What is the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship? 

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.

What Is the Application and Selection Process? 

Up to two proposals per year will be selected to participate in the NSF NRT program competition.  To be considered, you must complete and submit a preproposal
by the internal deadline. Preproposals will be reviewed by a faculty committee, which will select  nominees to develop and submit a full proposal to NSF.  Priority consideration will be given to proposals in the six NSF research areas listed above.

In addition to the intellectual merit and broader impact criteria, the review committee will also consider the following when evaluating preproposals:

  • Integration of Research and Education: Will the training program address training needs that are not currently available at the University of Minnesota and/or in disciplines, and are there clear and compelling connections between the training elements and the interdisciplinary research theme?
  • Interdisciplinarity or Convergence: What is the degree of interdisciplinarity or convergence and the potential for high impact synergies among the disciplines?
  • Professional Development: Will the proposed training program provide NRT trainees with professional development training for a range of research and research-related career pathways, both within and outside academia?
  • Potential for Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities: Do the proposed training program recruiting and mentoring plans have high potential to broaden participation?
  • Evaluation Plan: Does the evaluation plan include outcomes, performance measures, benchmarks, and an evaluation timetable, as well as a description of how formative evaluation will improve practice?

Expand all

Instructions for NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program 2023-2024 Preproposals

Instructions for NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program 2023-2024 Preproposals

Complete the preproposal form and upload your proposal narrative by the internal Graduate School deadline.  Preproposals should not exceed 4 pages (preproposals exceeding the page limit will not be reviewed), with page margins of not less than 0.7 inch and font size not less than 11 points.  Please include your project title and PI/Co-PI name(s) on the proposal narrative.  Preproposal narratives will be evaluated based on the criteria listed above. 

Application Deadlines

The internal deadline for the 2023-2024 competition passed on Monday, July 31st, 2023. 


Contact Char Voight  with questions.