Dr. George Alonzo Ferguson Jr. was a physicist and former director of Howard University's nuclear engineering program. Dr. Ferguson was born in Washington and graduated from Armstrong High School in 1941. He served in the Army during World War II and was stationed in Europe and the Philippines.

He received a bachelor's degree in 1947 and a master's degree the next year, both in physics from Howard. He received his doctorate in physics from Catholic University in 1965. His doctoral research involved the structure determination of hydrogen compounds using the technique of neutron diffraction.

He was chairman of the physics department at Clark College in Atlanta from 1950 to 1953 and a research assistant at the University of Pennsylvania in 1953-54.

He conducted research for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory from 1954 to 1975 and served on the faculty of the Howard's School of Engineering from 1966 to 1986. He was responsible for founding Howard's program in nuclear engineering and served as its director from 1967 to 1986. While serving as a volunteer for the American Nuclear Society, Dr. Ferguson helped establish the NEED Committee in 1969 and embarked on a fundraising campaign to provide scholarships and motivational grants. These efforts have allowed ANS to support underrepresented or disadvantaged students since 1979.

After retiring, he served as an administrative judge with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Sponsoring Organization or Individual

Diversity and Inclusion in ANS Committee


An applicant may receive one grant per year. The limit for a single grant is $5,000. Recipients must complete the project within 12 months after receiving the grant, and a grant report must be submitted to the ANS DIA Committee within two months after completion of the project.

Grants funds may not be awarded for the same program more than three (3) times.

The following provides guidance on general expectations, timeline, and restrictions on expenditures using NEED funds. The DIA Committee reserves the right to reduce the amount of a grant to an institution if the proposal contains activities that are not aligned with NEED’s mission.

Appropriate funding requests include:

  1. Purchase of equipment or materials needed to support nuclear science curriculum, such as:
  • Geiger counters
  • Cloud chambers
  • Dry ice
  • Radioactive sources
  1. Providing transportation for groups of 5 or more to tour nuclear-related facilities (power plants, research reactors, nuclear medical centers, national laboratories/universities etc.)
  2. Expenses for volunteers to expand ANS outreach program such as Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World™, Nuclear in Every Classroom, Nuclear Explorers or Educator Training.
  3. Scout groups of 5 or more working on requirements for the BSA Nuclear Science Merit Badge or ANS’s Get to Know Nuclear Girl Scout patch.
  4. Invited speakers/researchers with hands-on activities.
  5. Providing other equitable outreach services such as (but not limited to) language translation and interpretation (including ASL) or offering virtual or hybrid meeting options for those who are unable to attend in-person.


2-5 awarded annually up to $5,000/each

Final Reports:

  1. Reports are due 2 months after completing the project.
  2. Reports should be outcome-based and discuss the impact on the desired outcome, including metrics where available.
  3. Provide as much evidence of the direct impact of funding on educational successes as possible.
  4. Provide proof of expenses, including copies of receipts, to support adherence to proposal objectives and budget.
  5. Provide photos and/or videos from the event.
  6. Report revisions and updates are welcomed.
  7. Failure to submit reports will render the institution ineligible to receive additional grants from ANS until the report is submitted.


Application Deadline


Funding Awarded

May 1

ANS Annual Meeting (June)

July 1

October 1

ANS Winter Meeting (Oct/Nov)

December 1

Apply for Grant

Last modified August 29, 2023, 12:21pm CDT