Brandeis and Hampton University renew science partnership

The two universities will work together to increase diversity in the sciences and develop new materials.

Photo: Mike Lovett

Seth Fraden

Brandeis has received a prestigious National Science Foundation grant to continue to collaborate on research into cutting-edge materials with Hampton University, a historically black institution in Virginia.

The $3.6 million, 6-year grant is part of the NSF's Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM). The program partners historically black colleges and universities with 20 universities that have been designated Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC).

The PREM program seeks to improve the research capacity of minority-serving universities. It also aims to boost diversity in the sciences by increasing the recruitment, retention and graduation rates of individuals from underrepresented groups.

As part of their partnership, Brandeis and Hampton will focus on developing optical materials for applications in biomedical devices and integrated photonics, which involves using light (photons) instead of electricity (electrons) to process information.

"The United States benefits from greater innovation and a more diverse materials workforce, one that will drive cutting-edge innovations in the decades to come," Linda Sapochak, director of NSF's Division of Materials Research, said in a press release. "Now in its second decade, PREM brings innovative research teams that may lack the resources of larger institutions into fully reciprocal collaborations with some of NSF's leading materials research facilities."

The principal investigator on the grant is Hampton Professor Demetris Geddis. Brandeis Professor of Physics Seth Fraden is serving as co-principal investigator.

Fraden, the director of the Brandeis MRSEC, said, "Brandeis is grateful for this opportunity from the NSF to support our collaboration with Hampton, which began in 2013, to advance materials science research and increase the diversity of the scientists in the USA." 

Categories: Research, Science and Technology

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