Empowering Early-Career Faculty

Inside the 2024 NSF CISE CAREER Workshop

May 23, 2024

Attendees of the workshop in the Lehman Auditorium

Courtesy Tian Lan

Every year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) presents around 500 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program Awards. To help early-career researchers snag one of these prestigious awards, NSF’s Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) sponsored the 2024 NSF CISE CAREER Workshop. Alongside Drs. Wenjing Lou and Bo Ji from Virginia Tech, GW Engineering Professors of Electrical and Computer Engineering Tian Lan and Weidong Cao helped coordinate the workshop hosted on April 29 and 30 in the Science & Engineering Hall. 

“This workshop was specifically developed to guide and support early-career faculty members in preparing and submitting proposals to apply for the prestigious NSF CAREER Program award,” Cao stated.

NSF CAREER awards are five-year grants awarded to early-career faculty to support them in building a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research. Such awards granted through the CISE Directorate focus on research, innovation, and education in computer science, information science, and computer engineering fields. CISE program directors were present at the workshop, providing the 150 in-person and remaining virtual attendees a platform to engage directly with NSF program directors.

The primary objectives of the workshop were to assist participants in crafting compelling research and education plans and to foster opportunities for networking and the exchange of ideas among peers within the CISE community. The comprehensive, full-day program featured presentations, panel discussions led by NSF program directors, insights shared by previous CAREER Award recipients, and focused breakout sessions tailored to specific programs.

“I hope these young investigators not only have learned how to craft compelling research and education plans from past awardees but also have had close interactions with NSF program directors and their peers regarding idea exchange and network building. Their career will be prosperous after this CAREER workshop,” said Cao.