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Keynote: Laura Regassa, National Science Foundation

Keynote: Laura Regassa, National Science Foundation


good morning everyone I want to thank the dr. Gould and the organizers for inviting me here today I’m actually really excited to be here two of my favorite things to do are one give out grant awards you always have happy people and then come to see what the results of some of those awards are and so today I’m really excited to see what’s going on here at NC State and then we also have some of our current and our TPI’s here so I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re doing as well okay I’ve been left in charge is this okay all right we’re good we’re all good I scroll okay so we’re either gonna go forward or we’re gonna go backwards but this will be good this will be good so today what I thought I’d do is give you a little bit of context from the National Science Foundation of how we’re thinking about graduate education so you’re gonna kind of get the ten thousand foot view we’re going to start off by talking about the context at the foundation I also want to talk about what we see as career paths so a little bit of data on that and then talk about some of the policy that’s been put in place there’s been a recent report that came out looking at graduate education nationally and where we see policy going in that sense then I’m going to back up and talk about some of the programs within the division of graduate education that are addressing some of these needs that we see nationally so we’ll start off with the foundation and you if you want to know where somebody thinks they’re moving and what’s important you look at the money so we put money behind graduate education at the National Science Foundation this is a priority for us and it’s important every year we spend about a billion dollars on graduate education through the foundation we do this by supporting over 40,000 graduate students and if you look at the pie chart you’ll see that the bulk of that funding comes out through our content area directorates giving out research assistantships to graduate students and then about the other 20% are scholarships fellowships and through traineeships one thing I just want to point out is if you look at the PI the 5% the traineeships look pretty small but what you need to keep in mind is those funds are helping build up infrastructure at institutions so they’re not just impacting the individual students that are benefiting in the moment but they’re actually starting to change the culture at institutions and I think that’s really important to keep in mind so when we think about the National Science Foundation and where we’re going we’re always looking to our strategic plans and I’m so glad nobody’s falling asleep when I say strategic plan it really is important for us thinking about where do we go and when you look at the strategic plans within the foundation you’ll see the first one that’s up there is we want to expand knowledge and we’re doing this within content research areas as well as within learning and later on today I’ll talk a little bit about one of the programs that we support that helps build up that knowledge within the sphere of graduate education we also want to build up the human capacity that we need in order to meet the grand challenges that we face within the nation and so this is where we really see graduate education fitting in this is where we’re helping to train the next generation of leaders that will step up and and lead us in in meeting these truly interdisciplinary convergent challenges that we’re facing nationally the last goal there is really internal for the foundation to help us work better and think about what do we need to be doing to meet the needs of the country so I’m going to talk just a little bit about the the context for graduate education within the foundation and where we see things sitting this is a really dynamic time to be thinking about science and to be thinking about where graduate education fits in so if you start thinking through some of the really big talking points that NSF is thinking about in terms of the science landscape these are the things you’re going to see with the white text in in the boxes there we think about global competition the US for a long time has been the leader in a lot of fields but in order to maintain a competitive edge we need highly trained individuals to be feeding in to these different STEM disciplines in the stem areas where we need the workforce to help move this what one of the things that we see I think that really helps to push this envelope are the partnerships that we’re finding between industry and the academic sphere it’s helping to move students out into these quickly emerging areas and helping to keep that competitive edge we also are thinking about new enabling technologies so things are changing quickly in terms of the tools that are available to researchers and that’s important to be thinking about where where is the next thing coming so I’m also going to date myself a little bit so when I started graduate school my PhD mentor got her PhD by sequencing one gene okay just hold the laughter I got my PhD for figuring out a few genes that were involved in a regulatory circuit now when you think about high-throughput gene sequencing it’s just amazing you know we’re thinking about personalized medicine right you know it’s just amazing how quickly things are changing and so we need to be adopting to that to help our students have those skill sets so that they they can grow into this over time we’re also thinking about data intensive areas you think about all the technology that’s coming down for monitoring and all of this stuff what do we do we just keep generating more data how do you handle that productively so those are things that we’re really thinking about the role of complex systems is going to continue to be an issue so you think about smart cities everything that we’re collecting in terms of sensor data plus the interaction at the interface of that human technology frontier how do you assess that how do we know what’s going on there and why is that important and these systems are going to turn out to be I think just as complex as many of the natural systems that we see and so we’re kind of looking at that interface and then finally on here we’ve got the convergence research area and when you’re talking about big challenges things that we’re looking at nationally and globally I’m gonna really reiterate what your provost and Dean just mentioned and I’d see it’s like preaching to the choir in this room