The Department of Defense (DoD) today announce plans to award 19 grants, totaling $4.7 million, that will support approximately 650 undergraduate students, in its first annual Awards to Stimulate and Support Undergraduate Research Experiences (ASSURE) Program. The ASSURE program will be executed collaboratively with the National Science Foundation (NSF) through its Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites Program. All awards are subject to the successful completion of negotiations between DoD, NSF, and the grantee institutions.
Undergraduate programs are critical to DoD's overall education investment strategy. The ASSURE program supports undergraduate research in DoD-relevant disciplines and is designed to increase the number of high-quality undergraduate science and engineering majors. ASSURE serves as a complementary program to the DoD National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Program for graduate students in science and engineering.
ASSURE aims to provide valuable research opportunities for undergraduates, typically through an eight to10 week summer research program, located at the grantee's institution. The program often draws students from institutions where access to research opportunities is limited. The program also emphasizes the recruitment of women and under-represented minorities.
Today's announcement is the result of a merit competition conducted by NSF in partnership with DoD. ASSURE grants will be used mainly for three-year sites, although a few sites will have a five-year duration.