The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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CSUN science department granted $2.38 million to increase minority access to research

California State University Northridge has been granted $2.38 million by the National Science Foundation to promote diversity in the science department by providing financial aid to under-represented minorities.

As part of the Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) program, grants such as this give students direct access and opportunities to hands-on research.

Selected CSUN undergraduates will be able to continue working with professors here, and at Princeton University on science research using the aid provided by this grant.

“This grant allows our students to fully devote themselves to their research, and interact with students from all over the country, at Princeton through lab and lecture both in a professional and personal manner,” said Gang Lu, CSUN physics professor and director of the PREM Center.

Lu, who is responsible for the overall management of the grant, has been working with this foundation for several years now. As partner, Princeton offers CSUN students access to the scientific knowledge and facilities that they might not find in Northridge.

“Faculty at CSUN and Princeton have known each other professionally for some time now,” Lu said.  “And Princeton is also currently interested in recruiting students from the West Coast. On top of that we share common interests and concentrations in regards to research and study.”

CSUN, a previous grant recipient, was one of six universities to receive grants from the science foundation this year.

“We would like to recruit and support minority students, because they are traditionally under-represented in the scientific field, by training them as well as giving them the appropriate knowledge and experiences necessary to continue onto high education or careers,” Lu said.

Materials science research is conducted through the study of the relationship between electrons and atoms on a molecular level.   It can focus on anything from clean energy to next generation computing and nanotechnologies.

Another highlight of the grant is the stipends given to CSUN undergraduates, allowing them to focus on their studies, Lu said.  The grant will pay for students to travel to Princeton for the summer to conduct research with faculty and other students.

“Though faculty here at CSUN and Princeton all have different concentrations and focuses,” said Dong-Ning Sheng, physics and astronomy professor at CSUN.  “At the end of the day we are all coming together and collaborating to train and provide our students with the best knowledge and opportunities.”


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