NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program

Solicitation: NSF 21-536 -  (replaces NSF 19-522)

For the Fall 2021 Round:

  • Intent to apply documents due to Office of Research Development Monday, June 29, 2021
  • Agency Due Date: September 6, 2021


The program is dedicated to the 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. The NRT Program requests proposals in any interdisciplinary or convergent research theme of national priority, while highlighting specific priority research areas that change periodically.

For FY2019 and FY2020, the high priority research areas are the six research areas in 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).

To provide the highest level of excellence and viability for funding, a review process will be put in place if two or more letters of intent to the RO. Use a total of 2-3 pages for the Research Office Letter of Intent Review.  Email as a PDF to research.development@oregonstate.edu

Guidance for preparation of the letter of intent to the Research Office (this has the same elements needed for the required LOI to NSF):

  • Project Title: Proposals that align with one of the six NSF research Big Ideas should contain a title to reflect that alignment (e.g., NRT-HDR: title or NRT-QL: title); see section II.D of this solicitation for appropriate priority area abbreviations.
  • Titles for projects addressing another interdisciplinary theme of national importance must begin with "NRT:" Any separately submitted collaborative proposal should start with "Collaborative Research:" For example, a collaborative proposal in HDR would have a title beginning "Collaborative Research: NRT-HDR:"
  • The name and departmental affiliation of the Principal Investigator (PI);
  • The name(s) and departmental affiliation(s) of the Co-PI(s) and others composing the Core Participants;
  • The lead institution and any other participating institution(s)

Project Synopsis:

  • Provide a summary of the vision and goals of the proposed training program, including a short description of the interdisciplinary or convergent research theme, the leading training elements, the integration of the research and training, and the need for the program/
  • What is the potential for the proposed activity to:

1. Advance knowledge and understanding within its field or across different fields (Intellectual Merit), and Benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes (Broader Impacts)

2. To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?

3. Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities, well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success?

4. How well qualified is the individual, team, or organization to conduct the proposed activities?

5. Are there adequate resources available to the PI (either at the home organization or through collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities?

Use a total of 2-3 pages for the Research Office Letter of Intent Review.  Email as a PDF to research.development@oregonstate.edu

Monday, August 3, 2020
Date Open: 
Thursday, October 26, 2017
National Science Foundation
Agency Deadline: 
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Limit per Institution: 
Important Notes: 
Letters of Intent to NSF required.