LRSM Awarded New PREM Grant

LRSM Awarded New PREM Grant posted: 07/13/2021

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 thanks to an active year-around collaboration between researchers at the two Hispanic-serving institutions and PENN on subjects as the study of novel carbon-based materials with interesting electrical properties and the modification of surfaces of common materials that can be used as sensors and purification devices. This rich research environment serves as the base for 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.

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