Dynamics in Many Dimensions - GT IGERT '04 Proposal

CNS Proposal Internal Due Date

    October 15, 2004

      LaTeX                 Last modified      Compiled  Description

[   ] project.zip - current version - -- (SIMPLEST: download all source files)
[   ] project.tex -- pdf ps current draft

[   ] education.tex 15-Sep-2004 -- (RG)
[   ] national.tex 10-Sep-2004 -- (RS)
[   ] international.tex 10-Sep-2004 -- (RS)
[   ] trainingParts.tex 10-Sep-2004 -- (RG)
[   ] school.tex 10-Sep-2004 -- (RG)
[   ] NWUproposal.pdf 10-Sep-2004 -- (RG)

list of faculty courses, etc

NWU 99 LaTeX files
GT03 Neurosci IGERT
GT02 Physics Frontier Center
Rutgers04 IGERT
GT VIGRE04 draft:
pdf - tex
E Voit files

Synopsis of Program

The IGERT program has been developed to meet the challenges of educating U.S. Ph.D. scientists and engineers who will pursue careers in research and education, with the interdisciplinary backgrounds, deep knowledge in chosen disciplines, and technical, professional, and personal skills to become, in their own careers, leaders and creative agents for change. The program is intended to catalyze a cultural change in graduate education, for students, faculty, and institutions, by establishing innovative new models for graduate education and training in a fertile environment for collaborative research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. It is also intended to facilitate diversity in student participation and preparation, and to contribute to the development of a diverse, globally-engaged, science and engineering workforce.

Award Information

  • Anticipated Funding Amount: $30,800,000 Up to $3.0 M per award over 5 years, plus, for new awards, up to $200K additional in the first year for appropriate purposes, and up to $200K total per award for projects that include strongly integrated international research activities in years 2 - 5.


IGERT projects are expected to incorporate and integrate the following features:

A comprehensive interdisciplinary theme, appropriate for doctoral-level research, that serves as the foundation for traineeship activities;

Integration of the interdisciplinary research with innovative graduate education and training mechanisms, curricula enhancement, and other educational features that foster strong interactions among participating students and faculty;

An environment that exposes students to a broad base of state-of-the-art research instruments and equipment and educational tools and methodologies;

Career development opportunities, provision for developing professional and personal skills, fostering an international perspective, and instruction in ethics and the responsible conduct of research;

Program strategy and plan for recruitment, mentoring, retention, and graduation of U.S. graduate students, including efforts aimed at members of groups underrepresented in science and engineering;

Strategy and methodology for formative assessments of the project’s effectiveness by individuals internal and external to the institution and program improvements based on these assessments;

Administrative plan and organizational structure that ensures effective management of the project resources;

Plan for dissemination of innovative graduate education activities both within and outside the institution; and

Institutional commitment to facilitating and furthering the plans and goals of the IGERT project, to creating a supportive environment for integrative research and education, and to institutionalizing the successful elements of the project after NSF funding ends.


No additional information may be provided by links to web pages.

Cover Sheet: Select the IGERT program solicitation number shown at the beginning of this solicitation from the pull down menu, and then select IGERT Full Proposal for the program unit from the ensuing screen. An informative title for the proposed IGERT project, that begins with “IGERT: ”, must be provided. Enter the related preproposal number in the appropriate box.  If international activities are proposed, the international cooperative activities box should be checked and the countries involved listed.  You may list a starting date of July 1, 2005.

(A) Project Summary (1-page limit): Provide a summary description of the IGERT project, including its research theme and key education and training features, in a manner that will be informative to a general technical audience. The project summary must explicitly address both the intellectual merit and the broader impacts of the proposed activity, or the proposal will be returned without review. At the top of this page include the title of the IGERT project, the name of the principal investigator, and the lead institution. Also list any other participating institutions/organizations.

(B) Table of Contents: The Table of Contents is generated by FastLane and cannot be edited.