which is a nice thing we we need to come together to solve these problems we can’t remain siloed and I think keeping students siloed is not in their best interest moving forward so the other piece I’ve got too much technology up here there we go the other piece that we think about at the foundation when we’re thinking about our priorities is overlaid on that strategic plan are our 10 big ideas at the National Science Foundation and these are the areas that we see moving forward in in terms of funding in the near future so we’ve got the research ideas up there there’s six of our big research ideas and I’m just going to briefly go over these one is harnessing the data revolution this is talking about all of that big data what do we do with all of that and that is really has been an important part of some of our graduate training programs right now about half of our portfolio is is embedded within these large data pieces you’ll see there’s one up there for the human technology frontier so what happens when we start interfacing you know in a more integrated way with technology what does that mean for society and how do we move forward navigating the new Arctic so as things are changing what does that mean and how do how do we measure this and what are we going to do and in that space we’re looking at a new area of astrophysics so window on the universe quantum is going to be very important I think moving forward we’re seeing a lot of initiatives in that area and then understanding the rules of life so how can we predict phenotypes and I think that’s going to be big you know when we’re thinking about genetic engineer how can we actually predict phenotypes now those are some of the big research ideas and then kind of overlaid on that are these process ideas that you see down at the bottom mid scale research is looking at infrastructure impacts within the institutions not super huge not small middle-of-the-road NSF 2050 is really a way for us to support things that don’t fall into a box again these ideas of convergence and and Grand Challenges things that are happening don’t always silo within the National Science Foundation nor do they silo within institutional structures so how can we support those better the includes initiative is an ongoing initiative at the foundation that again is overarching trying to bring more inclusive approaches and more diversity into our student bodies and into our researchers and then finally I’m going to talk a little bit about convergence here we when we started doing a lot of our training grants like the IEEE Gertz we were talking about interdisciplinary research and we still are very invested in interdisciplinary research but what we’re seeing is kind of moving along this continuum from interdisciplinary research to more transdisciplinary research to truly convergent research where we might have new and emerging fields and so what we what we’re always doing is challenging people to really think about what are these grand challenges and how do you move along that continuum and and I think the closer we move along the continuum to transdisciplinary and convergence spaces we’re going to be training our students in a more comprehensive way so one of the projects that I’d like to share with you today that that sort of embodies some of these things you know thinking about cutting edge and and what is this look and and how do we train our students in this space is from an agar project at where’s Chester Institute of Technology and we’re all going to keep our fingers crossed and I think we may have to be very very quiet we’re not sure can a spinach leaf be bioengineered into a patch that might one day repair a damaged heart we were having lunch one day there was a piece of spinach there and we noticed kind of that veiny vascular pattern of the spinach and it reminded us of that kind of vascular system we would see in a heart for Josh Gerlach a graduate student turning spinach into heart tissue was more than just an inspired idea it was a chance to exercise his innovators mindset I think the big thing with that innovators mindset is making connections and it’s really trying to look at you know how we do this research and how we perform the research and try to look at it a little bit outside the box with support from the National Science Foundation biomedical engineer Glenn Gaudet and his colleagues at Worcester Polytechnic Institute are training a new generation PhD students like Josh to be not just scientists but entrepreneurs as well we wanted to add into our technical engineering courses more information on business for example but more information also on how to be creative what I do is develop better ways to deliver stem cells to a failing heart our lab is focused on developing better ways to get those cells into the heart and get them to stay retained in the heart tissue Katrina Hanson is part of the first group of PhD students to complete the program and is headed for a career in private industry she says her experience here has set her up for success and they actually focus on teaching entrepreneurship to Santa engineers so not necessarily teaching entrepreneurship to business students but teaching it to people with our skill set that says with his team the bio engineering comes first figuring out how to regenerate heart function for patients who have had heart attacks he also believes changing times call for new skill sets and so it really is is different than the conventional training that we used to provide to our students because it’s allowed us to go out on a Ledge a little bit and try something different and try to get our students to focus more on being innovators so what’s next for the spinach idea and so we could do is use that as the kind of scaffolding is that base material then we can grow the tissue up on top of it and we would have this vascularized tissue that we could then potentially grow to that large clinically relevant size training a new generation of scientists to take their ideas from lab to the marketplace science nation I’m Miles O’Brien thanks miles so that’s one of the perks of being at the National Science Foundation we get miles of Ryan to talk about I Gert training but what the reason I wanted to show that was I think it really embodies the idea that we can’t just be doing science in one small area we need additional skill sets for students so that they can move on you’ll notice in there one of the graduate students actually talked about she’s moving on to private industry and that’s kind of a segue oops if I go the right direction no into the next thing that I wanted to share with you and I wanted