UALR Internal Competition: NSF Research Traineeship Program (NSF 16-503)

Limited Submission: UALR Internal Competition Announcement

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.

NSF allows a limited number of submissions from each institution (Traineeship Track: 2; Graduate Education Track: 2). To accommodate this limitation, ORSP will hold an internal white paper competition to select UALR’s submissions. Please see below for competition deadlines and requirements.

Program Information

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 the FY2017 competition the priority areas will be (1) Understanding the Brain (UtB); (2) Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems; 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.

Detailed program information is available in the solicitation.


Contact if you have questions or comments about any aspect of the on-campus competition.

ORSP white paper submission deadline: September 1, 2016

Notification to those invited to submit: September 19, 2016

Letter of Intent to NSF: December 9, 2016

Deadline for draft proposal to ORSP for Hanover Review: December 19, 2016*

NSF submission deadline for full proposals: February 7, 2017

White Paper Submission Requirements

Principal investigators must submit a single .pdf document of the white paper to Tammie Cash (, subject header “NSF Research Traineeship Program White Paper”) by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 1, 2016. The white paper should contain the following information:

Cover Page (1 page)

  • Title
  • PI name and contact information
  • Co-PI names and contact information
  • Identify whether Traineeship Track or Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Track.
  • Synopsis
  • Identify previous awards and role in the award (i.e. leading or participating).

Project description (2 pages)

Budget and budget justification (1 page)

  • State the total project cost.
  • State the major expense categories of the budget, including match and the justification for each category.

NOTE: All white papers will be reviewed by an internal review committee appointed by the Vice Provost for Research. Two Graduate Education Track and two Traineeship Track white papers will be selected to move forward and will be announced by September 19, 2016.

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