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Zhiling Zhang, SDSUFrequently Asked Questions

What is the South Dakota IGERT?

The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, is the National Science Foundation's flagship interdisciplinary training program, educating U.S. Ph.D. scientists and engineers by building on the foundations of their disciplinary knowledge with interdisciplinary training. It is an opportunity for graduate students in science and engineering at the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Using the NSF IGERT program as a foundation, we train professionals with broad interdisciplinary backgrounds, uncompromised depth of knowledge in their chosen fields and expectation based on their own experience, of engaging in large scale research projects in a collaborative and interdisciplinary environment.

What's the goal of the South Dakota IGERT program?

The project provides a model for small graduate programs in rural states to develop influential, collective, interdisciplinary graduate programs capable of high-impact contributions to research and workforce development. Our students believe that IGERT program will "continue to improve my scientific understanding by improving my technical skills both in depth and breadth, mastering new experiences and prospectives, and availing myself of such opportunities to learn and grow." They also believe that "the IGERT program would provide invaluable experience and advancement for my education and career."

Who is eligible to apply for the IGERT program?

Any graduate students from the above programs at USD, SDSU, and SDSM&T can apply for the SDIGERT program. Deadline for applications is the spring semester to be considered for the following fall semester. Only American citizens and permanent residents are eligible to become IGERT trainees. International students may participate as IGERT Affiliates.

What type of financial assistance can I receive?


Stipend support for IGERT students is currently $30,000 per year and is distributed through the student’s home campus. Stipend support for IGERT Affiliates is governed by the affiliates home institute.

What about other expenses?

The IGERT program currently allows a cost of education allowance (up to $10,500 per year) to cover tuition, fees and health insurance

Who is my campus IGERT coordinator?

USD – Ranjit Koodali
SDSU – David Galipeau
SDSM&T – Jon Kellar

When I am on the cross-campus rotation, will I be provided with any accommodation?


Students are responsible for selecting their own accommodation.  The campus coordinators will assist in identifying on-campus opportunities.  The accommodation and travel cost will be reimbursed to the student within the limits of the annual cost-of-education allowance.


Where can I live during my cross-campus rotation?

Typically, IGERT students elect to live on campus or in other nearby campus housing facilities. For example, IGERT students from SDSM&T and SDSU can live in Coyote Village on the USD campus during their rotation.

Should the advisor submit the list of the courses that the student will be planning to take?

Yes. Each student should submit a course plan when they start the program and update the plan every semester.

How can I apply to be an IGERT student?

Talk to your advisor before you start. Contact your campus coordinator if you have any questions about your eligibility, then complete your application and send it to our Program Coordinator, Laura Kuschel.