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NNSA Awards $4M for STEM Education, Launches New Partnership with HBCUs

October 12, 2012 - 3:12pm


The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that it has awarded $4 million in grants to 22 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and six Department of Energy sites in key Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) areas. This funding launches NNSA’s new Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program, a consortium program organized to build a sustainable STEM pipeline between Energy Department plants and laboratories and HBCUs.

The Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program is designed to enrich the STEM capabilities of HBCUs in a sustainable manner that aligns with the broad interests of Energy Department sites and emphasizes the entire career pipeline. The partnership also provides STEM students with the cutting edge resources and technology housed at Energy Department facilities, ultimately increasing STEM student retention. 

“Hands-on participation in research is imperative for students in the STEM field,” said Dimitri Kusnezov, NNSA’s chief scientist. “The Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program will provide an opportunity for students to be exposed to state-of-the-art facilities and research, creating an opportunity to expand their knowledge and further prepare them for a career in STEM fields.”

To achieve MSIPP’s goal, teams consisting of participants from select HBCUs and Energy Department plants and laboratories were developed. These teams bring together HBCUs that share similar interests in STEM research areas with the facilities and technology available at the Energy Department’s plants and laboratories.

Funding was given to eight teams comprised of 22 HBCUs and six plants and laboratories – NNSA’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Kansas City Plant, Y-12 National Security Complex and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The areas of research and individual funding recipients are:

  •  Malware Intelligence Harvesting for Greater Cyber Defense: Voorhees College, Allen University, Clark Atlanta University, North Carolina A&T State University, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
  •  Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing: Applied Research and Workforce Development for High Power Density Electronic Device Technology: Howard University, Southern University of New Orleans, Alabama A&M University, University of the District of Columbia, and Kansas City Plant.
  • Investigating and Characterizing Catalytic Activity in Novel Materials and Processes using Experimental and Computational Techniques: Prairie View A&M University, Allen University, Morehouse, Southern A&M University, Tennessee State University, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
  • Support Advanced Manufacturing and Pipeline of Skilled Workforce: Hampton University, North Carolina A&T State University, Clark Atlanta University, Y-12, and Kansas City Plant. 
  • Addressing the Shortage of Quality Cybersecurity Workers in the U.S.: Norfolk State University, Voorhees College, Bowie State University, North Carolina A&T State University, University of the Virgin Islands, and Sandia National Laboratory.
  •  Experimental and Computational Studies of Matter under Extreme Environments: Tuskegee University, Benedict College, Florida A&M University, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
  • Detection and Analysis of Chemical and Radionuclides: Alabama A&M University, Fisk University, Alcorn State University, Morehouse College, Prairie View A&M University, Southern University of Baton Rouge, Southern University of New Orleans, Y-12, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
  • Advanced Chemometrics and in-situ analysis using Laser Ablation Multi-Collector Inductively Coupled Mass Spectroscopy and/or Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy: Florida A&M University, Alabama State University, Delaware State University, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. Visit for more information.