Department of Energy Announces $3.6 Million for Research Internships to Expand and Diversify Nuclear Physics
News — WASHINGTON, DC. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded more than $3.6 million with a focus on expanding and diversifying nuclear and particle physics research communities through research internships for undergraduate students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs). The goal of this program is to increase the recruitment and retention of students from underrepresented groups in nuclear physics and to create new partnerships with HBCUs and MSIs. Only by accessing the widest possible pool of potential physicists can the community produce the best science possible.
“These awards are just one part of the Office of Science’s Reaching a New Energy Sciences Workforce (RENEW) initiative. They serve once again to underscore DOE’s ongoing commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable, and welcoming environment for the researchers it supports,” said Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Director of the Science Office. “Only by managing a dynamic and diverse workforce that taps into the intelligences and ideas of the full range of backgrounds and cultures in the United States can we ensure that the future workforce scientific and technological work of our country remains the most competent and capable resource of its kind in the world.”
The funding supports long-term training, mentorship, and research experiences for undergraduate students at universities, colleges, DOE user facilities, and DOE National Laboratories. Internships provide students with a hands-on opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research in nuclear physics within a team under the supervision of a principal investigator. The emphasis on building collaborative research relationships with MSI faculty and supporting interns throughout the year are key elements that set internships apart from pre-existing programs.
The funding announced today is for the second cohort of peer-reviewed internships under the DOE’s Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for research internships aimed at broadening and diversifying nuclear physics. The first scholarships awarded under this FOA totaled $2.6 million and were announced in 2021. In total, funding from this FOA will provide support to approximately 110 interns from 9 Hispanic service institutions, 14 HBCUs, 2 Asian American and Native Pacific Islander service establishments, 1 predominantly Black establishment, and 1 establishment serving Native Americans. The “Nuclear Science Institute for Inspiring the Next Generation of a Highly Skilled Workforce,” or INSIGHT Center, was also established to measure progress and coordinate longitudinal tracking of trainees’ progression into scientific careers. and technological.
In addition to supporting additional internships as part of the ongoing RENEW initiative, the DOE Office of Science’s Office of Nuclear Physics plans to explore avenues for post-internship experiences and other opportunities to retain participants. RENEW, keeping them on the path to long-term career success. The list of projects and more information can be found on the NP website under “What’s New”.