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ERIC Number: ED546124
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jul
Pages: 68
Abstractor: ERIC
IGERT Implementation and Early Outcomes. Final Report
Giancola, Jennifer; Chase, Anne; Koepnick, Rebecca
Abt Associates
Responding to changes in the demands on the country's science and engineering research community since the end of the Cold War, the National Science Foundation (NSF) introduced the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program in 1997 to encourage science and engineering Ph.D. programs to provide their students with the technical, professional, and personal skills needed for the changing career options of the 21st century. The IGERT program encourages innovation in graduate education by supporting the development of broad-based graduate education centered on an inter/multidisciplinary research theme. In addition to the traditional emphasis on excellent research skills, IGERT trainees are also expected to master communication and teamwork. It is expected that IGERT projects will broaden trainees' career horizons by exposing them to a variety of work environments, and increase trainees' understanding of and comfort level with individuals from other backgrounds and/or countries by allowing trainees to serve as members of collaborative partnerships and diverse research teams. In addition, IGERT strongly emphasizes the inclusion of groups underrepresented in science and engineering, to take advantage of all of our nation's human resources. With the IGERT program now at the close of its second year of funding, NSF asked Abt Associates to assess the program's implementation and early outcomes through an analysis of data from NSF's web survey of all IGERT Principal Investigators (PIs) and students (all funded trainees and some non-funded student associates). PIs were asked questions about process (e.g., implementation challenges, recruitment of trainees) as well as progress towards IGERT goals for trainees (e.g., research skills, skills applicable to careers in industry, communication skills, international perspective). Trainees were asked about their IGERT experiences and how effective their education has been. All of the projects with trainees during the reporting period (33 of the 38 awardee projects) have made progress towards the various program objectives. Topping the list of effective activities were inter/multidisciplinary trainee activities, from communication with individuals in other fields to participation in inter/multidisciplinary research endeavors. After one or two years of funding, the IGERT projects show strong promise of fulfilling NSF's program goals. It remains to site visits and continued project monitoring through the web survey to determine more fully the program's effects and success. Four appendices present: (1) Inter/multidisciplinary Themes; (2) Consortial Arrangements; (3) Additional Funding Sources; and (4) The Principal Investigator and Trainee Web Surveys. [This report was prepared with the assistance of: Jan Nicholson, Janet Swartz, and Debra Thebearge.]
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: Abt Associates, Inc.