workforce development

Shape the Future of Synthetic Biology! Apply for Funding to Mentor High School iGEM Teams

Reposted from BIO Buzz: Blog of the BIO Office of the Assistant Director.

NSF is calling for requests for supplements and proposals to support high school teams participating in the International Genetically Engineered Machine – or “iGEM” – competition.

Attracting diverse students to STEM careers at a young age is essential to ensure the realization of a vibrant U.S. bioeconomy that will fuel innovation, economic growth and job creation. Synthetic biology has emerged as a major driver of innovation and technological advancement; as such, active researcher engagement of young people in synthetic biology is an important early step in workforce development to support a growing bioeconomy.

iGEM has emerged as the premier opportunity to engage students in creative research and technology development projects in synthetic biology. Annually, over 6,000 students from around the world at the high school, undergraduate, and master’s level participate in iGEM, working to design, build and test creative solutions to societal challenges using the tools of synthetic biology.

To support early career workforce development in this growing field, NSF is encouraging principal investigators of existing NSF awards to apply for supplements through the Research Assistantships for High School Students (RAHSS) mechanism to support iGEM teams. Supplements can vary in size but are expected to average approximately $10,000 per team. Additionally, NSF encourages the submission of Research Coordination Networks (RCN) proposals that would support dissemination of best practices for working with high school iGEM teams, and/or ways of remote mentoring of teams that are not located near a research university with synthetic biology capabilities. RCN proposals can be submitted at any time to the Biological Sciences or Engineering Directorates.

For more information on iGEM and how researchers can participate, visit iGEM.org.

 

Focus on Graduate Student Career Preparation: NSF Research Traineeship (NRT)

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The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is seeking proposals that address the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative models for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduate education training.

Letters of Intent, which are required, may be submitted between Nov. 25-Dec. 6 and annually thereafter.

Full proposals are due Feb. 6, 2019 and annually thereafter.

Proposals are requested in any interdisciplinary or convergent research theme of national priority, with special emphasis on the research areas in NSF’s 10 Big Ideas. The10 Big Ideas include Understanding the Rules of Life, an area of interest to the Directorate of Biology and the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences.

The NRT program addresses workforce development, emphasizing broadening 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.

NRT especially welcomes proposals that pair well with the efforts of NSF Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES). INCLUDES aims to develop STEM talent from all sectors and groups in our society. Collaborations are encouraged between NRT proposals and existing NSF INCLUDES projects, provided the collaboration strengthens both projects.

Read the solicitation (NSF 19-522) for details.