Pacific islander student at coral reef
Meet the Researchers

Meet the Researchers

From the lab to the field, trainees and principal investigators share how the U.S. National Science Foundation's Research Traineeship program is driving innovative graduate education and cutting-edge research.

Since 2014, over 130 research institutions in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands have launched NSF Research Traineeships to transform STEM graduate education. Leading principal investigators shape the parameters of each traineeship, and mentor diverse trainees to imagine, launch and pursue their own research questions. By blending cutting-edge convergence research training with comprehensive, inclusive professional development, the program prepares future scientists to make discoveries of national and global significance.

"[The NSF Research Traineeship at] BU URBAN allows me to work with researchers in different disciplines and community members. I truly believe it's going to allow me to do what I want in the future, which is really work at this nexus of communities, environment and public health, in a way that's actually going to inform policy and change people's lives." 
- Trainee Beth Haley


Image of a team working in a casual business environment

Credit: Cameron Prins/

Learn about some of NSF's Research Traineeships

Saving vital ocean reefs

As climate change continues to threaten coastal communities and ecosystems, there's never been a more critical time to understand the impact of human activity on coastlines. NRT Strong Coasts is nurturing a new generation of STEM researchers to do just that.

Environmental challenges and urban communities

Urban communities increasingly face environmental challenges. That's why BU URBAN trainees pursue research to develop interdisciplinary solutions in partnership with organizations that play critical roles in supporting environmental and community health.

Food-energy-water security in Indigenous communities

Indige-FEWSS is developing the next generation of scientists and engineers to work with and within Indigenous communities to address food-energy-water challenges by creating a diverse workforce with intercultural awareness.

Entrepreneurship and Engineering at Dartmouth

Dartmouth's PhD Innovation (PhD-I) Program is the nation's first doctoral-level program aimed at providing PhD students the skills and support necessary to engage in enterprising research and translate their work into the commercial sphere. 

Data Science Technologies at Florida Atlantic University

Data science and analytics is an emerging transdisciplinary area comprising computing, statistics, and various application domains including medicine, nursing, industry and business applications. FAU has created a novel graduate curriculum with intensive convergence activities.

Trustworthy AI Systems at George Washington University

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming increasingly prevalent in society, including in our work systems. GW’s Co-Design of Trustworthy AI Systems (DTAIS) program is preparing the next generation of scholars to conduct interdisciplinary research at the intersection of computer science and systems engineering.