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NRC awards $10.7 million in academic grants for students, faculty
June 15, 2021

Supports nuclear science and engineering fields

Grant of $450,000 to University of Tennessee for Nuclear Education Faculty Development Program

NRC fellowship recipients
NRC fellowship recipients; image by NRC

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has awarded 30 grants to 26 academic institutions, in 19 states, totaling nearly $10.7 million. Recipients include four-year universities and colleges, two-year trade schools and community colleges, and minority serving institutions, which are a federally recognized category of educational establishments.

“Quality education is critical for nuclear safety in the future, not to mention the exploration of new possibilities in nuclear science and technology,” said NRC Chairman Christopher T. Hanson. “We are honored to award these grants to advance scientific research at these fine academic institutions.”

Congress authorized the NRC to provide federal funding opportunities to qualified academic institutions to encourage careers and research in nuclear, mechanical, and electrical engineering, health physics, and related fields to meet expected future workforce needs. Recipients are to use the grants for scholarships, fellowships, and faculty development.

One example of the importance of these grants is how the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering has used Faculty Development Grants to help it double in size since 2011. The NRC grants have enabled new faculty members to build and strengthen their research programs, according to the department. In another example, NRC’s Fellowship Grants have provided opportunities for next generation nuclear engineers at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. The grants have enabled the school to recruit top graduate students, who are making an impact with their research in nuclear engineering, according to Nuclear and Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Department head Jim Stubbins.

These grants include seven undergraduate scholarships, one trade scholarship, 11 graduate fellowships, and 11 faculty development awards. Each undergraduate scholarship provides up to $20,000 in financial support to students over the course of the two-year program, and each graduate fellowship provides up to $200,000 over the course of the four-year program. The NRC’s trade and community college scholarships provide financial support of up to $10,000 to students over the course of the two-year program. The NRC’s faculty development awards provide up to $450,000 over a single three-year period.

Since the grant program’s inception in 2009, the NRC has awarded 546 educational grants totaling more than $177 million. This amount includes funding for 155 faculty development grants, 142 scholarship grants, 164 fellowship grants, and 85 trade school and community college scholarship grants, which have reached more than 150 individual faculty members and 4,000 students located in 38 states and Puerto Rico.

The complete list of grants awarded and general information about the grant program are available on the NRC’s website. The NRC announces grant opportunities on, which enables the public to find and apply for federal funding opportunities.

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