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DE-SC0022007: Undergraduate Internships in Nuclear Physics at FIU

Award Status: Active
  • Institution: Florida International University, Miami, FL
  • DUNS: 071298814
  • Most Recent Award Date: 09/21/2023
  • Number of Support Periods: 3
  • PM: Bryson, Tasia
  • Current Budget Period: 08/15/2023 - 08/14/2024
  • Current Project Period: 08/15/2023 - 08/14/2028
  • PI: Cosyn, Wim
  • Supplement Budget Period: N/A

Public Abstract

Project title: Undergraduate Internships in Nuclear Physics at FIU

Principal Investigator: Wim Cosyn

Co-Investigators: Werner Boeglin, Lei Guo, Rajamani Naryanan, Brian Raue, Joerg Reinhold, Misak Sargsian

Institution: Florida International University

Florida International University (FIU) is one of the 10 largest universities in the US and serves a diverse student population with nearly 65% identifying as Hispanic and 12% as Black or African American. This award funds four undergraduate internships per year to work within the nuclear physics group at FIU along with partial support for a new tenure-track faculty member in the group. The FIU nuclear physics group currently consists of five experimentalist and three theorist. Group members Drs. Werner Boeglin (expt.), Wim Cosyn (theory), Lei Guo (expt.), Rajamani Naryanan (theory) Brian Raue (expt.), Joerg Reinhold (expt.) and Misak Sargsian (theory) are co-PIs for this proposal.

Their research focuses on intermediate energy nuclear physics, specifically the programs at Jefferson Lab and the future electron-ion collider. The internships are natural extensions of these current research programs and cover a range of physics topics in both experiment and theory, with resulting training in skills ranging from hardware assembly to coding for data analysis and theoretical physics studies. These internships include possible research stays at Jefferson Lab.

These internships will give the selected students a paid research opportunity (which makes a significant impact on the financial well-being of students) while also providing the necessary training for a career in nuclear physics. Next to the training of core skills useful in nuclear physics research, these internships focus on the wider picture. Participants will have opportunities to present their results in local and national meetings, will interact and engage with a large nuclear physics network and be exposed to the broad range of nuclear physics career options, both inside and outside of academia. Special attention will be paid to the sense of belonging of minorities at the FIU physics department through collaboration with our local evaluator Dr. Dionne Stephens from FIU's department of Psychology. Participants will engage with the wider community through outreach components at their former high schools, FIU events and the Frost Science Museum, increasing the exposure of nuclear physics as a field and career path to underrepresented minorities in our community.

The new faculty member is needed within the group as several members near retirement or have duties in university administration. The continued success of the group in training both undergraduate and graduate student in the field depends on having the faculty in place to do so.  The new faculty member will also play a role in the mentoring of the intern students.

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