to talk a little bit about some data on careers and so we’re our graduate students actually going when they finish and it’s not it’s not where where we used to all go so they’re not going to simply go always into tenure-track positions and so if you take a look at this data over time you’ll see that when we started out in 1993 we have about 53% of the individuals that are in non at positions at the bottom and then up at the top you’ll see these non-tenured positions which are not we wouldn’t consider those being part of the academic pathway and those two sectors over time are continuing to grow and at the same time the tenured and tenure-track positions are continuing to shrink and so I think that reality talks to the fact that we need to be thinking about where our students going and really support them as they move down those career pathways it’s also important to look at which sectors people are stepping into and if you look at this the graph on the left you’ll see that that we we’ve got doctoral students moving into four-year institutions and then about half of them are moving into industry and business the master’s not surprisingly more of those students are going into business and industry now this is looking at a percentage of the number of students you know so out of all the master’s students that graduated this is what we see but I think it’s important to keep in mind that we graduate about 10 times the number of master’s students that we do to PhD students so if we look at this in actual numbers which you see is that disproportionately master’s students are impacting industry a lot of those students are going into industry and even though the PhDs are split it’s a much smaller number of students moving forward so when we talk about graduate education we’re usually talking about PhD students or PhDs and masters combined but I think it’s it’s really a benefit to the nation to start thinking about master’s students a little bit more and what what are they getting in terms of skill sets as they move out into industry it’s also helpful I think to take a look at what people are actually doing when they get to their jobs and so this is looking across different sectors and looking at the skill sets that people are using once they get into their positions so you’ll see the first two people reported out what do I do if during my job that’s kind of what this is we ask them what do you do and so if you take a look at the first two you’ll see that the one of the main job duties for people whether they’re in you know business and industry government or education they’re still doing a lot of basic and applied research and development so the fact that we’re training students to do research that’s good you know so that that’s aligned with what everybody is doing but then when you start looking down you’ll see there’s other skill sets that people need not surprisingly if you go into education you’re doing a lot of teaching but you also have a lot of other things in management that you’re doing so there’s a lot of additional professional skills that are needed as you move into these different areas all right so we’ve talked about what NSF is thinking we’ve looked at where our students actually end up and what they might need I just want to talk a little bit about the policy that’s involved so over the years there’s always policy statements that come out and studies that are done looking at graduate education – – studies that were pretty important that took place about 20 years apart are shown up here one is reshaping the Graduate education from scientists and engineers that took place in 1995 and then more recently in in 2015 we had the report out revisiting the stem workforce what’s kind of interesting about these when you look at them is they took place 20 years apart but they kind of came to some of the big same conclusions we need to trained students to be productive in the stem workforce and that means more than just how do you do research they need additional professional skill sets so that they can go out and be productive so that was really one of the biggest findings that came out of both of these reports there was additional suggestions on how the foundation might help to fund this which is through the traineeships which we’ve continued to maintain at the foundation today though what I’d like to focus on more is looking at a recent report very recent it came out last week and if you haven’t had a chance to look at this I think this group in particular will have an interest in looking at this report it’s called Graduate STEM education for the 21st century and what I’d like to do is first give you a rundown of just what’s in the report before we move on and look at some recommendations that came out so the first thing in the report which i think is a very important thing is they talk about the fact that it’s not that our graduate education system is broken for a long time the u.s. graduate education system has been the gold standard internationally it still is we still have a lot of international students coming here to study but we have a lot of challenges coming up we have a lot of changes taking place and the system has to be willing to adopt and change so that we can maintain that competitive edge some of the things that they talked about as as disruptors that we need to adapt to our changing and emerging research technologies so it’s what we were talking about before things are changing very very rapidly and we need to be have our students ready to adapt to those changes we’re seeing a shift in the nature of the work we’re seeing changes in career pathways and we’re seeing demographic shifts and all of these things need to be incorporated into our vision of how graduate education works and what we need to be doing they also lay out what they call an ideal stem graduate education system and I think that’s actually a very useful exercise you can look down it and you can to see where you fall out and what you’re thinking where you might be able to glean some ideas from and think about things that might be better if they were changed in your own system they also lay out core competencies including professional competencies and so when you look down their core competencies I think probably everybody would recognize it as a ph.d program I think that’s always one of the concerns with these it’s like if they lay this out it’s like is this going to be something where they’re saying these are the competencies we need and it’s going to look somehow foreign and not like what we look normally see but I think you would recognize it but what they’re really doing