(C) Project Description: The project description section contains the following items: a through j. Items a through h are limited to a combined total length of 25 pages, inclusive of tables, figures, or other graphical data. The research and education discussions in items c and d (below) should be balanced in length.

a. List of Participants (1-page limit): Include departmental and institutional/organizational affiliation of all faculty members and other senior personnel expected to have an important role in the project.

b. Vision, Goals, and Thematic Basis: Discuss the vision, goals, and broader impacts of the proposed IGERT project. Describe the thematic basis and unifying aspects of the interdisciplinary research and educational activities to be offered. Include a discussion of what is currently missing from graduate education and training or what could be done more effectively, and how the proposed project will address these issues. Benefits to be realized from opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration in research and education should be emphasized. Summarize the value-added aspects of the proposed project, and be specific about what is new and innovative. Proposals should clearly articulate project objectives, planned outcomes with respect to recruitment, retention, degree conferral, and career placement of trainees; project monitoring guidelines; and how outcomes will be measured.  Proposals based on existing IGERT projects must clearly indicate what improvements and innovations are proposed for the renewal period, and the plans for evaluating the impact of the project, documenting and disseminating to the appropriate professional communities what was learned from the project, and sustaining the essential elements of the project after NSF funding ceases.

c. Major Research Efforts: Describe the major research efforts, their cutting-edge aspects, and how they are interwoven and integrated to form the thematic basis for the interdisciplinary project. For each research area described, specify the faculty members and other principals involved, and provide sufficient detail to enable assessment of the scientific merit and relevance to the overall project theme. Needs for special materials, shared equipment, travel to research sites, or interdisciplinary curriculum development must be justified in the context of the research theme and breadth of challenges involved. If an international component is included, describe how it is to be  integrated into the core research, education, and training activities of the IGERT project.

d. Education and Training: Describe the graduate education and training mechanisms that are central to the IGERT project, the logic and evidence to support them, and how they are to be integrated with the research and across the disciplines. Novel aspects should be emphasized to enable assessment of the innovation and potential impact. Specify faculty members and other participants with primary responsibility for these integrative efforts. Describe strategies for developing a community of students. Discuss plans for providing career development opportunities, developing professional and personal skills, fostering an international perspective and ability to work in diverse teams, and integrating instruction in ethics and the responsible conduct of research. If planned student training includes internships, fieldwork, or other opportunities, domestic and foreign, identify the potential mentors and discuss how the opportunity is intended to strengthen both a student’s graduate experience and the IGERT project.  If proposed, discuss the benefits of international research experiences (e.g. quality of research partners, development of long-term international research partnerships, etc.).  Supporting letters from host organizations should document willingness to receive students and the expected role of individual mentors. Show typical student pathways through the program and the effect on expected time to degree and career progression. The role of undergraduate, masters, and postdoctoral components, if proposed, must also be described with sufficient detail to clarify the benefit to the doctoral program and to justify support through this type of award.

e. Organization, Management, and Institutional Commitment: Describe plans and procedures for the organization and management of the IGERT project. The plans should be specific and include use of a formal mechanism that assures the fair and effective allocation of IGERT resources and enables faculty members, students, and others to interact effectively in furthering project goals. Plans should include provision for an external advisory body. Consider the institutional or departmental obstacles you foresee in implementing your project, and how you plan to address them. Describe the commitment of the institution at all appropriate administrative levels to facilitating and furthering the plans and goals of the IGERT project and to creating a supportive environment for integrative research and education. A supporting letter of commitment from the senior administration of the submitting institution must accompany this proposal. Should a multi-institution project be proposed, then provide a careful justification that considers the administrative complexity and the expected benefits to student experiences. Discuss the role of any other academic institutions or organizations such as industry, government, non-U.S. institutions, or private foundations that are expected to participate in the IGERT project. Describe the nature and extent of connections with existing NSF multidisciplinary and industry-related programs such as the Science and Technology Centers (www.nsf.gov/od/oia/programs/stc/about.htm), Engineering Research Centers (www.eng.nsf.gov/eec/erc.htm), Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (www.nsf.gov/mps/divisions/dmr/aboutic_current_res.htm), and Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (www.nsf.gov/home/crssprgm/goali/start.htm ).  Discuss plans for sustaining the key features of the IGERT project after NSF funding is completed.  For renewal proposals, discuss the plan for how successful elements of the project will be sustained after NSF funding ceases.

