Limited Submission Opportunity – NSF Innovations in Graduate Education

Aug 13, 2020 | Awards & Funding, Faculty

To: All Divisional Faculty
From: The Office of Research
Subject: NSF - Innovations in Graduate Education Competition

The Office of Research is pleased to announce the National Science Foundation Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) program competition. The IGE program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative approaches to STEM graduate education training. Faculty may request up to $500,000 total over three years. Additionally, for this competition only, one award will be made for an IGE Innovation Acceleration Hub for $1,000,000 total over five years. For complete details, please view the sponsor’s solicitation. Examples of recent awards can be viewed on the NSF website.

Our institution is eligible to submit two standard IGE proposals. We invite faculty to submit a pre-proposal to the Office of Research. Please find information on the campus process attached. Two teams will be selected to go forward with a full proposal. There is no limit on IGE Innovation Acceleration Hub proposals.

Faculty who anticipate pursuing either of these opportunities are encouraged to contact the research development specialist in their area for assistance. These include Heather Bell (Environmental Sciences and Studies), Elif Demir Hilton (Physical and Biological Sciences), Hardeep Obhi (Bioengineering), and Karen Ruhleder (Engineering).

We are conducting a campus-wide competition for the following limited submission opportunity: NSF Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Program. Please forward this announcement to PIs as appropriate. Click on the link below to view more information. Thank you!

  • Internal Submission Deadline: Wednesday, August 26, 2020
  • Funding Organization’s Deadline: Wednesday, November 4, 2020
  • Award Cycle: FY2020/21
  • Discipline/Subject Area: Engineering, Math, Physical Sciences, Computer and Information Science, Biological Sciences, Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences, Education and Human Resources, Office of International Science and Engineering, Office of Integrative Activities
  • Funding Available: 4,000,000
  • Sponsor Website:
  • Description: 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.

    Leadership teams (PI/Co-PIs) including professional expertise in the learning sciences and pedagogy, as well as in the principal science domain(s), are strongly encouraged. Project teams should also have expertise in evaluation to implement robust and appropriate data collection methods.

    IGE welcomes proposals from early-career investigators and complements the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program’s mission and focus. However, researchers at all stages of their careers including mid-career faculty and investigators from non-academic organizations are welcome to apply.

    Changes from prior solicitation

    This solicitation revises an earlier program limitation to graduate students in research-based STEM master’s and doctoral degree programs requiring theses or dissertations. The program now also expands that focus to include also graduate students in STEM master’s and doctoral degree programs more broadly. This solicitation also includes a one-time award for an IGE Innovation Acceleration Hub.

    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. Proposals for the IGE Innovation Acceleration Hub will be accepted in the first year of this solicitation with an November 4, 2020 deadline only and will not be accepted in subsequent years.

    A Hub proposal will not count against the institutional limit of two IGE project proposals per institution. While the solicitation does not specify an institutional limit for Hub proposals, NSF encourages institutions to carefully consider the specific expertise required when submitting multiple Hub proposals.

    For complete details, please view the sponsor’s solicitation. Examples of recent awards can be viewed on the NSF website.

    Application Procedure

    Please submit the following materials through UCSC Infoready by the internal deadline:

    1. Identifying information (see for details)
    2. UCSC’s role in the proposal (lead organization, subawardee, etc.)
    3. Project description (upload)
      • Times New Roman, 12 point font, 1 inch margins all around, 2 pages max
      • Include the following sections (see 3a-c in proposal requirements)
        • Innovation(s) in Graduate Education
        • Broader Impacts
        • Performance Assessment/Project Evaluation
    4. CV or NSF-style biosketch of principal Investigator (upload)

    Please note the 11:59 pm deadline. Applicants are encouraged to submit pre-application materials in advance of the deadline so that any errors or technical difficulties can be addressed prior to the close of the competition. Pre-applications that do not conform to the posted guidelines will be returned without review.

    Should more than two pre-applications be received by the internal deadline, an independent faculty committee will review all materials and recommend to the Vice Chancellor for Research the most competitive proposals to represent UCSC, using the review criteria in the program solicitation. If selected, PIs should be prepared to complete a full application pursuant to the sponsor’s guidelines.

    FAQ for this Call can be found here: IGR FAQ

    Questions? David Garcia at or Karen Ruhleder at

View competition

If you have any questions or comments, please contact,