is layering on those additional skillsets and then they’ve got a set of key recommendations for stakeholders these are institutions they’re agencies and so they kind of go across that whole spectrum of stakeholders in the graduate education sphere and think about where people can come in and what they can do to help it’s a comprehensive report there’s a lot of pieces in there and so what I’m going to do today is focus more on what the ideal system is what they came up with for this ideal stem graduate education system and then talk a little bit about how some what we’re doing within the foundation is aligning with us so at the beginning of this they’ve got something really big overarching things and these are the three that I have at the top I kind of see these as much larger than the training piece per se so one of the things they’re calling for is transparency in terms of data for students so that students can make informed decisions how do you pick a graduate program you know I mean you think about that like how did we all navigate to get where we’re at I don’t really know how often that was data-driven and institutions are collecting data they’re starting to think about how do you share out this data we actually just funded a workshop at AU America the Association of American universities last week to talk about this among institutions of how do you start to generate this data in a standardized way so that it can be shared out and students can see this data how do you compare where do students go for their careers when they leave these programs you know what are what are they’re doing while they’re there what are the types of support and training they get while they’re there so that students can make informed decisions in terms of institutions as well as programs I will tell you right now this is not meant to be a competitive process that’s never the point of this the point is to help students find the best fit for them they also suggest that we promote diversity and inclusion we talked about the changing demographics I mean some of these programs right now you know are doing better than others when you look at some areas they’re they’re more inclusive I I’m not going to call out any particular areas we all know the ones that that are less inclusive and so some have a lot more work to do than others the other thing that came up that was really overarching was the importance of hearing student voices so having those conduits to the administration and mentors so students have a voice as graduate programs are changing and evolving now in terms of the training these are the things that you see at the bottom and I think these are going to resonate with everybody in this room it’s very important to have technical literacy as well as deep specialization they’re suggesting rich learning experiences so experiential learning getting out in the community understanding how to work with different stakeholders allowing for project-based learning within interdisciplinary teams learning to work within the team and getting instruction and how to do that they also emphasize the professional competencies so that students are ready to to move out into the workforce and allow and support career exploration and then the last piece on there is strong advising and mentoring and this this was not laid out as as we don’t have that now it was laid out sometimes the mentors need additional professional development and training we see a lot of mentors not that they don’t want their students to go into private industry they don’t know anything about it that they find it very difficult to mentor those students and so it was laid out in the report in that way so what I’m going to do now is is move on to taking that ideal and talking a little bit about some of the programs that we have within the division of graduate education that seem to align with some of the things that they’re suggesting the main program that I’m going to talk about is the NSF research traineeship program this really was the next iteration after I got so it’s kind of like a Gert 2.0 so we were we took some lessons learned from a Gert and moved on to our next iteration which is the NSF research traineeship program or the NRT program and that key goals of this program really are to have interdisciplinary convergent research themes and training in place and then also inclusive workforce development when you think about the way that this lays out in terms of the recommendations from the report what we envision is normally what we call a pie-shaped training model or sometimes you’ll see these as comb shapes so more than two pillars going down and this particular example would be like for someone in biology maybe you’d have your specialty domain you’re probably going to overlay that with some computational and statistics and then you’re going to have a breadth of knowledge and that breath can also include different professional competencies and so this is normally the way we envision this and it aligns very well with what was suggested in the recent report from the National Academies I just wanted to give you kind of a snapshot of some of those professional competencies that are shared out among fellows within our programs within NRT and the ones on the left and the light blue you see those are the ones that we see in most of our NRT projects so everybody does science communication training and then mentoring is a big piece of what happens career preparation and research ethics the next suite in there is looking at a lot of community engagement leadership collaboration and team-building each of these professional development opportunities that are incorporated into the projects are aligned with the goals of what they’re doing in that particular project so you’ll see not everything appears everywhere but it really depends on what the goals of that particular project are now because communication is really important in our projects I wanted to just share one one this is this is a product that came out of one of the communication trainings workshops that they have going on at UC Berkeley and what this is is a sonification of global data looking at co2 concentrations and temperature what you’re hearing is that the tone represents the co2 concentration in the atmosphere while the pitch and intensity of the plucked strings is the average temperature and that what the students wanted to do these are three NRT fellows they wanted to find a way to represent that data to the general public that’s not okay let’s face it as boring as a graph you know so they were looking for something that was a little more interactive and what