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The National Science Foundation (NSF) Education & Training Application (ETAP) aims to promote academic innovation by connecting students and educators to scholarships and training opportunities. However, vague brand messaging surrounding its mission statement, combined with a labyrinth of unclear application steps and deadlines, led to applicant frustration and helpdesk overload.

The inconsistent experience also made it hard for principle investigators (PIs) to complete their tasks of posting worldwide opportunities to ETAP, as well as reviewing applicants and reporting their awards back to NSF 

Veracity collaborated with NSF to implement a range of innovative features and best practices for its overall experience. These solutions provided applicants and PIs with step-by-step guidance for application easefrom an applicant‘s initial assessment to final notification. Additionally, we uncovered ways to support PIs, making it easier to list program offerings from universities around the world by establishing an intuitive backend experience. 

Veracity improved the user experience of ETAP by implementing step-by-step guidance for applicants and an intuitive backend for principle investigators to list worldwide program offerings.

Adding Value Through Clear & Concise Messaging

To help students and educators better understand what NSF offered, we distilled the organization’s value into a clear mission statement featuring succinct and accessible language. This brand tone was then infused into a redesigned landing page, featuring clear calls to actions, strategically guiding users throughout the discovery and application process. 

Intuitive Interface Eases Support Requests

To reduce the number of support requests and improve the overall platform experience, we implemented clearly defined steps, as well as a progress indicator for the application. Our simplified, user-friendly search functionality also allowed applicants to filter on criteria and save opportunities for later.  

Accelerating Acedemic Self-Service

Taking self-service one step further, the team added new features, including the option to save tailored resumes for specific job opportunities, as well as to request references from referrals directly from the platform. 

Analyzing for Advancement

Having recognized the need for PIs to pull data to inform future programming, we identified essential metrics including submission and enrollment rates. This information helped NSF make data-driven decisions when scaling or adding new opportunities for the future. 

Project Outcomes

Opportunities Published Since Modernization
Applications Submitted
Registrants Added