f. Performance Assessment: Describe a performance plan and methodology that relates the goals of the IGERT project, as it impacts students, faculty, and institution, to indicators and specific measurements for formative assessment of progress towards goal achievement. The assessment should involve evaluators internal and external to the institution who can render an objective evaluation and whose expertise spans the education and research objectives of the IGERT project.  Describe how the results of the assessment will be applied to modify the project.

g. Recruitment, Mentoring, and Retention: Describe plans for recruitment, mentoring, and retention of U.S. graduate students, including specific provisions, beyond the norm, aimed at members of groups underrepresented in science and engineering. Discuss how new students will be staged into the program, the duration and level of their support with IGERT funds, and provisions for continued support through the completion of degree. IGERT support for two years (24 months) of full participation is strongly recommended. Alternative plans for student support must be justified in the proposal.  Describe the diversity makeup of faculty participating in the IGERT project. If applicable, discuss how undergraduate student participation will be used to further the goals of attracting and graduating members of underrepresented groups. Describe the nature and extent of connections with recruitment, retention, and professional development programs available at the institution, particularly those supported by NSF, such as Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professional (www.ehr.nsf.gov/EHR/HRD/agep.asp), Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (www.ehr.nsf.gov/EHR/HRD/amp.asp), Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (www.ehr.nsf.gov/EHR/HRD/tcup.asp), Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Undergraduate Program (www.ehr.nsf.gov/EHR/HRD/hbcu.asp), and the Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (www.ehr.nsf.gov/EHR/HRD/crest.asp ).  Specify the Ph.D. programs in which the IGERT graduate students may enroll.

h. Recent Traineeship Experience and Results from Prior NSF Support (if applicable; up to 5 pages, within the 25-page limit for project description): Describe your experience with and outcomes of any related graduate traineeship project, including IGERT projects, during the past five years. In this description, address in a comparative manner not only the outcomes of the prior project, including failures and proposed remedies, but also the differences and value-added aspects of the proposed IGERT project. Value-added aspects may include: new areas of research; new educational paradigms for students, faculty, and institution; sustainable vertical and lateral impact on faculty, institution, and even outside your institution; and recruitment, mentoring, retention, and career paths of U.S. graduate students, with special emphasis on those from underrepresented groups.

i. International Collaboration (for applicants requesting additional funds of up to a total of $200,000 per award; 2-page limit): Describe the procedures and arrangements for selecting, preparing, and sending IGERT students to foreign sites for research and education collaboration, including how their activities abroad will be integrated into and benefit the overall IGERT program. Discuss how specific projects will be determined for individual students and how effective mentoring will be ensured in the foreign host institutions. Address the practical aspects of sending U.S. students abroad, including logistical arrangements, language and cultural issues, supervision abroad to ensure the student’s welfare, and administrative requirements.

j. Recruitment and Retention History (1 page per participating department/program): Explain your capacity to host an IGERT project, and past performance, resources, and ability to attract well-qualified U.S. graduate students in science and engineering, including those from underrepresented groups. Provide the following specific information for the last three years, regarding recruitment and retention of students in the participating departments/programs. (For proposals based on existing IGERT projects, provide this data for all students participating in the project): (1) total number of applicants, (2) total number of applicants accepted, (3) total number of applicants who enrolled, (4) total number of students currently enrolled in the program indicating part-time and full-time status, (5) number of students who have withdrawn from the program, (6) total number of Ph.D.s awarded, (7) average time to degree, defined as number of enrolled quarters or semesters (specify) since the baccalaureate degree, (8) position types and employers of graduates, and (9) other relevant measures of student success. In addition, provide separate data for women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities for each of the above categories. A tabular format should be used with separate tables for each participating department/program.

(D) References Cited (3-page limit)

(E) Biographical Sketches and Current Research Support (2-page limit each for PI and co-PIs; 1-page limit each for other participants; a maximum of 20 biographical sketches may be included, with up to 5 additional sketches of international participants when international activities are proposed): The biographical sketch should include the individual’s academic and professional history, other activities or accomplishments, titles of dissertations directed, a list of current research support, and may include a list of the five most significant publications. In choosing what to include, emphasize information that will be helpful for understanding the strengths, qualifications, and specific impact the individual brings to the IGERT project.

