University of Southern California


NSF-17-585: Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Program

Slots:                                                     2                                             

Internal Deadline:                          Contact the Office of Research if interested.

LOI:                                                        N/A       

External Deadline:                          September 27, 2019, 5pm PT

Award Information:                        Type: Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 6 to 10

Anticipated Amount: $4,000,000. Three year awards with budget between $300,000 – $500,000

Submission Process:                     PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal:

Materials to submit:

Link to Award:                                   

Who May Serve as PI:   

An eligible organization may participate in two Innovations in Graduate Education proposals per competition. Participation includes serving as a lead organization on a non-collaborative proposal or as a lead organization, non-lead organization, or subawardee on a collaborative proposal. Organizations participating solely as evaluators on projects are excluded from this limitation. Proposals that exceed the institutional eligibility limit (beyond the first two submissions based on timestamp) will be returned without review regardless of the institution’s role (lead, non-lead, subawardee) in the returned proposal.

An individual may serve as Lead Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on only one proposal submitted to the IGE program per annual competition. Proposals that exceed the PI/Co-PI eligibility limit (beyond the first submission based on timestamp) will be returned without review regardless of the individual’s role (PI or co-PI) in the returned proposal.


Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduate education is poised to undergo a major transformation. There are multiple drivers for change including: (i) recent major national reports on the state of STEM graduate education [1], (ii) the accelerating pace of science and engineering discoveries and technological innovations, (iii) national STEM workforce trends, (iv) the growing globalization of science and engineering, and (v) the potential to align graduate education practices and models with an increasing understanding of how people learn. In addition, there is increasing recognition that addressing the grand challenges in science and engineering requires interdisciplinary and broader professional training that is atypical for most graduate programs. These realities and the increasing calls for new approaches to STEM graduate education represent an extraordinary opportunity. Accordingly, this solicitation encourages proposals in Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) to test, develop, and implement innovative and effective STEM graduate education approaches.

IGE projects will generate potentially transformative models for improvements in graduate education that prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers for the full range of possible STEM career paths to advance the nation’s STEM enterprise. IGE is dedicated solely to piloting, testing, and validating innovative approaches to graduate education and to generating the knowledge required for the customization and implementation of the most successful, transformative ones. The primary target population for IGE projects must be master’s and/or doctoral STEM students in a research-based degree program that requires a thesis or dissertation.

The IGE program will not focus on comprehensive training (see NSF Research Traineeship Solicitation 16-503) or foundational research examining how graduate students learn (see EHR Core Research Solicitation 15-509), but rather will promote targeted test-bed efforts that are informed by evidence, including findings from research on learning.

Activities proposed as part of the research project may include, but are not limited to, student professional skill development, career preparation and vocational counseling, faculty training, inventive partnerships, international experiences, internships, outreach, virtual networks, and mentoring. In addition, projects should utilize evidence-based strategies to broaden participation of students from diverse backgrounds.

Goals of the IGE Program are to:

The IGE Program calls for proposals to:

Leadership teams (PI/Co-PIs) comprising professional expertise in the learning sciences and pedagogy, as well as in the principal science domain(s), are strongly encouraged.Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for updates and other announcements.