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Training Elements

The NRT program is LSC’s next step in interdisciplinary graduate training. Our goal is to train students who will be leaders in the field of language science: researchers who are creative, adaptable, and skilled at working in teams to solve complex problems. Our strategy for doing this incorporates essential lessons learned from our IGERT and Fellows programs, and adds several innovative components.

We have learned that training interdisciplinary researchers requires more than training in interdisciplinary research. Many activities which can initially seem incidental to research are in fact valuable in developing cross-disciplinary connections and communication skills that make people better collaborators and better scientists. These include outreach, public-facing science, and student leadership - all features of our IGERT and Language Science Fellows programs that we will continue to develop.

In addition, our NRT program has a strong focus on team-based research, preparation for diverse careers, engagement in public policy, and mentoring from scientists and professionals within and outside the student’s primary field. Specific activities include:

Science Policy internships
NRT trainees undertake a science policy internship, allowing them to develop a deeper understanding of how their research connects to societal concerns and to contribute to public awareness and policy on language-related issues.

Research-intensive workshops
Interdisciplinary teams of students and faculty engage in different strands of research relating to the “Beyond Big Data” research theme. Research-intensive workshops are held on a regular basis and provide an opportunity for focused collaboration and technical skills training. [Photo: student team in research planning group at Winter Storm 2015]

Science communication training
Communicating flexibly with diverse audiences is key for interdisciplinary researchers. Communications training integrates with other program activities such as participation in outreach, policy internships, lunch talks, & Winter Storm. [Photo: Gallaudet University students participating in improv training exercises at Winter Storm 2015.]

Preparation for diverse careers
Student leadership, communication training, and internships all develop significant skills that prepare students for careers within and outside of academia (including in industry and government). These are complemented by a series of workshops and activities that explicitly address challenges students may face in their careers as interdisciplinary scientists.