Grant: $360,000 - National Science Foundation - Jun. 22, 2009
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Award Description: This project will establish an REU site in nanometerials at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience. The primary objectives will be to (1) create an atmosphere within which students can develop independence in research, (2) provide research experiences for students from institutions without a strong research emphasis, and (3) provide professional development opportunities. The research will focus on the fabrication, characterization and properties of nanoelements (monolayers, clusters or wires), nanostructured materials, and the response of materials at the nanoscale. This interdisciplinary program involves researchers from five departments across two colleges. Targeted students will be from colleges and universities that lack a strong research emphasis, colleges and universities in the upper Midwest, and students from underrepresented groups. Intellectual Merit The program will have individualized research projects in a multidisciplinary setting, with the projects culminating in a Research Symposium for campus-wide undergraduate researchers. The research in which the undergraduates will participate has significant ramifications in a number of areas, notably in the development of materials for biomedical applications, sensors, electronic or magnetoelectronic devices, or mechanical systems. The program will focus on developing the student’s abilities to work independently in a research environment, and encourage creativity and problem solving skills. The students will create new materials via a variety of synthesis/fabrication techniques, and characterize the resulting structure and properties using a variety of techniques. Broader Impacts The broader impacts of this project include encouraging careers in research, exposing a broader spectrum of students to a research environment, and increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in research. The project also includes a professional development component that will expose the students to the broader impact of science and technology on society. Included will be aspects related to the transfer of high-technology ideas and products to the commercial sector.
Project Description: During the summer of 2009, UNL hosted 11 students from other colleges and universities to conduct 10 weeks of original research under the direction of UNL faculty mentors. The primary focus of the research was materials and nanoscience. Student travel, room and board, and stipends were funded by this program. The mentors included faculty from two colleges and six departments, including Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Mechanics, Chemical Engineering, Physics, and Chemistry. The program received more than 50 applicants. Of the 11 students funded by this program, 3 were women and 4 were from groups underrepresented in science and engineering disciplines. Some examples of research projects included development of new permanent magnet materials for energy conversion devices, development of DNA labeling techniques, synthesis of new electron-emitting materials, and new materials for spintronic devices. Students presented their research at the end-of-summer research symposium. Several refereed journal papers have been submitted, and several more are in preparation, indicating that the students’ summer research was original and of high quality. In addition to the research, students were engaged in professional development activities, including weekly seminars on different topics, a GRE test-taking workshop, and an etiquette dinner. Some primary objectives of the summer program are to provide research opportunities for students from smaller colleges and universities, introduce students to the research process and its future technologies, and encourage students to pursue graduate degrees. Based on entrance and exit surveys, we provided an atmosphere conducive to learning about research, and we increased the students’ overall interest in attending graduate school. This important factor will increase the pool of domestic graduate students, a critical aspect necessary to maintain our position as a leader in knowledge development.
Infrastructure Description: N/A
Jobs Summary: As an educational institution, jobs created or retained fall into broad categories of faculty salaries, administrative salaries, managerial professional salaries and clerical or technical salaries. They may also include some academic salaries for student workers. Salaries are used in support of research or other sponsored projects being performed at UNL. Faculty post-docs and graduate students are the primary recipients of salary dollars; however, some managerial or professional, clerical and technical or students may benefit as well. Faculty personnel usually include the titles professor, assistant professor, associate professor, instructor, assistant instructor and post-doctoral assistant. Administrative and clerical salaries are charged if they meet the criteria detailed in OMB Circular A-21. Keeping post-docs, graduate students and undergraduate students employed has an additional impact of allowing them to pursue additional education, preparing them for future employment. As a broader impact, results of some projects may result in additional jobs in the public sector as technology is expanded to that market. For this project and quarter, full-time equivalent positions were created and/or retained either by UNL or by sub-awards made from this grant, if applicable. Calculations were made in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget Memorandum M-09-21 and subsequent guidance as provided by the OMB. (Total jobs reported: 1)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jun. 22, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.