Two IPSS graduate students, Eric Luteyn and Kent Pham, recently received notification that their research proposal has been funded for this summer. Eric and Kent are working with students from forestry and chemistry to grow microalgae as a fertilizer to remediate mineland soil. 

These collaborate research proposals and the associated awards are part of a National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) in which Dr. Luke Moe, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences Associate Professor, serves as Senior Personnel while both Kent and Eric participate as trainees. 

In UK's NRT, teams of trainees partake in a number of initiatives designed to further integrate research and education and ensure interdisciplinarity, including competitive research grants for which each term submits an interdisciplinary collaborative proposal. 

These collaborative research grants include all elements of a funding opportunity, i.e., a solicitation, competitive review, and a reporting process. Solicitation review criteria include the extent of collaboration between trainees from different departments, the extent of inter- and trans-disciplinarity and the broader impacts of the work proposed. By helping students hone several of the skills taught in a course they all take – namely, Transferable Skills for Scientists & Engineers (GS 599) – this initiative is meant to fully integrate education and research as well as to ensure that the latter is not only interdisciplinary but also transdisciplinary in nature. The proposals submitted are both peer-reviewed as well as reviewed by faculty associated with the traineeship, top proposals being awarded NRT funds.

The NRT is currently recruiting students. Any prospective or current graduate student in a participating department and/or whose research is related to food, energy and water systems (FEWS) is welcome to apply using the application tab found here