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LIMITED SUBMISSION: National Science Foundation Research Traineeship Program (NRT)

FOA#: NSF 19-522

The NRT Program is dedicated to supporting highly effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary or convergent research areas through the use of comprehensive traineeship models that are innovative, evidence-based, and aligned with changing workforce and research needs.

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). An interdisciplinary or convergent research theme in an area other than the six research areas in NSF's 10 Big Ideas should align with NSF or other national STEM research priority areas and have high potential for development of novel, innovative practices in graduate education.

NRT Awards (14-15 anticipated each year) are expected to be up to five (5) years in duration with a total budget up to $3,000,000.

An eligible organization may participate in two proposals per competition. Participation includes serving as a lead organization, non-lead organization, or subawardee on any proposal. Organizations participating solely as evaluators on projects are excluded from this limitation.

Key Dates

  • Internal Letter of Intent Due (Required): October 1, 2019 (by 11:59 pm)
  • Internal Proposal Due (by Invitation): November 7, 2019 (by 11:59 pm)                 
  • Notification by: November 29, 2019
  • Sponsor Letter of Intent Due (Required): December 6, 2019
  • Sponsor Proposal Due: February 6, 2020 

Faculty members interested in applying with Northwestern as the lead, non-lead organization, or as a subawardee are required to submit a letter of intent (LOI) by the deadline specified above. If interest exceeds the number of submissions the university is allowed, an internal competition will be held. 

The Training Grant Support Office assists faculty in the preparation of institutional training grant applications. Please contact Rebecca Lamarre, Training Grant Support Office Manager, Graduate School Administration ( 

The Office of Research Development offers assistance in identifying and facilitating collaborations, putting together interdisciplinary teams, programmatic and administrative development of large, cross-school proposals, and leveraging institutional resources for outreach and education. Contact Karen Cielo (, Interim Director, for more information.

Contact and Additional Information

Limited Submissions website:

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