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Minority Education and Community Development

Who We Serve

Minority Serving Institutions are institutions of higher education that serve minority populations.  They are unique both in their missions and in their day-to-day operations.  Some of these colleges and universities are located in remote regions of the country, whereas others serve urban neighborhoods. Some minority-serving institutions are only a few decades old, whereas others, particularly the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, have been providing quality education to their constituents for more than a century.

Check out this page for more information about the types of Minority Serving Institutions that we work closely with.

Our Activities

We foster partnerships and serve as advocates for Minority Educational Institutions by engaging the Department's program offices, laboratories, and field sites in establishing business relationships with these institutions, including research opportunities, grants, or cooperative agreements. The successes of these partnerships are measured by the increased capability of Minority Educational Institutions to compete effectively for grants and contracts at the Department. Questions? Email or call us at (202) 586-8383

  • Our Minority Educational Institution Student Partnership Program brings students straight to our labs and headquarters for summer internships, providing stipend opportunities for students to actually meet and work with scientists and engineers in energy fields.
  • The Dr. Samuel P. Massie Chairs of Excellence Program creates teams of world-class scholars, researchers and educators, who advance research, effect outreach in the environmental sciences, and assist municipalities and corporations in the U.S. and countries around the world with environmental issues, technology applications, and educational programs. Currently 16 Minority Serving Institutions are participating.
  • The Diversity in Science and Technology Advances National Clean Energy in Solar program (DISTANCE-Solar) contributes to a successful U.S. solar industry with SunShot (and beyond SunShot) science and technology research advances paired with the development of a diverse and innovative workforce. The long term desired outcomes of this program are to increase innovation in solar, with a greater diversity of innovative ideas being driven by greater representation from members of currently underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), spur new job creation in the U.S., and integrate more solar into the U.S. energy supply. The funding solicitation closed on March 25, 2013.
  • Our Nuclear Energy University Program funds nuclear energy research equipment upgrades at U.S. colleges and universities – Historically Black Colleges and Universities like Wilberforce University, South Carolina State, Alcorn State and more are active participants. For example, Savannah River Remediation donated $10,000 to South Carolina State’s Nuclear Engineering Program for scholarships, increasing the pipeline of trained workers.
  • Technical ConsortiumIn October 2012, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) awarded $4 million in grants to 22 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in key STEM areas. This funding launched NNSA’s new Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program, a consortium program organized to build a sustainable STEM pipeline between six Energy Department plants and laboratories and the HBCUs.
  • The technical assistance workshops we run for Minority Serving Institutions share information about Energy Department funding opportunities, tips for award winning proposals, and introduce MSI faculty to Department staff.   For more information, contact
  • Our Mentor-Protégé program for small business development has supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities like Norfolk State University, Jackson State University, and Alabama State University. 
  •  The Clark Atlanta University Atlanta University Consortium combines the research and development capabilities of Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Guam Community College, Santa Fe Community College, and the Haskell Indian Nations University to support capacity building in alternative, renewable, and green energy technologies.
  • The Office of Environmental Management's Memorandum of Understanding with nine Historically Black Colleges and Universities includes grants for students to encourage integration of technology into research and education related to environmental management.
  • At Brookhaven National Laboratory, INCREASE (Historically Black Colleges and Universities National Synchtron Light Source Consortium) program runs two-day workshops to introduce their work on synchrotron science, techniques, and operations to faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Hands-on experimental activities are offered to participants using a variety of beamlines. Additionally, there will be a writing tutorial focused on the development of competitive beamline proposals for independent research at the NSLS.  This program has three objectives: to expose HBCU research faculty to NSLS science, to enhance the research capabilities of HBCU faculty, and to assist in developing competitive proposals enabling consortium members to become independent users at the NSLS. 

Energy Department Coordination

Our office serves as an advocate to advance participate of Minority Serving Institutions throughout the Department. To this end, we:

  • Facilitate Department of Energy participation in conferences and workshops to highlight opportunities for MSIs at the Department and to foster partnerships between the Department, Minority Serving Institutions, and energy industries. 
  • Provide guidance on establishing partnerships with MSIs and develop agency plans to assist MSIs.
  • Work routinely with program offices to increase MSI participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Support programs that encourage a 15% increase in participation of underrepresented students and faculty in activities at Department of Energy Laboratories and facilities.
  • Create and track Department-wide funding goals for support to MSIs.

Questions? Interested in partnering with us? Contact our staff.