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Press Release 09-163
2009 Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials

NSF announces eight Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials awards on materials for renewable energy, materials for advanced electronics, biomaterials, organic and polymeric materials.

August 31, 2009

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announces eight Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREMs) awarded as a result of the 2009 PREM competition.

The objective of the PREM program is to broaden participation of under-represented groups and enhance diversity in materials research and education. The objective is achieved by encouraging formal, long-term, multi-investigator, collaborative research and education partnerships between women- and minority-serving colleges and universities, colleges and universities dedicated to educating a majority of students with disabilities, and NSF Division of Materials Research (DMR)-supported centers and facilities. This is the third PREM competition since the program was launched in 2004.

The eight PREMs and their partners are listed below in alphabetical order by institution:



Research Focus

City College of New York

University of Chicago Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)

Nonequilibrium dynamics, soft materials

Clark Atlanta University

Georgia Institute of Technology  MRSEC


New Mexico Highlands University

University of Washington Science and Technology Center (STC)

Biophotonics, solar cells

University of Puerto Rico at Humacao

University of Pennsylvania MRSEC

Nanoelectronics, photonics, biosensors

University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez

University of Wisconsin

Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC)


Biomaterials, soft materials, nanoporous materials for catalysis

University of Texas - San Antonio

Northwestern University MRSEC


University of Texas - Pan American

University of Minnesota MRSEC

Organic photovoltaics, polymers, nanoparticles for energy storage

Xavier University of Louisiana

New York University MRSEC

Batteries, biomaterials, organic crystals

The new partnerships will impact a wide range of materials research and education, including nanomaterials and nanotechnology, biomaterials and biotechnology, electronics, spintronics, soft materials, polymers and materials for renewable energy.

Each PREM has made a substantial commitment to effectively integrating its educational and outreach activities with its scientific research program towards the PREM goal of broadening participation for under-represented groups in materials research and education, and enhancing diversity at all academic levels.  The educational outreach activities cover the entire range from elementary school to the postgraduate level.

Each award is for five years.  These awards, including the 6 PREMs awarded in 2006, bring the total to 14 PREMs with annual NSF support of $7.81 million.

Three of the awards were made with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds that DMR received in FY 2009.

"I am delighted with the results of the PREM competition and, the diversity in the materials science and education that it will offer to our future workforce," said Zakya H. Kafafi, the Division Director for DMR.  "Thanks to the generous support of science by the new administration, DMR was able to expand this program considerably in its ongoing effort to broaden participation of under-represented groups in materials science and education, and bring true diversity in our academic institutions."

For more information see: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5439&org=DMR and http://prem.mrsec.org/.


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8070, bmixon@nsf.gov

Program Contacts
Rama Bansil, NSF, (703) 292-8562, rbansil@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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