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NIST Grants Awards for Recovery Act Fellowship Programs

For Immediate Release: February 19, 2010

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Contact: Ben Stein
301-975-3097

Programs Will Develop U.S. Scientific Talent Pool

GAITHERSBURG, Md.—The U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced today that it is awarding a total of $19.5 million to the University of Maryland and the University of Colorado to develop and implement NIST measurement science and engineering fellowship programs. The new fellowship programs were funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

"These fellowship programs will create jobs and provide immediate and long-term benefits to our economy," said NIST Director Patrick Gallagher. "These new, high-quality training opportunities at NIST in measurement science will bolster our nation's science and technology infrastructure, which is critical for innovating and competing in today's global economy." 

Each fellowship program will last three years. The University of Maryland program, to be funded at $15.5 million, will bring approximately 50 fellows per year to work at NIST laboratories in Gaithersburg, Md., and Charleston, S.C. The University of Colorado program, funded at $4.5 million, will supply the NIST Boulder laboratories with approximately 20 fellows per year. Although the new fellowship programs will be administered by the University of Maryland and the University of Colorado, undergraduate and graduate students from other universities are eligible and encouraged to apply. These universities will also recruit nationally for the senior scientist and postdoctoral research fellowships. 

The two programs will bring fellows from the entire range of experience levels—undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and senior scientists. The awards will last for three years and begin in February 2010.   

The fellowship program will provide new research collaborations for NIST scientists and further develop a future scientific talent pool with extensive training in measurement science. NIST funding of the two programs will ensure that the recruited fellows are closely tied to the research needs and interests of each NIST laboratory.   

For their part, the fellows will have the opportunity to work with world-class NIST researchers and gain access to one-of-a-kind facilities. The grants were awarded under a competitive process that resulted in eight eligible applications, which were reviewed intensively at NIST. The new fellowship programs will complement NIST's existing fellowship programs, such as the Postdoctoral Research Associates Program, which also received ARRA support.  

As a nonregulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.