DOE Announces $70 Million in Research Opportunities for Underrepresented Groups
The RENEW Initiative Will Support 40 Minority-Serving Institutions, Including HBCUs and Hispanic-Serving Institutions, to Build a Diverse STEM Workforce
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $70 million in funding to support research by historically underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and to diversify leadership in the physical sciences. The funding, through DOE’s Reaching a New Energy Sciences Workforce (RENEW) initiative, will support internships, training programs, and mentor opportunities at 65 different institutions, including 40 higher-learning institutions that serve minority populations. Ensuring America’s best and brightest students have pathways to STEM fields will be key to leading the world’s energy transition and achieving President Biden’s ambitious energy and climate goals.
Among the awards are eight projects in Biological and Environmental Research (BER):
- Strengthening Education and Research Capacity for Bioenergy Science at Alabama A&M University through a Combination of Education, Research and Partnerships
- Led by Ernst Cebert at Alabama A&M University
- Catalyzing STEM Training and Partnerships through Comparative Analysis of Transferable Watershed Function in East River and Southern California Watersheds
- Led by Barry Hibbs at California State University
- BER-RENEW iSAVe: New Energy Sciences Workforce to Advance Innovations in Sustainable Arid Vegetation
- Led by Marina Kalyuzhnaya at San Diego State University
- Applied Geospatial Data-Science Initiative for Urban Climate Change Studies (AGDI-UCCS)
- Led by Ranjani W. Kulawardhana at Alabama A&M University
- Sub-Seasonal to Interannual Variability and Predictability of Rainfall Over East Africa
- Led by Ademe Mekonne at North Carolina A&T State University
- Bridging Disciplines, Empowering Students: A JGI-UC Merced Data Science and Genomics Training Program for the Energy Sciences Workforce
- Led by Suzanne Sindi at University of California–Merced
- Partnership for Fostering Graduate Training in Atmospheric Sciences at Texas Southern University
- Led by Daniel Vrinceanu at Texas Southern University
- Co-Designing Foundational Capabilities to Diversify the Scientific Workforce
- Led by Joseph Wilkins at Howard University
“To compete on the global stage, America will need to draw scientists and engineers from every pocket of the nation, and especially from communities that have been historically underrepresented in STEM,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The RENEW initiative will support talented, motivated students to follow their passions for science, energy, and innovation, and help us overcome challenges like climate change and threats to our national security.”
The RENEW initiative will offer hands-on experiences and open new career avenues for young scientists and engineers at 65 institutions spread across 23 states and the District of Columbia. Forty of these have been identified as minority-serving institutions (MSIs) by the U.S. Department of Education:
- 17 are historically black colleges and universities;
- 11 are Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs);
- 2 are Asian American and Pacific Islander serving institutions (AANAPISIs); and
- 10 are both AANAPISIs and HSIs.
The remaining 25 awardees are 11 DOE National Laboratories and 14 other colleges and universities. Of the awardees, 39 are designated Emerging Research Institutions or universities and colleges with less than $50 million in Federal funding.
The projects were selected by competitive peer review under the fiscal year 2023 RENEW Funding Opportunity Announcements. The full list of projects and more information can be found on the RENEW website.