Awards Will Go to Universities and National Laboratories on a Competitive Basis

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $2 million to establish a traineeship program to advance workforce development in the field of isotope production, processing, and associated research, with preference to minority serving institutions. 

The DOE Isotope Program (IP), managed by the Office of Science, plays a critical role in advancing the fields of medicine, national security, domestic and global industry, and basic scientific research through the development and provision of isotopes that are novel or in short supply.

Delivering on this mission requires highly trained practitioners with very specialized skillsets. This traineeship program supports training, research, and production experiences for undergraduate and graduate students in related fields with the goal to develop the next generation workforce in isotope production and processing. The traineeship places an emphasis on increasing diversity in the workforce by giving preference to proposals that partner with institutions that serve underrepresented groups.

The DOE Isotope Program supports novel isotope production and processing activities at a suite of world-class facilities throughout the federal complex and at universities,” said Jehanne Gillo, Director of the DOE Isotope Program. “Introducing junior scientists to multiple facilities and U.S. core competencies in isotope production is a remarkable opportunity and a key feature of this traineeship.”

National laboratories, universities, and nonprofits will be eligible to submit applications to act as Isotope Traineeship Coordination (ITC) sites for the two-year awards, which will be selected based on peer review. ITCs will be responsible for several key program aspects, including student recruitment, establishing peer support groups for students, and providing training for mentors. Traineeships will include mentoring, coursework, research, and isotope production experiences for students.

The DOE Isotope Program envisions that between one and four ITC sites will be funded; it is anticipated that up to $1 million will be available in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, with an additional $1 million in funding anticipated in FY 2022, for a total of $2 million over the two-year grant period. All funding is contingent upon congressional appropriations. ITCs must promote a safe, diverse, equitable and inclusive environment that reaches all classes protected by Federal non-discrimination statutes and policies.

Final applications for this funding opportunity are due on June 14, 2021 by 5 p.m. Eastern time. Letters of intent are not required for this solicitation. The full text of the Funding Opportunity Announcement, along with a parallel, companion announcement for DOE National Laboratories, can be found here.