(F) Budget and Allowable Costs: Provide a FastLane budget for each year of support requested, not to exceed  $600,000 per year for 5 years, with the following two exceptions:  (1) for new awards, the first-year budget may include up to an additional $200,000 as a special allocation for purposes discussed below, and (2) if proposed for either new or renewal awards, proposers may incorporate in Years 2 through 5 a budget for international collaborative activities not to exceed a total of $200,000 per award.  The FastLane system will automatically fill out the cumulative 5-year budget for the proposal.  Awarded funds not expended in the specific year requested may be carried over ONLY with appropriate justification provided in the annual report to NSF and with the approval of the cognizant program officer. The major portion of funds must be used for doctoral student stipends and educational and training activities.  A limited amount of funds may be budgeted for necessary administrative support, support of short-term visitors, and to partially defray the costs of research and publication by students. No funds for faculty research or salaries will be provided, with the following exceptions: (a) one month per year of salary support for the Principal Investigator for management purposes; (b) up to 4 months total of faculty salary support for development of IGERT curricula. The faculty salary support for development of curricula should be requested from within the first-year special allocation; however, its expenditure may be extended over the first two years of IGERT project activity.

Additional funds requested for international activities should be appropriate to enable the unique benefits expected for the IGERT graduate students and the IGERT project. The primary support is intended for graduate students through internships (university, government, industry), collaborative research and/or fieldwork with foreign collaborators, or in other settings abroad appropriate to the research area. The stays should be of sufficient duration to acculturate the student and provide a meaningful research and education experience. Limited funds may also be used for student preparation, administration of the international activities, and faculty visits to foreign sites for research coordination and developing communication linkages between institutions. Requests for travel funds for the sole purpose of attending international conferences or workshops are not appropriate. Reciprocal visits by foreign researchers and students to the U.S. institutions are encouraged, although NSF funds will normally not be used for such visits. Proposers should consult the Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences/Office of International Science and Engineering member of the IGERT Coordinating Committee, listed in Section VIII, CONTACTS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

The NSF contribution to graduate student stipends is currently $30,000 per year per IGERT trainee for a 12 month appointment, and budgeting for stipends should be made on this basis for each year of the award.  All IGERT-supported students are expected to be full-time IGERT trainees.  IGERT support for 2 years (24 months per student) is strongly recommended.  Alternative plans for graduate student support must be justified in the proposal. NSF also provides a cost-of-education allowance for tuition, health insurance, and normal fees of $10,500 per year per student (for 12 months.)  If this allowance is not fully required, then it may be used to support other IGERT student-related activities. Funds requested for graduate student trainees should be entered in line F: Participant Support, as stipends (F.1), travel (F.2), and cost of education (F.4). The number of trainees anticipated, along with the duration of the appointment, should be listed and consistent with the requested stipend funds. Undergraduate student stipends should be consistent with those of the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, and postdoctoral stipends may be determined by the institution. If applicable, these costs should be listed separately on line G.6. (Other) and described in the budget justification. At most two half-time postdoctoral positions may be supported with IGERT funds. All stipend recipients must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., its territories or its possessions. (NOTE:  Entering stipends on Line G6 on the proposal budget is in variance with Chapter II.C.2.g.v. of the Grant Proposal Guide. It states that Line F on the proposal budget should be used for costs of transportation, per diem, stipends and other related costs for participants or trainees.)

Purchase of shared research equipment, special-purpose research materials, software and databases that cost $5,000 or more per item may be requested within the first-year special allocation, and should be listed under Equipment on line D. Any of those items that cost less than $5,000 per item should be listed under Materials and Supplies on line G1.  Personnel and shop costs for developing and constructing special instruments may be requested within the regular yearly budget. Funds for facility renovation or for equipment installation or maintenance are not allowed. Awards will carry an 8% allowance for indirect costs based on the total direct cost, excluding equipment and cost-of-education allowances, but not excluding participant support.   This is in variance with Chapter II.C.2.g.v. of the Grant Proposal Guide.

For multi-institution projects, the lead institution shall submit the proposal, with other participating institutions included under subawards. Budgets shall be provided for the overall project as well as individually for the lead institution and for each participating institution/organization that receives a subaward.

