Securing Top Academic Research & Talent at Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program

Inspiring and developing a diverse workforce through research partnerships on critical missions

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START HBCU Program Lead
Rahni Kellum

The Securing Top Academic Research & Talent (START) at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Program is essential for Sandia. The program fosters strategic relationships with selected HBCUs and facilitates opportunities for qualified underrepresented minorities (URM) pursuing advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

START HBCU Program Universities provide Sandia with expertise in fields complementary to those of Sandia and a mechanism for increasing diversity in Sandia’s  talent pipeline.

Universities in the START HBCU Program and at other Minority Serving Institutions in the Sandia network are all supported by campus executives from Sandia and START has a dedicated lead in the Academic Programs office. These relationships are further strengthened through joint research collaborations and supplemental funding for faculty/students participating in qualifying proposals.

Partnership Goals

  • Solve big national problems while increasing the percentage of underrepresented minority students pursuing advanced degrees in STEM.
  • Identify opportunities with other Sandia university partnership programs and National Security Enterprise labs to create joint research opportunities with HBCUs and other Minority Serving Institutions.
  • Accelerate technology adoption by establishing external collaborations and identifying joint technology development and commercialization opportunities.
  • Sustain and engage human capital by strengthening a diverse workforce and significantly increasing the percentage of URM hires at Sandia.