The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced 22 new awards for its NSF Research Traineeship Program which will invest in training graduate students to become future tech leaders.

The program will utilize a $58 million investment, which will include a $6.9 million investment from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to expand the program to new states.

NSF said the new awards expand the reach of the system to 43 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This program aims to support graduate students, educate STEM leaders of tomorrow, and strengthen the national research infrastructure.  The program put particular emphasis on STEM fields, quantum information science, engineering, and artificial intelligence.

The awardees, including two from the newly added state of Missouri, “will focus on research and development in artificial intelligence and quantum information science and engineering — both national priorities of utmost importance,” the agency said.

“NSF continues to invest in the future STEM workforce by preparing trainees to address challenges that increasingly require crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries,” said Sylvia Butterfield, acting assistant director for NSF’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources.

“Supporting innovative and evidence-based STEM graduate education with an emphasis on recruiting and retaining a diverse student population is critical to ensuring a robust and well-prepared STEM workforce,” she said.

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