I’m gonna do is slide this along if you just kind of close your eyes this is all pretty Sun right I’m gonna I’m gonna slide us along there and we’re gonna just get up to the 40’s it’s it’s a little disturbing isn’t it when you get to the end and I thought that was an incredibly creative way for these NRT fellows to take that data and share it out with a non-scientific audience there some of their quotes were along the lines of nobody even wants to talk about climate change anymore it’s overwhelming it’s boring it’s this as that and this was sort of their response to that they worked with a faculty member in the music department to generate that and so I thought that was a really nice connection across areas for them to look at that communication piece oops now what I’d like to do is just share with you a couple of projects in nrt so you can kind of see what these look like I think they’re going to look in on the surface very similar to the eye Gertz there are some subtle changes as we went through to do to do these as compared to the eye Gertz but this is an program at the University of Syracuse led by dr. Laura louts it’s called the empower program and this particular program is looking at research at the energy at the Nexus of energy and water resources I always have to read from my list they have so many people involved in this but they have faculty from Earth Sciences chemistry civil and environmental engineering public affairs and communication involved and students are taking training in that’s integrated with education and policy science communication law and business so they’re really reaching off across a number of different areas so that students understand that if you’re working at this nexus of energy and water there’s going to be policy implications you’re going to work with a community you need to understand all of these broader pieces there’s a few things I’d like to highlight in this particular project they they focus on career pathway experiences each student is allowed to select experiences either an international internship or an industry internship that aligns with their career goals they’re also able to put in for seed grant funding so that they can do team project-based research that’s of their own Genesis so that’s something that they come up with it they want to do usually high risk that they don’t have funding for otherwise this particular project has about 50% of its trainees funded and 50% non funded which is it which is typical of our projects that we have out there the other one that I wanted to just briefly mention is a program at the University of Southern Mississippi called interphase and this particular project is looking at advanced materials design and these are things that might be used for biomaterials renewable energy applications and they have extensive partnerships with the university industry and government labs and so their faculty are from polymer science engineering chemistry biochemistry and physics and they work as part of interdisciplinary teams with staff scientists from national and industry labs and all of the mentors have multiple multiple multiple disciplinary Co advising teams that work with these with these students so you’ll also see that they get a lot of additional professional competency training through boot camps and and other opportunities the important thing to keep in mind with all of these it’s integrated with their their research and training so there’s not separate pieces out everything is integrated in and we see that with our NRT projects the other program that I wanted to mention this morning is our innovations in graduate education program this program is different than the NSF research traineeship program in the sense that this one is the one that’s going to allow us to know what’s working and generate the evidence for so the NRT programs are setting up these large models at institution for graduate training and they’re collecting a lot of data so we know we’re going to get information back the innovations in graduate education program is looking at specific interventions and saying does this work does this help so this is really to pilot or test something it’s much more educational research in that sense because you need to generate the knowledge that you can share across the community for graduate education and I’m going to share one example of a project here with you so you get a sense of what these look like this is a project from Florida State University and in what they’re doing is testing out a mixed reality platform to see if it can help students become better teachers it’s also can be used as a general communication tool so what happens is the instructor has motion detectors and also microphones the grad students are going to love this part those students sitting in the room the avatars those are actually grad students so you get to log into the program as an avatar and the instructor is teaching and I can tell you from watching demonstrations of this if the instructor isn’t very well the behavior of the students in the classroom disintegrates over time and then the instructor is trying to handle this but I think the real beauty of this is it allows you to play out scenarios that you might not encounter otherwise in a classroom or you might not encounter until you’re in your first teaching environment and that’s not always the best place we all know that you can have some very difficult situations in a classroom that we would never generate in a classroom because you would only deal with it when it happens but this allows you to test that out and see how you respond to it it also lets you see how you’re interacting with others with the students in your classroom as you’re teaching so so this right now they’ve been testing this out on chemistry TAS and so we’re looking forward to seeing their results I did have one suggestion for them after I sat through the first 20 minute demonstration I suggested that they get those little things you can throw on Mario Kart because it really was like a long demo but it I think it’s gonna be a really good learning tool so with that I’m going to draw this to a conclusion I just want to encourage you if you have any interest in either the NRT program or the IgE program please look up the solicitations online the best thing to do if you have questions afterwards you’re always welcome to email me but I see some of our current PI’s in the room and they will all tell you it’s much more efficient to email to NRT at nsf.gov or IgE at nsf.gov because that goes to our entire team and so if you do have any questions about that please feel free to let us