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program

The Syracuse University Office of Research is pleased to announce the launch of the Limited Submission call for letters of intent for the September 2021 NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program. For this NSF program, Syracuse University may participate in two proposals per competition. Participation includes serving as a lead organization or non-lead organization on any proposal. Additionally, this year the NSF have divided the competition into 2 tracks; Syracuse University is only eligible for Track 1.

Click here to view the full competition information.

Sponsor Program Announcement:
Number of Possible Internal Nominees: 2
Internal Submission Due Date: May 17, 2021, 5:00 PM
Sponsor Deadline: September 6, 2021

A Limited Submission Opportunity (LSO) is a funding opportunity in which the sponsor sets an institutional limit for the number of proposals it will accept. In order to participate in an LSO, Syracuse University must organize to submit our most competitive proposal(s). This requires an internal competition and institutional peer review.

For this NSF program, Syracuse University may participate in two proposals per competition. Participation includes serving as a lead organization or non-lead organization on any proposal. Additionally, this year the NSF have divided the competition into 2 tracks; Syracuse University is only eligible for Track 1.

Synopsis of the Program

The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program seeks proposals that explore ways for graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers. The program is dedicated to effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary or convergent research areas, through a comprehensive traineeship model that is innovative, evidence-based, and aligned with changing workforce and research needs. Proposals are requested that address any interdisciplinary or convergent research theme of national priority, as noted above.

The NRT program addresses workforce development, emphasizing broad participation, and institutional capacity building needs in graduate education. The program encourages proposals that involve 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. NRT especially welcomes proposals that include partnership with NSF Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) and leverage INCLUDES project efforts to develop STEM talent from all sectors and groups in our society ( Collaborations between NRT proposals and existing NSF INCLUDES projects should strengthen both NRT and INCLUDES projects.

For FY2021, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Quantum Information Science and Engineering (QISE) have been added to the national priority areas in which the NRT Program encourages proposals. We seek proposals on any interdisciplinary research theme of national priority, with special emphasis on AI and QISE and the six research areas within NSF’s 10 Big Ideas. The NSF research Big Ideas are Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR), The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier (FW-HTF), Navigating the New Arctic (NNA), Windows on the Universe: The Era of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics (WoU), The Quantum Leap: Leading the Next Quantum Revolution (QL), and Understanding the Rules of Life: Predicting Phenotype (URoL).

Eligibility and Funding

An individual may serve as Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI on only one (1) proposal submitted to the NRT program per annual competition.

NRT Awards are expected to be up to five (5) years in duration with a total budget up to $3,000,000. 14-16 awards will be made.

Application Materials

Applicants must submit a 4-page research proposal and a 2-page biosketch of the lead PI (NSF Format). The research proposal should include the following:

  1. Vision and goals of the proposed training program, including a brief description of major research efforts, the interdisciplinary or convergent research theme, the main training elements and their potential for Syracuse University students, and the integration of the research and training.
  2. The name(s), institutional affiliation(s), and departmental affiliation(s) of the co-PI(s) and others composing the Core Participants (maximum 10).
  3. A short statement of competitiveness (i.e., what you think will discriminate your proposal from the competition, including anything you have done to pre-position yourself/your team for this funding opportunity), including alignment with Priority Research Areas outlined in the NSF Program Solicitation.

Limited Submission Selection Process

If the number of proposals submitted to this competition exceeds the number that the University can submit to the sponsor, peer review will be triggered. Under the peer review process, limited submission applications will be evaluated in several categories, including:

  • The likelihood of receiving funding based on NSF merit review criteria;
  • The potential for high impact, interdisciplinary or convergent research, and alignment with priority research areas;
  • The successful integration of research and training in the project plan; and
  • The qualify of the training and the potential impact on Syracuse University students.

Reviewers with be internal to the University. These reviewers are not likely to be specialists in your sub-field, so it is advised that applicants avoid excessive jargon.

The PI(s) selected to move forward with full proposals will be notified by email by mid-June. Per the sponsor restrictions, no more than 2 submissions may be put forth by the University.

PI Responsibilities

If a proposal is selected and the PI or team decides to forgo an application, they must notify the Office of Research within five days of the selection notice. This allows another proposal to be selected and move forward. If the PI fails to submit a proposal and has not notified the Office of Research, the PI runs the risk of being disqualified from future LSO competitions.

PI Eligibility

For any sponsored research projects, the applicant must be eligible to serve as Principal Investigator for the project, unless otherwise noted in the LSO. Please see our PI Eligibility requirements to ensure you are eligible.

Questions: Email

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