Genomic Science Program
U.S. Department of Energy | Office of Science | Biological and Environmental Research Program

Two BER Projects Selected as Recipients of DOE’s FAIR Initiative

Funding for Accelerated, Inclusive Research (FAIR) Initiative Will Support Research at Minority Serving Institutions and Emerging Research Institutions

August 8, 2023

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $37 million in funding for 52 projects to 44 institutions to build research capacity, infrastructure, and expertise at institutions historically underrepresented in DOE’s Office of Science portfolio, including Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and Emerging Research Institutions (ERIs). Through the Funding for Accelerated, Inclusive Research (FAIR) initiative, the Office of Science is supporting mutually beneficial relationships between MSIs/ERIs and partnering institutions to perform basic research in applied mathematics, biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geoscience, isotope research, materials science, and physics. Ensuring America’s best and brightest students have pathways to STEM fields will be key to achieving President Biden’s energy and climate goals, including achieving a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.

Two of the selected projects will join the Biological and Environmental Systems Sciences Division (BESSD) within DOE’s Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Program.

  • Dr. Michael Thompson (University of California) and Dr. Aina Cohen (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory) will start their project “Understanding the Role of Duckweed Transcription Factor in Triacylglycerol Metabolism and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants.”
  • Dr. Bagyalakshmi Muthan (West Virginia State University Research and Development Corp.) and Dr. Changcheng Xu (Brookhaven National Laboratory) will start their project “Developing Temperature-Jump X-ray Crystallography to Study Dynamic Biosynthetic Enzymes at Synchrotrons and XFELs.”

“FAIR is an essential capacity-building initiative that will broaden the impact of DOE and the Office of Science in tackling critical and pressing scientific questions and challenges,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M Granholm. “To reach our scientific goals, we need all voices represented at the table, including those who have been historically excluded from critical scientific conversations. This funding will help academic institutions expand their research portfolios and spur future scientific discovery, creating a top-notch workforce to advance American competitiveness.”

Projects focus on a diverse range of topics in fundamental research in support of DOE’s mission. This funding will expand the talent pool that will further the Department’s missions, transform our understanding of nature, and catalyze scientific discoveries that can lead to technical breakthroughs. The projects were selected by competitive scientific peer review under the DOE FAIR Funding Opportunity Announcement. The project list and more information can be found on the FAIR website.