know and I think we’ve got we’re opening up for questions now okay good morning everyone we were wondering in table 1 what percentage of the NSF of those 43 students for 2,000 students we’re talking about actually are actively doing the integrative interdisciplinary work and so we were curious about that I’d also be really curious about that I I don’t think that we have that kind of data available to us even because the thing is I mean the I Gertz overall I mean there you’re talking about several thousand students but I I don’t want to say that people that weren’t in I may not be doing that I mean they might be I just don’t think that we have that type of data available what we’re hoping is that over time one of the one of the big pushes behind the NRT program is that whatever happens becomes sustainable at institutions and so what we’re hoping is that that three million dollars we give people becomes a catalyst and so that eventually everybody is getting those types of experiences one of the things that came out of that recent report was a recommendation that funding agencies use their leverage – I’m looking for the right verb incentivize incentivize institutions to have this broader training umbrella in place and so we because the report just came out we’re now having those internal discussions within the foundation to think about what our response will be to this and the best way to move forward from that because it’s been suggested although from outside entities all the way from if you get a research assistantship the institution must have broader training in place to you know what about making sure everybody’s at least doing a professional development plan so I mean there I think there’s kind of a spectrum in there but thank you that’s it’s a wonderful question someday we’ll have all that data hi we talked primarily about the sort of idea of integrating across education phases so starting with primary and secondary and how the different programs are either are or not integrating and talking to each other especially in the context of how primary and secondary education and stem is working and sort of rote memorization as opposed to inquiry based in creativity and how these ideas of creativity that are so prevalent here could be or should be integrated earlier on so that’s a very interesting question and I’m going to share with you just some of my personal experience on that side and kind of how it’s informed my thinking I think depending upon where you are the the background and the capacity of teachers at the primary and secondary levels sometimes don’t always allow for this type of inquiry and integrative thinking simply because if they didn’t have that in their training they don’t always get it later to allow them to get that level of support within the foundation we did have a program at one point that allowed us to sort of reach across and I know some of our programs are still doing that by sending graduate students out into the k-12 community and what I saw personally by doing that was it allowed that type of support for stood for teachers for in-service teachers to bring that type of learning into the k-12 classrooms the teachers told us on average it took them two years to feel confident enough that they could lead that type of teaching in their own classrooms without that level of support in the background but I mean I with the next generation science standards I mean that’s where everything is moving and so I think really a lot of that is going to come down to the support that the teachers get because I don’t think it’s for a lack of wanting to do it timely maybe the the table on deck could come up and stand like so this question was sparked I think by the the interpretation of the climate data with with sound and music how does NSF enable or does it not enable actually to partner with colleges of art and design to be able to actually make those types of interdisciplinary relations either getting graduate students from those departments or even partnering with faculty from those departments so we support stem and and that’s where our funding goes for our graduate students having said that though I think it’s important you know to reach out to a broader umbrella when you’re thinking about how you’re communicating and so yes we pull that in those pieces and I think as people are doing communications we’re seeing more and more of that a lot of the communications workshops I’ve seen are very very creative they’re doing a lot of improv they’re you know they’re working with different groups to see how do you work in front of green screens how do you respond to reporters questions all of those types of things and so I think in that sense you can get that broader umbrella in terms of the funding piece though within the division of graduate education the grad students that we are supporting are within STEM disciplines so for us we were discussing the idea of breadth and depth and how difficult it was to deal with that sometimes and for me the great the biggest example is I’m a biologist and I’m listening to one of these modeling talks and they throw a formula slide and I’m undone and so how do you how do you deal with that issues starting from the undergraduate all the way to the PA system okay so if I understand the question and I may need you to stay here I want to make sure I get this right so you’re asking me to solve how how do you you communicate across disciplines I think we speak two languages when you move from the from the sum of the languages by already and perhaps even are two languages that use essentially a different vocabulary than a mathematical vocabulary right now and I think that’s a that’s a really good point and we see that a lot in programs that struggle with this sometimes that’s one of the first things they do in boot camps is how do you get together and what is the language that we all use so that we can communicate with each other and I think that’s one of the critical pieces to do any kind of interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary work you all have to be able to speak to each other and and I don’t know as though there’s an easy shortcut to that I from what I’ve seen is people you simply get together and you start talking about how would you describe problems what is the language you use everybody needs enough of a foundation to be able to understand each other and then beyond that I don’t know as though everything has to be at the same level because as once you have that sensitivity and you know that you need to speak to someone in a little bit different way you can start to share ideas across in