BOSTON—On Saturday at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, the National Science Foundation announced the creation of a new competition, the Innovation in Graduate Education Challenge. The competition calls for graduate students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to submit proposals describing how they would improve graduate education, whether by overhauling student and faculty training policies, modifying funding structure, bridging connections to professional societies, or changing the culture of graduate school. There will be six or seven winners, Stoll said, with prizes ranging from $1000 to $3000.
Kate Stoll, an NSF-based AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, said, "We know that graduate education affects graduate students and their lives more than anybody else, so we want to create more opportunities for them to reach out to us." In addition to the normal winners, there will be a "public choice" winner chosen by popular vote; that winner will also win a cash prize, whose value is yet to be determined. [Edit: We've just learned that the "public choice" prize will be worth $1000.]
The contest opens today and the deadline is 15 April. For more information, visit the competition's Web site.