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September 17th, 2007
Cornell gets $2.9M for training grad students in nanoscience
Physicists, chemists, materials scientists and engineers often deal with the same problems, but they use different jargon. Talking to and collaborating with each other can be difficult, if not impossible.
A new $2.9 million graduate student training program at Cornell, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), will help bridge this problematic gap among the disciplines, in an effort to solve common problems a range of scientists face.
The grant was recently awarded by NSF's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program to the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR), which will administer the new Cornell program. The aim of the IGERT grants, according to NSF, is to train the next generation of scientists and engineers.
The CCMR's IGERT fellowships will require graduate students from a variety of scientific fields to become interdisciplinary thinkers. No longer allowed to hide in their field-specific labs, the students will take weeks-long mini-courses -- "modules" held throughout the academic year -- related to the broad field of nanoscale surfaces and interfaces, taught by faculty in such different fields as chemistry and physics. Additionally, all students will gain exposure to both experimental and computational nanoscale research.
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