9 Schools Receive Share of $3.1 Million in DHS/NSF ARI Grants

The Department of Homeland Security Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) and the National Science Foundation recently announced approximately $3.1 million in new grant awards to academic institutions in the fiscal year 2008 Academic Research Initiative (ARI), a program begun in 2007 to foster pioneering research in radiological and nuclear detection at schools and build the nation's intellectual capital in nuclear sciences and engineering.

"It is our intention that our efforts through the Academic Research Initiative, combined with the support efforts of other federal agencies, to help cultivate the nuclear scientists and engineers of the future," said DNDO Director Vayl Oxford. "We will continue to expand our support in the coming years to demonstrate long-term, stable funding for innovative ideas that advance nuclear detection capabilities and build the nation's intellectual capital."

Rajinder Khosla, an NSF program director for Electronics, Photonics and Device Technologies, added, "Our collaboration, in combining funding support from DNDO with the vetted peer review process of NSF, has helped us select research that will advance nuclear science and engineering and train the future workforce in these fields."

The academic institutions receiving 2008 grants include: Texas A&M University; Purdue University; Washington State University; University of California at Berkeley; Naval Postgraduate School; University of Tennessee at Knoxville; University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; University of California at Santa Barbara; and California State University East Bay Foundation. The fiscal year 2008 ARI proposals were reviewed through the NSF peer review with experts from industry, academia, and national laboratories, with DNDO and NSF observers. Nine new ARI proposals (including three collaborative projects) were awarded a total of over $3.1 million.

A potential $58 million in grant opportunities over five years will be made available to colleges and universities focusing on research in radiological/nuclear detection systems, individual sensors, or other research relevant to the detection of nuclear weapons, special nuclear material, and radiation dispersal devices and related threats. Annual ARI solicitations are planned over the next three years. For additional information about ARI grants, go to www.nsf.gov/eng/eccs/ari.jsp.

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