NH Delegation Announces Nearly $6 Million in Federal Awards for UNH & Dartmouth to Invest in STEM, Climate Research

September 03, 2021

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee which funds the National Science Foundation (NSF), announced with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that the U.S. National Science Foundation – with support from federal funds secured in the American Rescue Plan – has awarded the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College robust federal funding through the NSF Research Traineeship program. The program supports and trains graduate students and science and math professionals using specific research and development topics as focal points.

UNH will receive $2.9 million to invest in training students through climate research in the Artic to better understand the rapidly changing Arctic environment and its impact on natural and human systems. Dartmouth will receive $3 million to develop a graduate traineeship framed around the development of new sensors and platform technologies for health and medicine, scientific discovery, transportation, defense and more. Senator Shaheen helped secure federal dollars that support these grants during negotiations on the American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law earlier this year.

“New Hampshire is home to world-class academic institutions and research facilities, so it comes as no surprise that this robust federal funding has been awarded to innovative research and education projects at the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College,” said Shaheen, chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the awarding agency. “These grants not only invest in the future of our environment and society, but also in the workforce that will build a more sustainable and brighter future. From understanding the impact of changing climate to better predict the effects on our broader society, to investing in our 21st century economy through STEM research and innovation - these projects pose exciting opportunities for New Hampshire students today, who will become our entrepreneurs, scientists and workers of tomorrow.”

“This is an exciting announcement for New Hampshire’s colleges and universities. These significant awards will be a tremendous boon to the incredible research Granite Staters are doing across multiple disciplines and fields,” said Senator Hassan. “As we work to tackle some of the most pressing issues of today, New Hampshire continues to set the pace and put forth some of the most groundbreaking research and innovation in America. These awards reaffirm the leadership of New Hampshire institutes of higher education in critical STEM fields, and will help strengthen our country’s efforts to combat the existential threat of climate change.”

“This significant federal funding from the National Science Foundation — made possible by the American Rescue Plan — is an exciting investment in Granite State students and the cutting edge research being done at the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College,” said Representative Kuster. “I’m proud of the research taking place right here in the Granite State on climate change and new technologies for health, transportation, and more. In Congress and on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I will continue working to support the groundbreaking research taking place at our nation’s higher education institutions, especially here in New Hampshire.”

“The work being done at the University of New Hampshire in climate research continues to be critically important,” said Representative Chris Pappas. “I’m pleased that these American Rescue Plan funds being awarded to New Hampshire will support job training and contribute to research that will help us combat climate change and protect our communities from its adverse effects.”

“This project will prepare students for careers that address the challenges posed by a changing climate and the cascading impacts on society. By asking students to design and conduct research projects focused on the impact of changing seasonality in the Arctic natural and human systems, this novel approach to graduate training will build students' capacity to engage with Arctic Indigenous and community stakeholders and better equip them for societally focused professions,” said Ruth Varner, Professor of Biogeochemistry and Principal Investigator of the grant.

“We are grateful to NSF for supporting this unique graduate research training program at Dartmouth that places a strong emphasis not only on translational research, but also on entrepreneurial-thinking skills for the successful transfer of new technology out of the university laboratory to the commercial sector to best benefit society. Such human-centered engineering and science is a hallmark of Dartmouth and often results in the creation of start-up companies that create jobs and benefit the economy in the State of New Hampshire,” said Eric Fossum, Principal Investigator of the grant.

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