NSF Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) 

Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO). Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Only two submissions are allowed as a lead organization, non-lead organization or subawardee. As such, even if partnering with another institution, you must apply via CU Boulder’s internal competition.

Program Summary 

The Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Program is designed to encourage development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative approaches to STEM graduate education training. The program seeks proposals that a) explore ways for graduate students in STEM master's and doctoral degree programs to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers, or b) support research on the graduate education system and outcomes of systemic interventions and policies.

IGE projects are intended to generate the knowledge required for the customization, implementation, and broader adoption of potentially transformative approaches to graduate education. The program supports piloting, testing, and validating novel models or activities and examining systemic innovations 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 organizations, and academic partners are encouraged.

With this solicitation, the IGE program will support proposals in two tracks: Track 1: Career Preparation and Student Success Pilots and Track 2: Systemic Interventions and Policies. Under Track 1, the IGE program will continue to invite proposals to pilot, test, and validate innovative approaches to graduate education with an emphasis on career preparation and student success. Track 2 is new with a primary goal to support research on how various systemic innovations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduate education impact graduate student outcomes (such as graduation rates, retention, employment, etc.).

Proposals for the IGE Innovation Acceleration Hub are not being accepted through this solicitation.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST February 26, 2024

Sponsor Application Deadline: 5:00pm MST April 22, 2024

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Proposal Type: Lead, Non-Lead, Subawardee
  • Project Summary (2 pages): Summarize, for Track 1 proposals: the graduate education innovation that will be piloted, the existing pilot that will be adopted or expanded, OR for Track 2 proposals: the systemic policies, procedures, or interventions and graduate student outcomes that will be examined) as part of the IGE project. Describe the disciplinary field(s) involved, the knowledge that will be generated to inform implementation and adaptability of transformative approaches to STEM graduate education, and how the project is responsive to a need and/or opportunity. Please address intellectual merit and broader impacts of the proposed project.
  • PI Curriculum Vitae
  • Budget Overview (up to 1 page): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit: https://cuboulderovcr.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/6953/home


An individual may serve as Lead Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on only one proposal submitted to the IGE program per annual competition. Proposals that exceed the PI/Co-PI eligibility limit (beyond the first submission based on timestamp) will be returned without review regardless of the individual's role (PI or Co-PI) in the returned proposal.

Leadership teams (PI/Co-PIs) for both tracks are encouraged to include experts in education research, the learning sciences, and/or evaluation, as appropriate, as well as in the principal science domain(s), as needed, to design and implement a robust and appropriate research plan.

Limited Submission Guidelines

An eligible organization may participate in two Innovations in Graduate Education proposals per annual competition. Participation includes serving as a lead organization on a non-collaborative proposal or as a lead organization, non-lead organization, or subawardee on a collaborative proposal. Organizations participating solely as evaluators on projects are excluded from this limitation. Proposals that exceed the organizational eligibility limit (beyond the first two submissions based on timestamp) will be returned without review regardless of the organization's role (lead, non-lead, subawardee) in the returned proposal.

Award Information

  • IGE Track 1 Awards (6 to 10 anticipated in FY 2024) are expected to be up to three (3) years in duration with a total budget between $300,000 and $500,000.
  • IGE Track 2 Awards (6 to 12 anticipated in FY 2024) are expected to be up to five (5) years in duration with a total budget up to $1,000,000.

Review Criteria

  • Intellectual Merit: The Intellectual Merit criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge; and
  • Broader Impacts: The Broader Impacts criterion encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.