****Non-technical Abstract**** The Hampton Partnership for Research & Education in Materials (PREM) is a collaboration between Hampton University and the Brandeis University Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC) that includes collaborative research, education, training and outreach activities. Hampton is a primarily undergraduate HBCU with a large representation of women and African-American students. There is a persistent disparity in the rate at which HBCU alumni receive doctorates in STEM compared to their African-American counterparts who obtain their undergraduate degrees at research intensive institutions. The Hampton PREM is committed to further enhancing the quality of undergraduate materials science education and research at Hampton and other HBCUs as a means to reduce the PhD-attainment disparity and ultimately broaden African-American and women participation in the nation's STEM workforce. We will develop and implement evidence-based innovative models and approaches to improve the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduates so they pursue materials science-related graduate programs and/or careers. The Hampton PREM will increase the number of Hampton undergraduates who annually pursue doctorates from the 1997-2006 rate of less than 2 doctorates per 100 bachelors to the level of 4.2 doctorates per 100 bachelors over the next 10 years. The proposed research will directly engage trainees from high school students to post-doctoral fellows in cutting-edge materials research and result in these trainees being co-authors on publications and presenters at research conferences.

Technical Abstract

The research component of the Hampton-Brandeis PREM includes three primary research projects which serve as the central unifying activities for the education, training and outreach components. The three research projects are: (1) examination of the dynamics of polyelectrolytes at the surface and within nanoscale polymer thin films fabricated using layer-by-layer technique and the create novel hybrid colloidal rod-polyelectrolyte multilayer drug delivery systems, (2) the fabrication of drug-delivery micelle containing light-sensitive amphiphilic block copolymers , and (3) a research project to be added via a PREM Pilot Project Program which will provided an exciting opportunity to nurture and cultivate new materials science research faculty at Hampton University. Particular emphasis will be placed on the recruitment of underrepresented minority and/or women early career faculty at Hampton University. Each research project requires substantial collaboration between the Hampton PREM research teams and the Brandeis MRSEC, specifically leveraging its strengths in microfluidics and high-resolution single-molecule fluorescence (SMF) microscopy. The experiments associated with each project will be undertaken by a PREM Research Unit, which is a team of materials science researchers that spans the education and training continuum (High School, undergraduate student, graduate student and Path-to-Professorship post-doctoral fellow and PREM Faculty).

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Materials Research (DMR)
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Program Officer
Debasis Majumdar
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Hampton University
United States
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