that sense I don’t know I mean I that’s something I would I would love to hear from this group what approaches people are taking but that’s what I’ve seen honestly is a lot of the the boot camps and these interdisciplinary teams they’re getting support as they go through to bridge those divides and really be consciously thinking about it you need to be at the mic Linda yeah sorry the people streaming appreciate one of the things we did in our NRT training program to bridge the language we’re on we have a program that’s integrating informatics into microbiome research and engineering and informatics is not an easy topic to tease so we had students create a blog and when they would come across the term they didn’t understand this was a collective blog they would try to defined it in their best terms it was termed from the other discipline and and the students from that discipline would make adjustments online and then we’d have follow-up discussions in class and that was helpful to everyone well I’m gonna take the opportunity then because there’s overflow there’s a table down an overflow rich just before your question here they had a question down there which was can you speak more to specific challenges faced by the I Girt and our T programs and how NSF has addressed them you’ve some of that discussions we’ve already talked about it maybe you could think of other restate yeah can you speak more to specific challenges faced by the aigrette NRT programs and how NSF has addressed them yeah I think I’ll ask them to text me okay table 5 so our question was similar to table ones and I guess what we were asking is to have ways that you can measure or you can show that the cross-disciplinary Eiger type trainings have been more successful than some of the traditional graduate trainings that we’ve used in the past particularly because you’ve been doing this for a long time and and I don’t know if it’d be job placement or publications that are more cross-disciplinary but could you comment on that so for everybody that’s involved in Gertz they know we collect a lot of data right Fred it’s a lot one of the challenges with that data is that we need to then step back and analyze it so I’ve been at the foundation now for a little over two years and so when I came in we work as a Gert is getting ready to sunset we’ve still got about sixty active programs one of the things that we’re looking at doing is exactly what you’re asking stepping back and taking a look at that data because those are some of the things that I personally would like to know and see if if there are lessons learned along those lines coming out of that data with the n artis I’ll tell you we’re so early in the game that I can’t really speak to that yet we’re hoping that eventually though by pulling that data and probably combining it with some of the national placement data of where people are going that we might be able to start to get a sense of you know are there differences you know between people that are in different places part of the issue gets to be though one of the things we talked about before is you know what would be the control for that right you know so so who would we identify that we’d say well you’re doing a great job at not being interdisciplinary at all and we’re going to use you as our control group so and I think just because of the way fields morph and things move over time it might be a little bit hard to get that control per se yeah that might be a pal oh oh of everybody that’s a good idea so you coming back Glenda so Laura as I was listening to you talk about internships I was wondering how people are able to fit internships in and a one-year NRT and I was wondering if it’s a function of 2n RTS and I guess this is two questions also the diversity of courses the number of courses people are actually creating is there a big range and diversity of courses for the NRT and is it a function of one versus two year in our t programs thanks Linda so I think if I understand the question right you’re asking about how are people fitting in internships because they’re going out and doing these and within a one or two year time span and then also the numbers of courses that are being creative ok so just one one thing that I want to clarify about the n RTS is that the funding from the NRT is not linked to you being a trainee in the program so as a project sets up their NRT program they may have a large number of students that never receive any funding from the program in terms of like an fellow show but we consider everybody that’s in the program to be a trainee for the entire time that they’re in their degree granting program so all of them would be trainees for their four or five hopefully not six or seven years that it takes them to finish and so during that timeframe about 20% right now in any given year of those trainees are involved in an internship somewhere those students work it in in different ways and most of the time it’s because this is what they see as being critical for their career progression they these internships will range from three to six months usually depending upon what they’re looking to do and it varies in terms of the way the programs have these setups some do this earlier on some do it later it just depends on what works out best for the students one of the things with the N RTS that we’ve started doing now in the newer solicitation and we’ll grandfather people in is that if the student gets an internship and they can get paid doing the internship at least at the level we pay them then they can extend their time if let’s say that that project is only going to give them 12 months they can take a break do the internship and then come back and get the rest of their funding and so those internships are being worked in in different ways they’re made available to all of the trainees whether or not they’re being funded through the program and and we wanted to make sure that those important opportunities were available to everyone now in terms of the coursework that varies dramatically we have some projects come in that are essentially writing completely new curriculum because they’re putting in place a new degree program you know that’s at one extreme at the other end we might have projects that are putting in place a couple of additional classes that that are truly integrative in nature and so we sort of see that spectrum it’s a hard-knock life that’s right so from a table seven four could you talk a little bit more about what makes the innovation and graduate education program unique in the testing sense as opposed to I know for all of our Gert NSF’s we had evaluations