Frequently Asked Questions:  NRT for Integrated Computational Entomology (NICE)

1. What is the difference between NICE Trainees and NICE Fellows?

Everyone accepted to the NICE program is an NICE Trainee. A subset of the Trainees will be funded by the program; these are NICE Fellows. While Trainees will not be funded, they will also receive any free materials/services (field trips, handouts for classes, minor equipment for lab work, lunches at brown-bag meetings etc.) provided to Fellows.


2. What is the experience like for the advisor of NICE Trainees?

In general, the experience is near identical to a typical Ph.D. mentorship. In addition, your trainee will need some time over five years to attend workshops and meetings and design/perform outreach activities. Most of these activities are in the first two years. It is expected that the trainees PhD project will strive to be interdisciplinary (something that is already true of many UCR research efforts). NICE will attempt to bootstrap this interdisciplinary mindset early on, and we hope the advisor will continue to encourage and foster this.

Financially, fellows will receive five years of support through collaborative efforts between the NICE grant, the UCR Graduate Division and the home department. The NICE grant only provides support for fellows for up to three years (this is an NSF rule). There is a financial commitment required of the fellow’s home department for at least two years.

The NICE program requires trainees to complete two internships at an industry, government or military lab. While the program has some connections and ideas, advisors are also encouraged to develop their connections for internships.
There is a small budget for program-related equipment. The advisor should submit a short description of the equipment requested to NICE Program Administrator. Priority will be given to projects where multiple students (including non-NRT trainees) will benefit.


3. What is the NICE application process for students?

Applications are open to new (incoming) or first year Ph.D. students. In rare circumstances, students beyond the first year may be considered.


4. What is the NICE experience like for the Trainees?

In general, it is like a typical Ph.D. program.  In addition, the trainees will

Financially, fellows will receive five years of support through a collaborative effort of a traineeship stipend for up to three years from the NICE grant, tuition support from the UCR Graduate Division, and support in the form of TA-ships and RA-ships in the home department. Funding is an equal, flat amount for every fellow during the three years of NICE funding and will fluctuate when funded by the home department.

5. What research projects are allowed by the NICE program?

The NRT for Integrated Computational Entomology (NICE) integrates expertise from computer science and the life sciences to train the next generation of researchers to develop breakthrough capabilities to understand and (at least in some cases) control insects.
First, note that the study of insect’s close cousins, the arachnids and crustaceans, and even nematodes or (long extinct) trilobites is often housed in departments of Entomology for practical reasons. For the NICE program, when we say “insects” or “entomology”, we meant it in this broadest informal sense.

We envision NICE trainees working on any project that involves the study of “insects”. Thus, NICE trainees could conduct research projects in:

Please note that the above list is not meant to be exhaustive. There may be great projects naturally housed in the department of Sociology/Anthropology/Physics/Education/English etc. that could align with the spirit of our mission statement. We would love to have applications from such areas.