This Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) project supports the development at Rutgers University of a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional graduate training program in the area of renewable and sustainable fuel solutions. Together with partner institutions Virginia Union University, Delaware State University and the University of Puerto Rico, this program emphasizes broad training that will produce a new generation of leaders and professionals who can design and implement sustainable solutions for renewable fuels worldwide. Graduate trainees will all be exposed to fundamentals in biotechnology, chemistry, ecology, engineering and energy policy through course work as well as internships and training opportunities in industry, government and academia. The program will emphasize global awareness in energy research and the broad political and economic implications of fuel solutions for 6.6 billion people today and future generations. Participating faculty from Rutgers will present research at large minority-serving institutions, historically black colleges and universities, and women's colleges in the United States in order to attract students from these institutions to the IGERT project. Coordinating through the Rutgers Energy Institute and Biotechnology Center for Agriculture and the Environment, participants from 14 research Institutes and Centers at Rutgers University will partner with institutions in Brazil, China and South Africa to further expose IGERT trainees to complexities of the fuel problem worldwide. As such, it is expected that many of the graduates from this IGERT program will become leaders and experts to shape our country's future energy economy and policy, thereby benefiting the Nation's energy security and approach to the related complex issue of climate change. IGERT is an NSF-wide program intended to meet the challenges of educating U.S. Ph.D. scientists and engineers with the interdisciplinary background, deep knowledge in a chosen discipline, and the technical, professional, and personal skills needed for the career demands of the future. The program is intended to catalyze a cultural change in graduate education by establishing innovative new models for graduate education and training in a fertile environment for collaborative research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries.
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