Strategic Partnerships Expand Diversity and Inclusion at ERC

Achievement date: 

The University of Texas at Austin’s Nanomanufacturing Systems Center (NASCENT), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC), established strategic partnerships with the University of Texas at El Paso and Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas, to increase the recruitment and participation of historically under-represented groups in the Center’s programs.


The Center exceeded national averages for the participation of U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident (PR) under-represented minorities, Hispanic faculty, and women undergraduates. The diversity of undergraduate participants in Research for Undergraduates (REU) programs remains strong, comprised of 11 percent under-represented minorities, 56 percent Hispanic, and 67 percent women students.


One of the Center’s primary goals is to substantially surpass national averages of women and under-represented groups at all levels of participation. This includes faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows, as well as undergraduate students and middle and high school teachers.

REU participants, Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) participants, and NASCENT staff and students all contributed to outreach strategies and activities to engage diverse students in STEM. In addition to partnerships with the University of Texas at El Paso and Prairie View A&M University, strategic relationships continue with Hispanic-serving institutions the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Texas State University.