Continue developing paths to the PhD for Fisk students. We will strengthen the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master-to-PhD Bridge program developed during the first 5-year period of NSF support. One of the new, value-added initiatives will be the dissemination of best practices to other institutions, emphasizing the advising and mentoring activities of our Bridge program. We will also expand the BRIDGE program activities to include additional Ph.D. institutions as partners.
- The Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge Program (http://www.fisk.edu/bridge) is a collaboration between Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) faculty at Fisk University and Vanderbilt University. Additional collaborators include Boston University (astrophysics instrumentation), Delaware State University (materials science track) and University of Michigan (applied physics track). The Bridge is nationally recognized as a model program that contributes to significantly broadening the participation of women and underrepresented minorities attaining the PhD in the physical sciences through research-based partnerships. Present tracks include physics, astro-physics, astronomy, biological sciences, materials, chemistry, and biomedical & imaging sciences. Since its inception in 2004, the program has admitted 50 students, 44 of them underrepresented minorities (all US citizens), and 55% female, with a retention rate of 94%.
- A successful proposal was funded with a $435,000 grant from the National Science Foundation as part of a five-year, $3 million research initiative for a project called 'Neutron Scattering for the Science and Engineering of the 21st Century.' The project will focus on the study of condensed matter science, which covers interdisciplinary aspects of physics and biology, as well as chemical and mechanical engineering. The presence of the CREST Center at Fisk University was critical in attracting the new IGERT grant to Fisk. Fisk’s CREST was critical in establishing the infrastructure (equipment and facilities) necessary for the IGERT training grant. The future IGERT training of Fisk’s students will in part take place at the Fisk CREST Center. This is the second initiative involving CPCoM, in which Fisk has partnered with a Ph.D. institution with an IGERT proposal. The first IGERT partnership was between Fisk University and Vanderbilt University.
- The only NSF funded REMRSEC has chosen Fisk as its partner to develop a BridgePlus program and use Fisk as a hub to further reach out to the minority population. One of our teams has been engaged nanostructured materials for photovoltaic and spectral sensing for several years. The quality publications and vigorous research training have impressed recognized faculty in major research institutions to reach out to Fisk to recruit PhD students and initiate PhD dissertation projects at the master degree level. Because of this collaborative activity, one of our graduate students finished his MA and PhD in less than four years. The success of the program is to develop a seamless research alignment at the MA level. Faculty from Fisk and major research institutions co-supervise the students at both MA and PhD levels.
Expand and deepen our high quality research to become more suitable for PhD-level research. Such materials research projects will become suitable for full- or part-time training of doctoral students enrolled at collaborating institutions.
- See the list of publications and presentatins under "Research Contributions".
- Our formal and informal Bidge programs attest to the quality of our center's resesearch activities. Because of our collaborative activities, one of our graduate students finished his MA and PhD in less than four years. The success of the program is to develop a seamless research alignment at the MA level. Faculty from Fisk and major research institutions co-supervise the students at both MA and PhD levels.
Provide for the sustainability of CPCoM beyond the 10 years of NSF support. We will increase the support of CPCoM projects with additional leveraging grants and contracts. At present for each $1 from the CREST program we have been successful in receiving $1.5 from other agencies in a related topic; CREST has been a transformational and enabling program for Fisk. With continuing support from the CREST NSF grant for six (6) full-time equivalent graduate students per year, we expect to fully or partially support at CPCoM approximately 24 graduate students at any given time, representing a ~100% increase in graduate enrollment compared to the pre-CREST CPCoM period. Additionally, we expect to increase leveraged funding for the center by approximately `15% annually over the next five-year period.
- The university approved the tenure track position in the chemistry department at the level of Assistant Professor. Dr. Arnett was hired and is actively working in the center on polymeric materials in collaboration with partners at U. of Texas at Austin, Case Western Reserve University, and others.
- The university continues to match the funding to the center with significant support for management, students and outreach. The present level of support is approximately 16%.
- The graduate programs in chemistry and physics are continuing to attract a large number of quality students such that Fisk is one of the largest producers of Master's degree physicists in the country. Presently, there are 31 Fisk graduate students participating in CPCoM research activities.
- $2.07M/year is leveraging the $1M/year coming from NSF/CREST/CPCoM [Source: Office of the Provost]. This represents a 38% increase over the last 2.5 years (15%/yr).
Enhance recruitment of high-quality graduate students. We will build up our summer research program by enrolling undergraduates from Fisk and neighboring institutions and exposing them to CPCoM projects. The faculty and postdocs will have the primary responsibility for training the summer interns, while graduate students will also have the opportunity to mentor them.
Each summer, CPCom has hosted students in a summer research program. The program has typically trained from eight to 12 students during the summer. Students do research with one of the subprojects during a nine-week research period. They are trained to present their work via poster presentation, 10-minute oral presentation, and a written paper consistent with standards for NCUR conference or other professional scientific journal. Also see report under Outreach for SRPREU accomplisments.
Support outreach activities for students of neighboring middle schools, high schools, and the local community.
See Outreach section and view each program for its Measurable Outcomes.
Continue to act as a regional materials science resource center by organizing regional and national scientific workshops, conferences and symposia.
- Fisk and Vanderbilt Universities cohosted the 2009 National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) and National Society of Hispanic Physicists (NSHP) meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. Members of our center remained active on the planning committee for the 2010 and 2011 conferences. Successful meetings were held 2009, 2010 and 2011.
- Fisk University has sponsored a two-week regional workshop on nano-science for four summers ending with the 2010 summer period. This regional workshop was designed for Metropolitan Nashville teachers in middle and high schools. It was a collaborative between Fisk University and Northwestern University at Chicago and was supported via a grant from NSF to Northwestern University. There were approximately fifteen participants each summer.
- Teachers took laboratory experiments (knowledge and supplies) from the workshop back to their local schools and incorporated at least one such experiment on nano-materials into the teaching curriculum.
- Over three hundred middle and high school students were impacted by the nano-science training.