DOE expands Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program

April 25, 2022, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) is expanding its Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP). The program originally included internships, competitive research awards, a postdoctoral research program, and the Savannah River Environmental Sciences Field Station. It will now include a technology curriculum, a professional development program, a graduate fellowship program, and an EM/minority-serving institution shared interest research partnership, the DOE announced on April 14.

Funding: In the fiscal year 2022 budget, the MSIPP received $56 million, a significant increase from the $6 million provided in the FY 2021 budget. The funding will enable EM to continue to recruit highly qualified candidates who graduate from the roughly 700 minority-serving institutions in the United States, the DOE said.

Ramping up recruitment: “Achieving EM’s mission relies on having the right talent in the workforce pipeline to ensure innovation, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness in every project we start and finish,” said EM senior advisor William “Ike” White. “EM is significantly ramping up recruitment efforts, and the MSIPP plays a key role. The tools and programs we are putting in place today will set the stage for developing the next-generation workforce needed tomorrow.”

White added, “This funding helps EM to expand its efforts to produce the next great generation of scientists by increasing interest in and access to STEM education at all levels and for those who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM education and careers.”

STEM degrees: Nicole Nelson-Jean, EM associate principal deputy assistant secretary for field operations, said, “A robust MSIPP is in the nation’s best interest. There are more undergraduate STEM students enrolled at four-year minority-serving institutions than at four-year non-minority serving institutions, and minority-serving institutions produce one-fifth of the nation’s STEM bachelor’s degrees.”

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