2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity

Sustainable Research Pathways: Collaborations Across Communities to Diversify the National Laboratory Workforce

Presented at Track: Learning Spaces, Pedagogy & Curriculum Design Technical Session 10

The Sustainable Research Pathways (SRP) program is a partnership between the Computing Sciences Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a Department of Energy National Laboratory, and Sustainable Horizons Institute. SRP aims to create research opportunities for students and faculty from under-represented, low-income, and first-generation communities that lead to long-term, fruitful relationships and research collaborations with DOE Laboratory researchers. To initiate and realize the full potential of these relationships the program organizes an annual matching workshop followed by summer internships at the laboratory packed with research and educational activities focused on computational science and high-performance computing. Visiting faculty and students are recruited from a variety of institutions including minority serving, women’s, liberal arts, community colleges and other educational institutions. Selected qualified faculty applicants attend a matching workshop in which both, faculty and Laboratory researchers briefly present their work, learn about potential research collaborations, engage in one-on-one discussions, and develop collaborative research proposals. Faculty who are matched to laboratory researchers engage in an intensive summer research experience at the laboratory with a few of their students or in some cases send students to engage in a summer laboratory research experience. Visiting faculty often extend the impact of the program by using their research experience in the classroom at their home institutions, and many of them continue their collaborations at the laboratory during subsequent summers with a new group of students. We present data on recruitment, the matching workshop, and research experiences, illustrating how the program has successfully created opportunities that changed the professional trajectory of many participants, infused a new dimension of diversity awareness among laboratory staff, brought people together that would probably never have met otherwise, started new productive collaborations, and provided vibrant research experiences for faculty who otherwise have scarce opportunities for research.

  1. Dr. Mary Ann E. Leung Sustainable Horizons Instittute [biography]
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