University of Southern California


NSF-20-595: Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Program

Slots:                                        2, 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.

Internal Deadline:                      Contact the Office of Research if interested.

LOI:                                          N/A

External Deadline:                     November 4, 2020

Award Information:                   Type: Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 6 to 10

IGE Awards (6 to 10 anticipated in FY 2021) are expected to be up to three (3) years in duration with a total budget between $300,000 and $500,000. The estimated number of awards and the anticipated funding amount listed above are for FY 2021. The number of awards and funding level in FY 2022 and FY 2023 are anticipated to be similar to FY 2021. Funding amounts depend on availability of funds.

Anticipated Amount: $4,000,000

Note for IGE Innovation Acceleration Hub only:

Type: Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: One award is anticipated.

Anticipated Amount: $500,000 in year one; remaining funds disbursed in years 2-5. The maximum award amount is $1,000,000 for five years.

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

Materials to submit include:

(1) Single Page Proposal Summary (0.5” margins; single-spaced; font type: Arial, Helvetica, or Georgia typeface; font size: 11 pt). Page limit includes references and illustrations. Pages that exceed the 1-page limit will be excluded from review.

(2) CV – (5 pages maximum)


Who May Serve as PI:                    There are no restrictions or limits.

Purpose:                                   The Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative approaches to STEM graduate education training. The 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.

IGE focuses on 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. The program supports testing of novel models or activities with high potential to enrich and extend the knowledge base on effective graduate education approaches.

The program addresses both workforce development, emphasizing broad participation, and institutional capacity building needs in graduate education. 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.

As a special emphasis under this solicitation, IGE seeks proposals that will result in a single cooperative agreement for the development and implementation of an IGE Innovation Acceleration Hub. The Hub will facilitate IGE awardee communications about research activities and outcomes and provide a platform for external stakeholder engagement. Only Hub proposals submitted to the October 2020 deadline will be considered for funding.