Germination

Our many societal challenges highlight the pressing need for impactful fundamental research questions that will lead to transformative solutions. To stimulate new approaches in cultivating a risk-taking and impact-driven research culture, the NSF Office of Emerging Frontiers and Multidisciplinary Activities initiated the program Germination of Research Ideas for Large Opportunities and Critical Societal Needs (Germination).

The Germination program challenges the research community to propose exploratory ideas to design learning frameworks, platforms, and/or environments to enable participants to conceive research ideas and questions with potentially transformative outcomes.

Germination projects involve early- and mid-career faculty, graduate students and/or post-doctoral fellows as participants in training programs, platforms or environments.

Goals include:

  • Enhanced capacity to formulate research questions that will address key societal needs
  • New approaches to cultivating a risk-taking and impact-driven research culture
  • Development of key skills and mindsets enabling academic researchers to
    • identify significant research opportunities
    • think creatively
    • explore novel research formulations
    • take intellectual risk


Contact
For more information, please contact Germination program officer Louise R. Howe, Ph.D.

 

Germination Awards

Fiscal Year 2018 Awards

EAGER Germination: What we talk about when we talk about big ideas: Using case studies to train PhD students in ideation and questioning processes
Principal Investigator: Amy Charles
University of Iowa

EAGER Germination: Faculty Springboard to Advance Breakthrough Science by Post-Tenure Faculty
Principal Investigator: George Truskey
Duke University

Fiscal Year 2017 Awards

EAGER Germination Renewal: Extending a platform to germinate transformative science through diverse collaboration
Principal Investigator: William Barley
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

EAGER Germination Renewal: Cultivating Creativity in STEM Research through Mindfulness Training
Principal Investigator: Susan Hagness
University of Wisconsin-Madison

EAGER Germination Renewal: Piloting a Center for Transformative Research at Boise State University
Principal Investigator: William Hughes
Boise State University

EAGER Germination: Using Human-Centered Design to Conceptualize and Prototype Ways to Increase Graduate Student Engagement with Transformative Research
Principal Investigator: Patrick Little
Harvey Mudd College

EAGER Germination: The Question Improvement Model: A Simple and Scalable Model for Improving the Question Formulation Skills of Ph.D. Students
Principal Investigator: Dan L. Perlman
Brandeis University

EAGER Germination Collaborative Award: An Experimental Approach to Formulate Transformative Research Questions
Principal Investigator: Grace Wang, SUNY System Administration (award abstract)
Principal Investigator: Kemper Lewis, SUNY at Buffalo (award abstract)
SUNY System Administration/SUNY at Buffalo

Fiscal Year 2016 Awards

EAGER Germination: Crystallizing Transformative Ideas by Seeding a Diverse Knowledge Community
Principal Investigator: William Barley
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

EAGER Germination: Cultivating Creativity and Innovation in Engineering Research through Mindfulness Training
Principal Investigator: Susan Hagness
University of Wisconsin-Madison

EAGER Germination: Aligning Stakeholders and Structures to Enable Risk Taking (ASSERT)
Principal Investigator: William Hughes
Boise State University

EAGER Germination: A Seed-Funding and Analytics Platform for High-Risk/High-Impact Research
Principal Investigator: Eric Isaacs
University of Chicago

EAGER Germination: From 0 to 2
Principal Investigator: Claudia Neuhauser
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Related Awards

Workshop: Initiation of the Highly Integrated Basic and Responsive Research (HIBAR) Research Alliance
Principal Investigator: Sandra Brown
University of California, San Diego .