January 13, 2022

Congressman Neguse Announces Grant Renewal of $5 Million to Fund Colorado Lab Research Program

Washington, DC— Today, Congressman Neguse announced that a NIST-wide Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) in Boulder will receive a $5 million funding renewal in the fiscal year 2022. The funding will allow more University of Colorado students to establish a collaborative relationship with laboratory researchers and pursue federal scientific research.

“I’m incredibly pleased with the momentum we have seen for supporting educational programs at NIST Boulder, which continues to expand scientific learning and development for our students,” said Congressman Joe Neguse.“Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District is home to a plethora of federal labs, and we must make sure they are able to continue their crucial work by ensuring young people are engaged and active in their research. I am confident that PREP will continue to do phenomenal research, modeling the ingenuity and leadership that Colorado is known for and ensure that the next generation can have every opportunity to succeed.”

“We’re thrilled to extend this partnership with our colleagues at NIST,” said University of Colorado Boulder Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Terri Fiez. “PREP and other important collaborations between NIST and CU Boulder ensure that together we continue to provide world-class mentorship, education and research opportunities to our faculty, researchers and students at all levels—from undergraduates and graduate students to postdocs.”

PREP is a 5-year cooperative agreement between NIST laboratories and participating PREP Universities to establish a collaborative research relationship between NIST and U.S. institutions of higher education in the following disciplines including (but may not be limited to) biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, engineering, electronics, materials science, mathematics, nanoscale science, neutron science, physical science, physics, and statistics. Created by NIST Boulder in 1991, PREP is designed to provide valuable laboratory experience and financial assistance to undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students. Fellowships are awarded to assure continued growth and progress of science and engineering in the United States. 

Background:

Since coming to Congress, Congressman Neguse has been committed to prioritizing scientific research, a field in which Colorado excels. In May of 2021, Representative Neguse wrote letters to the Appropriators in Congress emphasizing the importance of these federal labs to the well-being of the nation, from predicting climate patterns to enhancing cybersecurity. Neguse has also requested $938 million in funding, a $250 million increase, for the NIST Scientific and Technical Research Services Account (STRS) to further advance projects in important areas such as quantum science and technology, artificial intelligence, and Internet of things (IoT).

Additionally, Congressman Neguse and Congressman Ed Perlmutter reintroduced The Federal Labs Modernization Act in March of 2021, which prioritizes the investment in and modernization of the nation’s federal labs, many of which are in Colorado. The Act would necessitate a biannual report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to evaluate the status of federal labs infrastructure, in addition to other updated measures.