ABOVE: Researchers involved in the UD-Brookhaven National Laboratory collaborative include, from left to right, Peter Johnson (Brookhaven), Stephanie Law (UD), Ryan Tappero (Brookhaven) and Angelia Seyfferth (UD). | Photo illustration by Jeffrey C. Chase
New areas of complementary strength and strategic importance
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of Delaware have begun a two-year joint initiative to promote collaborative research in new areas of complementary strength and strategic importance. Though Brookhaven Lab and UD already have a tradition of collaboration, especially in catalysis, this initiative encourages partnerships in strategic areas where that tradition does not yet exist. After considering several potential areas, a committee from Brookhaven and UD selected two projects—one on rice soil chemistry and the other on quantum materials—for the new initiative. For each project, one graduate student based at Brookhaven and one graduate student from UD will work with and be supervised by a principal investigator from each respective institution. The research, to start in October 2019, is funded separately by the two institutions. Brookhaven funding is provided through its Laboratory-Directed Research and Development program, which promotes highly innovative and exploratory research that supports the Lab’s mission and areas for growth.
The rice soil chemistry project, “The rice of the future: How growing practices can decrease human exposure to toxins,” is co-led by Ryan Tappero, lead scientist at the X-ray Fluorescence Microprobe (XFM) beamline at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II)—a DOE Office of Science User Facility at Brookhaven—and Angelia Seyfferth, an associate professor of biogeochemistry and plant-soil interactions in UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
The quantum materials project, “Growth and characterization of quantized antimony-based topological insulators,” is co-led by Peter Johnson, group leader of the Electron Spectroscopy Group in Brookhaven’s Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Division, and Stephanie Law, the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Materials Science in UD’s College of Engineering.
“Our existing collaborations with UD are producing exceptional results, and we hope that we can expand this success to other strategic areas of research through the joint initiative,” said Priscilla Antunez, assistant director for strategic partnerships at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)—another DOE Office of Science User Facility at Brookhaven—and coordinator of the Brookhaven-UD relationship.
“The University of Delaware is pleased and excited to expand research collaborations with Brookhaven National Laboratory,” said Charles G. Riordan, UD vice president for research, scholarship and innovation, and professor of chemistry and biochemistry. “Our work together is destined to have positive and far-reaching impacts, of benefit to our students and to society.”
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Significant revisions to the “Common Rule” – a regulation that governs research involving human subjects conducted or sponsored by the Federal department and agencies that have adopted those rules – are expected to take full effect on January 21, 2019.