Budget Justification (3-page limit): Provide a justification for the funds requested for the overall project in each budget category of Section (F) and line G.6.  Describe the proposed allocation of funds in the major budget categories with sufficient clarity to show how resources will be utilized in carrying out the planned IGERT project activities. Indicate the total number of graduate students to be supported and the staging and duration and FTE level of their support on IGERT funds. If the first-year special allocation of funds for new awards is requested, describe in a separate table how the funds are to be used. If additional funds are requested for international activities, describe in a separate table the requested amount and allocations over the project duration, beginning with Year 2 of the award. Provide details of anticipated resource commitments of any other organizations expected to participate in the IGERT project, such as government, industry, non-U.S. institutions, or private foundations. Appropriate letters of commitment from participating organizations should be included in Supplementary Documentation (below).  Cost sharing is not required under this solicitation. Any information provided here and in similar places in this solicitation will not be auditable as cost sharing.

(G) Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources (1-page limit): Provide a description of facilities and major instruments that are available to the project and require no additional support from NSF.

(H) Supplementary Documentation: Up to eight supporting letters, including one that must be from the senior administration of the submitting institution, may be provided as part of the proposal, with up to four additional letters when international activities are proposed. Letters of endorsement from foreign counterparts should discuss the benefits and foreign commitment to the project.

Proposers are reminded to identify the program announcement/solicitation number (04-550) in the program announcement/solicitation block on the proposal Cover Sheet. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing:

Cost sharing is not required in proposals submitted under this Program Solicitation.

Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

8% of total direct cost, excluding equipment and cost-of-education allowances, but not excluding participant support.  This is in variance with Chapter II.C.2.g.v. of the Grant Proposal Guide.

Other Budgetary Limitations:

The NSF contribution to graduate student stipends is currently $30,000 per year per IGERT trainee for a 12 month appointment and budgeting for stipends should be made on this basis for each year of the award.  All IGERT-supported students are expected to be full-time IGERT trainees.  IGERT support for 2 years (24 months per student) is strongly recommended.  Alternative plans for graduate student support must be justified in the proposal.  If there is an increase in the approved stipend amount beyond $30,000, requests for additional project funding during the five-year period may be granted, depending on funds available. All graduate and other stipend recipients must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., its territories or possessions.


NSF invites the proposer to suggest, at the time of submission, the names of appropriate or inappropriate reviewers. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts with the proposer. Special efforts are made to recruit reviewers from non-academic institutions, minority-serving institutions, or adjacent disciplines to that principally addressed in the proposal.

    What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?
    How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of the prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources?
    What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?
    How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?

NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:

    Integration of Research and Education
    One of the principal strategies in support of NSF's goals is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions provide abundant opportunities where individuals may concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students and where all can engage in joint efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives.
    Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities
    Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens -- women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities -- is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports.
    Additional Review Criteria:

    In responding to the standard NSF review criteria, reviewers will be asked to place emphasis on the following additional criteria in furthering IGERT program objectives:

    Integration and coherence of the interdisciplinary theme in its effectiveness as an intellectual focus for all participating scientists, engineers, and educators;

    Quality of the proposed research efforts, and their appropriateness to the interdisciplinary theme;

    Quality and innovation in the planned graduate education and training mechanisms, and in their integration with the research;

    Quality of outcomes of prior IGERT project, value-added aspects of new IGERT project, and potential for adding to the knowledge base in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) graduate education, if applicable;

    Effectiveness of career development opportunities, provision for developing professional and personal skills, fostering an international perspective and ability to work in diverse teams, and instruction in ethics and the responsible conduct of research;

    Effectiveness of the strategy for recruitment, mentoring, retention, degree completion, and career progression of U.S. graduate students, including those from groups underrepresented in science and engineering;

    Quality of the international collaborative activities and benefits to the U.S. participants, if proposed;

    Appropriateness of the plans for assessment of project performance in meeting objectives and expanding the knowledge base in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) graduate education and disseminating results to appropriate professional communities;

    Appropriateness of the administrative plan and organizational structure in assuring effective allocation of project resources and participation by project members;

    Appropriateness of the budget; and

    Commitment of the institution to facilitating and furthering the plans and goals of the IGERT project, to creating a supportive environment for integrative research and education, and to sustaining the successful elements of the project after NSF funding ceases.

updated:Aug 21 2004 - Predrag Cvitanovic