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  4. DHS S&T Awards $9M in Scientific Leadership Award Grants to Eight Minority Serving Institutions

DHS S&T Awards $9M in Scientific Leadership Award Grants to Eight Minority Serving Institutions

Release Date: July 31, 2023

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced the recipients of the Scientific Leadership Award (SLA) to eight Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) receiving a total of $8,968,459.00.

“The Department of Homeland Security firmly believes that STEM innovation allows us to solve the complex challenges of today and make a difference in how we secure and protect our country into the future,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “We are proud to partner with minority serving academic institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions, to conduct Homeland Security research and find innovative ways to execute the DHS mission.”

“The Scientific Leadership Award grants are critical investments in protecting the nation from future threats, and we are proud to support the work of these outstanding institutions,” said Dr. Dimitri Kusnezov, DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “We believe that by partnering with these institutions, we can bring fresh perspectives and innovative approaches to the field, and ultimately make our country safer and more secure.”

Each of the recipients were selected for their excellence in research, innovative ideas, leadership, and their commitment to advance the DHS mission. Faculty and students at these institutions will partner with S&T-supported Centers of Excellence to develop Homeland Security (HS) course content and creatively engage in research relevant to the complex challenges DHS faces.

The awards, administered by S&T’s Office of University Programs (OUP) were given to the following institutions:

University of Alaska, Anchorage
Project: Alaska's PARTE (Program for Arctic Research, Training, and Education)

California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH)
Project: Securing the Future of Los Angeles: CSUDH Homeland Security Initiative

California State University, Northridge
Project: Enhancing Border Security using Heterogeneous UV Swarm with AI and Graph Theory   

Florida International University (2)
Project: ADvanced education and research for Machine learning-driven critical Infrastructure REsilience (ADMIRE) Center

Project: Transforming Forensic Chemistry Education and Research to Serve the Homeland Security Enterprise and Establish a Diverse Workforce

Johnson C. Smith University
Project: Building A Next Generation STEM Workforce to Engage, to Prepare, and to Develop Skills in Studying a Comprehensive Education in Natural Disasters at a Minority Serving Institution

North Carolina Central University (NCCU)
Project: Development of HS research and educational infrastructure in NCCU in collaboration with Soft Target Engineering to Neutralize the Threat Reality (SENTRY) that will enable significant increases in minority participation in HS-STEM disciplines.

Texas A&M University-Kingsville 
Project: Multi-Tiered Education and Research for Preparing a Future Cyber Engineering Workforce

University of North Texas 
Project: Minority Cyber-CREWS: Minority Community Cybersecurity Research, Educational Engagement, Workforce Development, and Security Best Practices

Since its inception in 2007, the Scientific Leadership Award Program has provided 65 grants totaling approximately $46 Million to minority serving institutions, including historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic serving institutions, and Tribal colleges and universities. The Program is open to undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty within these communities.

Grants are awarded to accredited minority serving institutions to help develop science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) capabilities for the Department and its stakeholders. Additionally, these schools establish HS-STEM related curricula and/or courses of study while supporting the development of student mentorship and recruitment activities, science and engineering research, and teaching initiatives at MSIs across the nation. Curricula topics include emergency management, maritime security, biological threats, and cybersecurity. 

For more information about the S&T Office of University Programs, visit: https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/office-university-programs.

For more information about the DHS Centers of Excellence visit: https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/centers-excellence.

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Last Updated: 07/31/2023
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