The Department of Energy (DoE) plans to issue $40 million in funding for research and training in science, technology, education, and math (STEM) areas for historically underrepresented groups, the agency announced on May 25.

The funding will be dispersed among historically black colleges and universities, minority-serving institutions, and other select institutions to “diversify American leadership in the physical and climate sciences through internships, training programs, and mentor opportunities,” DoE said

“Leveraging the full potential of American expertise to tackle our biggest challenges will require a diverse, equitable, and broad research community that includes the brilliant voices and minds of historically unrepresented groups,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm in a statement. “This investment will provide hands-on experience to our nation’s future scientists to unlock the climate solutions that hold the key to a safer and cleaner future for all Americans.”

Granholm added that the funding lines up with DoE’s efforts to harness the nation’s best and brightest scientific minds as it “will be key to unlocking the climate solutions that will help achieve President Biden’s goal of a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.”

The funding falls under the DoE’s Reaching a New Energy Sciences Workforce (RENEW) initiative. The RENEW initiative leverages the DoE’s Office of Science National Laboratories, user facilities, and other research infrastructure to provide training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty at academic institutions currently underrepresented in the U.S. science and technology ecosystem.

“RENEW will offer hands-on experiences and open new career avenues for talented young scientists, engineers, and technicians,” the department said.

The DoE announced it will hold a series of webinars for potential applicants and research administrators to learn more about each Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) in the following areas:

  • Advanced Scientific Computing Research FOA;
  • Basic Energy Sciences FOA;
  • Biological and Environmental Research FOA;
  • Fusion Energy Sciences FOA;
  • High Energy Physics FOA; and
  • Isotope R&D and Production FOA

Applicant eligibility will vary by FOA, the agency said.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.