NNSA Highlights Outreach to Minority Serving Institutions

Press Release
Sep 2, 2009
Agency has awarded roughly $90 million in grants over past five years

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that it has provided roughly $90 million in grants to promote science education to Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) across the United States over the past five years.  The announcement comes as the nation is marking National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week. 

"This week, we celebrate the accomplishments of HBCUs and look to the future with conviction and optimism," President Obama wrote in a proclamation issued earlier this week. "These institutions will play a key role in reaching our ambitious national education goals, including having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020."

Since 2005, NNSA has awarded 43 grants to 27 MSIs for a total investment of roughly $90 million. The participating MSI institutions represent 14 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Grants for FY 2010 will be announced at the end of this month.

The MSI grants are used to encourage and fund the development of new academic programs and research projects in NNSA-related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. The funding also provides support for curriculum, faculty, and infrastructure development.

"As we work to recruit and retain the next generation of nuclear security experts, NNSA is proud of the large investment we have made in academic programs at HBCUs," said NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino. "These programs and the highly skilled and talented students they produce are making a vital contribution to NNSA's core mission of strengthening U.S. national security and reducing the global threat from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction."

In addition to grant funding, NNSA also funds enterprise-wide internships and scholarships in scientific and technical disciplines.

The MSI program has produced an increase in collaborative research projects among HBCU institutions and with majority institutions and NNSA laboratories, resulting in several pending patents. The program also has increased collaborative projects with small and large businesses such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Motors.

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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 in the nation's national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the 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.

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NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371