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News Release 07-124

NSF and Department of Homeland Security Partner to Drive Frontier Research in Nuclear Detection

September 24, 2007

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Engineering and the Department of Homeland Security Domestic Nuclear Detection Office announced they are awarding 25 grants to support fundamental research in nuclear science and engineering, studies that will help strengthen nuclear detection efforts well into the future.

The awards, funded through the Academic Research Initiative (ARI) program, will bolster radiological and nuclear detection studies at 23 universities across the country this year.

"This program is helping to revitalize U.S. academic nuclear engineering departments, after the number of such departments nationally has fallen significantly over the past 30 years," said Bruce Hamilton, one of the officers overseeing ARI at NSF. "Students are beginning to return to the nuclear engineering field, which is important for our country. The research projects undertaken with ARI funds, and the students trained through that research, will help make our nation more secure."

With $8 million awarded in this first round of funding, the total funding for ARI is expected to reach $58 million over five years to support approximately 15 "seed" awards of up to $300,000 over three years, approximately 15 mid-size awards of up to $2,000,000 over a period not to exceed five years, and two to four large awards of up to $7,500,000 for up to five years.

In addition to fostering innovations such as the development of new radiological and nuclear detection systems, the research will also generate new knowledge to mitigate existing threats, such as radiation dispersal devices.

The solicitation is available at:
Additional information is available at:

The award abstracts for the fiscal year 2007 awards are available in the NSF awards database found here.


Media Contacts
Joshua A. Chamot, NSF, (703) 292-7730,
Andrea Hoshmand, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, DHS, (202) 254-7311,

Program Contacts
Bruce K. Hamilton, NSF, (703) 292-8320,

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) 2017, 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.

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