DOE Announces $40 Million to Provide Research Training Opportunities for Historically Underrepresented Groups

DOE’s “Reaching a New Energy Sciences Workforce (RENEW)” Initiative will Support HBCUs, MSIs, and other Institutions to Build a Diverse STEM Workforce

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $40 million to provide research opportunities to historically underrepresented groups in STEM and diversify American leadership in the physical and climate sciences through internships, training programs, and mentor opportunities. Beneficiaries will include Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), and other research institutions. Harnessing America’s best and brightest scientific minds will be key to unlocking the climate solutions that will help achieve President Biden’s goal of a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.

“Leveraging the full potential of American expertise to tackle our biggest challenges will require a diverse, equitable, and broad research community that includes the brilliant voices and minds of historically unrepresented groups,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This investment will provide hands-on experience to our nation’s future scientists to unlock the climate solutions that hold the key to a safer and cleaner future for all Americans.”

The RENEW initiative leverages the Office of Science’s unique national laboratories, user facilities, and other research infrastructure to provide training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty at academic institutions currently underrepresented in the U.S. science and technology ecosystem. Beneficiaries also include students from communities with environmental justice impacts. This funding will build up a talent pool that will further the Department’s missions and will focus on basic research in the physical sciences, including physics, chemistry, materials science, applied mathematics, computer science, and Earth and environmental sciences.

RENEW will offer hands-on experiences and open new career avenues for talented young scientists, engineers, and technicians. A series of webinars will be held for potential applicants and research administrators to learn more about each Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).

The Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) FOA will broaden the quantum computing and networking workforce by creating new research and classroom-based training opportunities for students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty from underrepresented groups and at historically underrepresented institutions such as non-R1 institutions and/or MSIs.

The Basic Energy Sciences (BES) FOA will increase participation of underrepresented groups in BES’s clean energy basic research portfolio by supporting research opportunities that include national laboratory internships and research experiences for undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, and faculty at non-R1 MSIs.

The Biological and Environmental Research (BER) FOA will support institutions in developing experiential training and mentoring opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as institutional research capacity and networking opportunities for faculty through development of collaborations with BER-funded long-term Science Focus Area (SFA) efforts at the DOE national laboratories.

The Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) FOA will encourage the participation of underrepresented groups in FES’s fusion and plasma science and technology research portfolios by supporting sustainable research collaborations and undergraduate, graduate, and early career training opportunities between non-R1 institutions and/or MSIs and DOE national laboratories, SC designated user facilities, and DOE-sponsored facilities.

The High Energy Physics (HEP) FOA will support training and research experiences in particle physics for members of underserved communities, with the goals of supporting investigators and building research infrastructure at institutions which have not traditionally been part of the particle physics portfolio and encouraging underrepresented populations to pursue STEM careers.

Isotope R&D and Production (IP) FOA will engage students in a research and development training program that introduces them to potential career paths, fostering the development of the next generation workforce in isotope related science.

Application eligibility varies by FOA. Total combined planned funding is up to $40 million, with $22 million in Fiscal Year 2022 dollars and outyear funding contingent on congressional appropriations.

The Funding Opportunity Announcements, sponsored by the respective programs within the Department’s Office of Science, as well as information about each associated webinar, can be found here.

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