Newswise — WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded over $2.85 million with a focus on broadening and diversifying the nuclear and particle physics research communities through research traineeships for undergraduates from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).

“The ability to fulfill our mission to discover, explore, and understand all forms of nuclear matter relies on the availability of a highly trained, diverse community of investigators, researchers, students, and staff,” said Timothy Hallman, DOE Associate Director of Science for Nuclear Physics. “The goal of this program is to help broaden and diversify this community to ensure that it is drawn from the broadest possible pool of potential nuclear and particle physicists within the U.S. and thereby help ensure the success of our mission.”

The planned funding will support training, mentorship, and research experiences for undergraduates at universities, colleges, DOE User Facilities, and DOE National Laboratories. The program’s goal is to increase the likelihood that participants from underrepresented populations will pursue graduate degrees in nuclear and particle physics or another science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) related field.

Funding was awarded to a broad range of institutions with strong dedication to training the future U.S. physics workforce. Through collaborative arrangements, these awards will provide support for up to 45 trainees from 22 MSIs, including 14 HBCUs. As a result of this overwhelmingly enthusiastic response by the community, awards will be made in phases, with the first round of awards supporting programs starting in the summer of 2021. A number of highly rated proposals with later start-dates remain under consideration.

Funding typically supports undergraduate students to work part-time during the school year and full-time in the summers in research areas supported by the Offices of Nuclear and High Energy Physics.

The projects were selected by competitive peer review under the DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement for Research Traineeships to Broaden and Diversify Nuclear Physics.

Total funding is $2.85 million for projects lasting up to two years in duration, with $2.6 million in Fiscal Year 2021 dollars and outyear funding as well as a second round of awards contingent on congressional appropriations. The list of projects and more information can be found here.