Newswise — WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $17.3 million for college internships, research opportunities, and research projects that connect talented science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students and faculty with the world-class resources at DOE’s National Laboratories. Awardees represent academic institutions from all across America—including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs)—highlighting DOE’s commitment to supporting a highly-skilled, diverse workforce that is equipped to tackle the science, energy, environmental, and national security challenges of today and tomorrow.

“By investing in STEM students and faculty from diverse backgrounds, we can ignite the most creative and innovative ideas to solve our biggest problems and maximize our competitiveness,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE and the Biden Administration are committed to nurturing a skilled workforce that looks like America, and these awards will help us prepare rising stars everywhere to dream up the very best solutions for our nation and our people.”

The awards announced today—including $11.7 million from DOE’s Office of Science, and $5.6 million from its Office of Fossil Energy—will fund the following opportunities:

  • STEM internships for undergraduate and community college students—804 undergraduate students and 90 community college students, 20% of whom are from MSIs, will work directly with National Lab scientists and engineers this summer on research and technology projects that support DOE’s missions. These awards are administered through the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) and Community College Internships (CCI) programs through DOE’s Office of Science. For the full list of SULI awardees, click HERE. For the full list of CCI awardees, click HERE.
  • Research opportunities for faculty at institutions historically underrepresented in the research community—66 college and university faculty members and 30 students representing 57 institutions, including 26 MSIs, will collaborate with National Lab research staff this summer on projects of mutual interest. These awards are administered through the Visiting Faculty Program (VFP) through DOE’s Office of Science. For the full list of awardees, click HERE.
  • University-led projects to advance research and training for advanced energy applications—11 universities, including 2 HBCUs and schools in North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and other states will receive DOE funding for cross-cutting research projects in areas like hydrogen production, improving water consumption, supply chain challenges for high-temperature materials, and 5G wireless solutions. These awards are administered through the University Coal Research (UCR) program and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Other Minority Institutions (HBCU-OMI) program through DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy. For the full list of selected projects, click HERE.

Increasing diversity in STEM fields is a key priority for DOE and the Biden Administration. DOE National Labs and program offices offer a wide range of scholarships, educational workshops, and research opportunities geared towards underrepresented communities—including tens of millions of dollars each year from the Office of Science to fund research at MSIs, and recruitment programs through the National Nuclear Security Administration that prepare MSI students for the national nuclear security workforce.

In support of these efforts, President Biden’s American Jobs Plan calls for $40 billion in upgrading research infrastructure in laboratories across the country—half of which will be reserved for HBCUs and other MSIs, including the creation of a new HBCU-affiliated National Lab focused on climate. The plan will also invest $10 billion in research and development at HBCUs and other MSIs, and $15 billion to create up to 200 centers of excellence that serve as research incubators at HBCUs.

The SULI, CCI, and VFP programs are managed by the Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) in the Office of Science.

The fossil energy technology projects are managed by the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

For more information on STEM outreach and workforce development at the DOE, visit the STEM Rising website.