and things like that so what is it that makes it a testing program as opposed to a program that is being evaluated so I think a lot of times within the foundation there’s confusion in terms of evaluation and and assessment in terms of what we’re thinking about so with all of the NRT and I group projects you have to do programmatic evaluation that’s going to include assessment of some of your key objectives so not just like we had this many students we did this we did that you know we developed these courses with this many students attended but you’re also looking at some competencies in there so we require everybody to look at communication competencies and so they may also have additional objectives that are really important where they’re going to be doing assessment on we will get some information out of the out of these NRT projects and that way and gotten some from my Gert this will answer some select questions not all the way across all of the projects but it will answer some select questions in terms of whether or not in their environment they’re being successful in contrast the IgE projects are looking at an approach and generating enough information that they can share it out in the literature so if any of you are familiar with the literature on undergraduate education and what works and what doesn’t it’s a very robust literature doing education research we envision the IgE being comparable to that so if you come in to do an innovations in graduate education project most of these teams have someone from their College of Education on there you need to embed what you’re doing within the liquor –nt literature so that we understand the framework for what you’re trying to test then you need to clearly lay out your objectives and have assessment tools in place to answer each of those so that when you’re done we know did this particular intervention work so that it can be shared in the literature and become part of the best practices in a more diffuse way we’re hoping we’re going to be able to do some of that with the NRT and the I Gert data but it’s more diffuse it’s not going to be as as focused in terms of a testbed project hi our table was also talking a lot about the internships and I’m wondering if there are some creative ways that programs are bridging the off-campus experience and the on-campus experience I think one of the most productive ways that they’re kind of bridging that off campus on campus is by setting up collaborative teams that involve people from the industry or government labs and so it becomes an internship in the sense that the students go to the other location and see what it’s like to work in a government lab or see what it’s like to work within private industry but they’re long-term sustained partnerships and I think in many ways for the students that becomes extremely beneficial but I think it’s also really beneficial for the faculty you know I mean sometimes faculty I think they’re that’s where you get some pushback sometimes well what do you mean my students are going to go someplace for three months well if that’s part of your core research mission I think that that is probably an easier way to integrate in so table 9 our question was kind of if you could talk about the motivation to move from Uyghur to NRT and what are the improvements that you see that motivated that change in programs sure so when we when we made that transition from Uyghur to NRT what we really did was take a look back and say well what were some of the lessons learned from the I Gertz and and how could we improve as we move forward and so I know sometimes when you look at it everyone’s like well it’s just an eye Girt you just changed the name and some of the things though that we learned from the eye Gertz and and that we wanted to apply broadly so the things that I’m going to say it’s not that they don’t apply to some of the eye Gertz but I think we took these things and put them front and center for the NRT so that they applied to all of the on our T’s one of the things that we wanted to make sure is that this funding was used as a catalyst so the intent was that we truly start to see institutional change and because of that you’re not even allowed to put in an NRT if you don’t have a strong letter of support from your institution saying that what you want to do aligns with the mission of your institution because the intent here is that 3 million dollars yeah that sounds like a lot of money but it’s really a catalyst at an institutional level and so we want that to build up that infrastructure that once that money is gone it will continue to support the the institution post NSF funding so that was one thing we really wanted that catalyst at the institutional level and the sustainability the other thing was the idea of support for for the fellows in the program or the trainees most of the Eiger projects supported students beginning to end so the entire time that they were in the project and that was a huge benefit to the students that were able to be in those projects and you know and I’m sure you know it’s like they gain I’ll just in immense amounts of professional development and it gives you a good sense of security knowing you’re being funded throughout your time in graduate school the issue was the impact size though and so what we did when we moved over to NRT we wanted to make it clear that we didn’t anticipate students to be funded for the whole time most of these students are funded for one year sometimes two years but as I said before when I was talking about some of the projects on average 50% of the trainees in our program never got any kind of fellowship funds from the programs so they’re just in there because they want all of the other stuff and so our philosophy was if you build it and it’s good students will want to come you know it shouldn’t be that they’re coming just for that funding because is that a sustainable model especially at institutions where the the fellowships that we’re giving are significantly higher than what the institution normally gives so again it’s part of this whole sustainability model and by doing that and decoupling that the fellowship funding from the trainee model we’re able to include a lot more students so normally each of the NRT projects will have on average 60 students some of them go up to 120 so there’s there’s quite a spectrum in there but there’s a lot of students that are that are benefiting as trainees over the life of these projects so I would say that those are the two biggest takeaways that we had that we really change when we move forward

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