DOE SC RENEW Program and NSD Initiatives
The Reaching a New Energy Sciences Workforce (RENEW) initiative within the DOE Office of Science is intended to build collaborations and develop pipelines for Office of Science research at historically underrepresented institutions, and in historically underrepresented communities. This initiative had a series of Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) in High Energy Physics (HEP), Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) and multiple other programs which closed this past summer, to develop research and career training programs for students at historically underrepresented institutions.
The RENEW initiative follows on from a DOE Nuclear Physics (NP) FOA in early 2021, “Research Traineeships to Broaden and Diversity Nuclear Physics”, which had the same goals, within the specific portfolio of Nuclear Physics. NSD scientists were involved in two responses to this FOA, which both received funding and began running traineeship programs in 2022.
The underGraduate Research Educational Academic Traineeships in Nuclear Science (GREAT-NS) program is led by NSD staff member Jacklyn Gates, with multiple co-PIs within NSD and CSD, as well as collaborating institutions UC Merced, UC Riverside and San José State University. In cooperation with the Workforce Development and Education (WD&E) office at LBNL, and with the help of a dedicated group of NSD postdocs supporting the program, a total of 10 trainees were matched with mentors beginning in the Spring 2022 semester. This cohort started getting into their research projects, and the basics of nuclear science with a weekly series of both introductory lectures and seminars on the topic. For the summer semester, all 10 trainees joined their mentors in-person at LBNL or San José State for a 9-week hands-on session, which included the activities and enrichment offered through WD&E as well as a number of talks and a nuclear science journal club within the GREAT-NS cohort. The Fall semester, beginning now, sees 9 students continuing in the program, focusing on their research projects, as well as a number of graduate school and career-focused panels and activities intended to help them as they move toward their next steps. Seven trainees will also be attending the APS DNP meeting this October as part of the Conference Experience for Undergraduates (CEU).
A separate traineeship effort, the “California Bridge to the Electron-Ion Collider (EIC): Building a Diverse Workforce for Nuclear Physics at the EIC,” is a partnership between the UC Riverside, UCLA, LBNL, LLNL, and Cal-Bridge, a statewide network of California State University, UC, and community college campuses.. It aims to inspire and engage undergraduate students year-round in research efforts at the respective institutions towards the future EIC, a major new facility for Nuclear Physics planned in the U.S. So far, five students have contributed to computer simulations and detector R&D towards the EIC. They have presented their work at the 2022 EIC User Group Early Career Workshop and Meeting, where trainee Luis Garabito was awarded a prize for the best flash talk at his first scientific venue. Four of the trainees will also be attending the APS DNP meeting this October as part of the Conference Experience for Undergraduates (CEU).
Recruitment for the next cohort of GREAT-NS trainees will begin in the spring, with the program to start with the in-person summer session next year. Any NSD staff interested in getting involved as a mentor, or in any other way, please contact us (GREAT-NS@lbl.gov)!
Recent DEI topics @ NSD Staff Meetings
We’d like to remind everyone, as we continue to largely work remotely, that the Luminary Card program is virtual! You have the opportunity to recognize your co-workers with a virtual or physical Luminary Card for any action fostering inclusion, diversity, and equity within our LBNL community. Recipients who register their cards may choose to be named in this space in a future NSD newsletter.