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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Puerto Rico at Humacao
  • Idalia Ramos
  • (787) 850-9381
  • Eric A Stach
Award Date:07/12/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 4,200,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 916,110
  • FY 2021=$916,110
Start Date:07/01/2021
End Date:06/30/2027
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.049
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:UPR-PENN Partnership for Research and Education in Materials
Federal Award ID Number:2122102
DUNS ID:051912723
Parent DUNS ID:090051616
Program Officer:
  • Debasis Majumdar
  • (703) 292-4709

Awardee Location

Street:Call Box 860
Awardee Cong. District:00

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Puerto Rico at Humacao
Street:100th Road 908
County:San Juan
Cong. District:00

Abstract at Time of Award

A Partnership for Research & Education in Materials (PREM) between the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) (Humacao and Cayey undergraduate campuses) and the University of Pennsylvania (PENN) Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC) will sustain a long-term and successful collaboration between UPR and PENN that began in 1998. The program will advance scientific discovery and technical development by widening and diversifying the amount of current and potential participants doing high-quality research. It strengthens research through an active year-around collaboration between researchers at the two Hispanic-serving institutions and PENN. Research topics include study of novel carbon-based materials with interesting electrical properties and modification of surfaces of common materials that can be used as sensors and purification devices. This rich research environment serves as the base for further expanding and developing a pipeline model that has proven to be successful in increasing the mentioned underrepresented group in research careers. The model focuses on the recruitment, retention, and graduation of undergraduate Hispanics, women, and Afro-Latin students from disadvantaged backgrounds (low income, first-generation in college) into materials research. It begins as early as PreK-12 with outreach activities to make youth aware of exciting and rewarding research careers in materials, and then doing actual research during their college studies starting at freshman and sophomore levels. Research and education efforts of the UPR-PENN PREM will be organized as two Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs): Charge dynamics in transition metal and carbon-based materials (IRG-1) and Surface-functionalized nanomaterials for sensing applications (IRG-2). IRG-1 will synthesize, characterize, and manipulate optoelectronic materials to develop a fundamental understanding of charge transport mechanisms leading to device applications. IRG-2 aims to develop nanomaterials into sensing tools with designed properties and functions for a wide range of applications that include enzyme activity assays, detection of metals and organic pollutants, and monitoring of environmental and biological analyte levels in biological samples. The multidisciplinary research teams are built on UPR and PENN faculty researchers’ evolving interests and complementary strengths. Collaborative efforts will benefit from mutual interactions within the groups and between IRGs. Undergraduates and high school students along the PREM Pathway will have direct exposure in research areas related to Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, Engineering, Computer Science, and Nanotechnology, both experimental and theoretical/computational. They will take part in all stages of the research, including co-authoring publications and scientific presentations. Faculty will also integrate their research topics, techniques, and results into enhanced and new undergraduate courses and laboratory experiences, and outreach activities that will impact large numbers of students, teachers, and the public. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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