Frances Williams and April Falconer work in the lab at Tennessee State University. Credit: Tennessee State University, Frances Williams

The U.S. National Science Foundation awarded new seed grants through PREM, Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials, to support ten collaborative research teams across the United States that will lay the groundwork for full-fledged PREM awards at these institutions in the future.

Each seed award provides $800,000—for a total NSF investment of $8,000,000—and will support materials research partnerships between minority-serving institutions and large-scale, NSF-supported research centers and facilities.  These seed grants are intended to support these minority-serving institutions over the next three years to begin building partnerships, with the hope that they will be better prepared and ready for a full PREM award in the future. These ten seed awards are in addition to eight PREM awards that were recently announced.

PREM is intended to enhance and solidify a pathway for young researchers from underrepresented groups to enter the vibrant field of materials science and engineering by providing them access to cutting-edge research and education. The PREM program has, since 2004, supported many cohorts of students through their graduation and beyond, to have successful and rewarding careers in materials research.

"Our PREM program is helping to build the future of materials research and the students, faculty, and partners who are engaged in it,” said Sean L. Jones, Assistant Director of MPS. “This program allows us to harness more talent by expanding and developing a diverse workforce that will lead to exciting innovations and continue to push U.S. leadership in STEM fields.”

Read more about the 2021 PREM Seed grants.