IOS Virtual Office Hours July 2021 Edition: NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program

On July 15th 2021, IOS held our monthly Virtual Office Hour and the focus this month was on the NSF Research Traineeship Program (NRT 21-536),in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources. The goal of the NRT program is to develop innovative models for graduate training (both master’s and doctoral degree programs) in interdisciplinary and convergent research. This program includes two tracks:

  • Track 1 encourages submissions from all Institutions of Higher Education and can make awards of up to $3 million
  • Track 2 encourages proposals from non-R1 Institutions of Higher Education and can make awards up to $2 million dollars.

Awards under both tracks can be made for up to five years in duration.

The NRT program addresses workforce development, emphasizing broadening participation and institutional capacity-building. 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.

While the focus of a proposed NRT program can be any research theme of national importance, NSF has identified the following priority areas for FY2022: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Quantum Information Science and Engineering (QISE), and the following six research areas within NSF’s 10 Big Ideas – 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).

A list of frequently asked questions can be found here. The NRT program plans to have future webinars for investigators planning for an upcoming proposal submission (NSF 21-536; proposals due September 6th 2021). 

You are encouraged to reach out to Daniel Denecke ( or Vinod Lohani ( with questions about the NRT program.

Join us on August 19th 2021 at 1 pm EDT for our next IOS Virtual Office Hour when we plan to talk about RAPIDS, EAGERS, and Conference Proposals.