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NSF Grant Supports Training of Data-Driven Graduate Students

Program will focus on research using big data and improving communication skills

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) at Northwestern University has received an NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Northwestern is one of only eight institutions recognized nationwide with the new award, out of approximately 240 proposals that were received by the NSF. The $3 million grant will provide 35 NRT graduate fellowships over five years to students from several different Ph.D. programs at Northwestern.

The NRT project is titled “Training in Data-Driven Discovery -- From the Earth and the Universe to the Successful Careers of the Future.” The program will train students in data-intensive research and will give them the opportunity to improve their communication skills, learn about parallel programming and visualization, and take part in summer internships at national labs and in industry.

Vicky Kalogera, CIERA director and the Erastus O. Haven Professor in the department of physics and astronomy in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, is the principal investigator. Team members are from Weinberg, the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Education and Social Policy.

The NSF Research Traineeship program was developed to advance cutting-edge research in high-priority areas; increase the capacity of graduate programs to produce interdisciplinary STEM professionals with technical and transferrable professional skills for a range of research and research-related careers; and develop innovative approaches and knowledge that will promote transformative improvements in graduate education.

More information about the NRT program is available online.

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