Profs. Interrante and Nelson Awarded NSF Grant to Pursue STEM Education Project

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August 3, 2017

Professors Victoria Interrante, Peggy Nelson, Andrew Oxenham and Gordon Legge were recently awarded $2,997,329 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their project, “Graduate Training Program in Sensory Science: Optimizing the Information Available for Mind and Brain.” Theirs is one of only 17 NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) projects to have been selected, from a pool of 220 applicants, to receive a portion of the $51 million the NSF put forward to develop and implement bold, new graduate education in the STEM fields.

"Integration of research and education through interdisciplinary training will prepare a workforce that undertakes scientific challenges in innovative ways," said Dean Evasius, director of the NSF Division of Graduate Education, in the NSF’s press release. "The NSF Research Traineeship awards will ensure that today's graduate students are prepared to pursue cutting-edge research and solve the complex problems of tomorrow."

Granted jointly to the Center for Cognitive Sciences, where Prof. Interrante serves as Director, and the Center for Applied and Translational Sensory Sciences, where Prof. Nelson serves as Director, the award will enable their teams to initiate a new interdisciplinary graduate training program that unites a fundamental understanding of basic sensory science (vision, audition, motor control, speech and language) with deep technical expertise in engineering, computer science, and other related fields. Their research will explore the development of effective assistive technologies for people with sensory deficits that have a major impact on an individual’s quality of life.

The aim is for this program is to serve up to 50 different Ph.D. students over five years, including six NSF-funded trainees per year from computer science, engineering, kinesiology, psychology, and speech-language-hearing disciplines via courses, research opportunities, internships in the medical-devices industry, and public outreach activities.  Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents, and should be in the second or third year of their Ph.D. and pursuing interdisciplinary research applicable to the development of assistive technologies for people with sensory deficits. Complete details on how to apply can be obtained from .

All projects awarded NRT funding were selected for their focus in high-priority research areas that have the potential to train students to address complex problems at the intersection of different scientific disciplines. The complete list of projects can be found on the NSF website.

Please join CS&E in extending our congratulations to Professors Interrante and Nelson and their research teams.

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