The National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) project at Arizona State University, Citizen-Centered Smart Cities and Smart Living, will train the next generation of master’s and doctoral students through an interdisciplinary focus on the technological, societal and environmental aspects of citizen-centered solutions for smart cities and smart living.

Why citizen-centric solutions?

Varied backgrounds, customs and contextual factors result in diverse life experiences of a city’s residents. Therefore, one-size-fits-all solutions are no longer viable. Adaptive and citizen-centered solutions require further research and investigation.

Students will:

  • Participate in research penetrating traditional departmental and institutional barriers.
  • Engage in internships and service-learning experiences with research and industry partners.
  • Engage in augmented forms of learning, such as entrepreneurial thinking and leadership.


  • Recruitment, retention and timely graduation of exceptional STEM master’s and doctoral students from diverse backgrounds, particularly women, underrepresented minorities and individuals with disabilities.
  • Employ an integrated education-research-practice model to provide an interdisciplinary training experience for students through cross-disciplinary courses, joint multidisciplinary research projects, immersive internships, transformative service-learning opportunities, entrepreneurial education and communication skills training.
  • Career placement and the creation of new career paths in smart cities-related positions for STEM graduates.
  • Community, national and global impact through dissemination of research findings.
  • Community, national and global impact through the adoption of, contribution to and benefit from interdisciplinary training model components and products for smart cities.


Our program employs a training model that stresses integration and interdisciplinary scholarship and cooperation. Alongside the core NRT curriculum, students are provided opportunities to participate in industry-facing service learning, applied learning experiences, entrepreneurship and well-rounded research training that considers all aspects of smart cities and smart living.