NSF grant to expand research opportunities for HU faculty, students
Hampton, VA - Hampton University has been awarded $3 million from the National Science Foundation to bolster HU faculty materials science research activities. The grant will serve as a catalyst for the recruitment and retention of talented African-American and female students who pursue research careers in materials science and engineering.
The award from the NSF Division of Materials Research's Partnership for Research in Education and Materials (PREM) program will expand an established collaboration between Hampton University-based materials science researchers and colleagues at the Brandeis University Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). The Hampton PREM award of $600,000 per year for 5 years will support collaborative research, education, training and outreach activities of the HU faculty, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduate students and high school students from New Horizons Governors' School for Science and Technology in Hampton, Va.
"Hampton University remains committed to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in STEM," said HU President Dr. William R. Harvey. "We are proud to partner with Brandis University to promote the inclusion of minorities and women in materials science research."
The Hampton PREM team will work in 4 areas: (1) research in the dynamics of polymers at surfaces, (2) fabrication of nanoscale materials and the development of bioinspired drug delivery systems, (3) education of diverse audiences on the research activities, (4) training of Research Assistant Professors to prepare them to become faculty at HU and other HBCUs and outreach programs to increase local Hampton Roads, Va. K-12 students participation in materials science research activities.
“The Hampton PREM will further contribute to the university's plan to expand opportunities for its faculty and students in areas of biomedical and physical science research,” said Dr. Raymond Samuel, assistant dean for research, HU School of Engineering, and principal investor of Hampton PREM. “The planned Microfluidics and High Resolution Microscopy core facilities will provide cutting-edge resources that complement other bold university initiatives such as the Minority Men’s Health Initiative's Zebrafish Facility, Community Laboratory and Geographic Information Systems Laboratory.”
Awarded through a highly competitive process, the project is entitled "Hampton-Brandeis Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM)" is under the direction of HU’s Samuel and Dr. Deidre Gibson and Brandeis University's Dr. Seth Fraden.
Over the duration of the PREM, Brandeis, and the NSF Bioinspired Soft Materials MRSEC, will host 6 “Pathway-To-Professorship” (PTP) PREM Research Assistant Professors for 6 to 12 months.
“At Brandeis the goal is for the PTP researchers to develop their own research program in conjunction with Brandeis faculty and gain experience in being mentors themselves by supervising Hampton undergraduates who will spend summers at Brandeis doing research with Hampton and Brandeis faculty,” said Fraden.
PREM will also provide outreach activities for the public. “I am excited to partner with the Governor's School and the Virginia Aquarium to provide materials research opportunities for high school students, HU graduate and undergraduate students and facilitate outreach activities,” said Gibson.