The Department of Defense (DoD) wants to involve more historically Black colleges and universities and minority institutions in its university-affiliated research center program.
The DoD currently has 14 university-affiliated research centers and plans to create a 15th. The new center will be the first to be associated with an historically Black college or university.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities graduate about 30% of African American science, technology, engineering and mathematics students, and the Defense Department and the Air Force want to tap into that talent, said Heidi Shyu, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering.
For decades, Congress has recognized the need to develop a diverse national science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce. While federal agencies provide significant opportunities for underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities in these fields, the national STEM workforce remains less racially and ethnically diverse than the U.S. general population. As the largest employer of federal STEM professionals, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) plays an essential role in the U.S. science and technology ecosystem and can greatly expand opportunities to diversify the STEM workforce. To this end, the DoD operates under a department-wide STEM strategic plan, with the following goals:
1. Inspire community engagement in DoD STEM education programs and activities to provide meaningful STEM learning opportunities for students and educators.
2. Attract the Nation’s and DoD’s current and future STEM workforce through multiple pathways to educational and career opportunities.
3. Increase participation of underserved and underrepresented groups in STEM education and workforce development programs, activities, and outreach.
4. Advance the efficiency and effectiveness of STEM education and workforce development programs, activities, and outreach through evaluation and assessment.
The department of defense will be accepting proposals until Nov 7th, EST 8 AM.