Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

February 16, 2007

DHS + NSF = $$ for Nuc Defense Research

Filed under: Budgets and Spending,Radiological & Nuclear Threats — by Jonah Czerwinski on February 16, 2007

This was released tonight by DHS. 

Press Office

U.S. Department of Homeland Security


Press Release

February 16, 2007

Contact: DHS Press Office (202) 282-8010

NSF Press Office (703) 292-7730



WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently issued a potential $58 million, over five years, in grant opportunities for colleges and universities that will focus on detection systems, individual sensors or other research relevant to the detection of nuclear weapons, special nuclear material, radiation dispersal devices and related threats.  The program is called the Academic Research Initiative and will foster frontier research and build the nation’s intellectual capital in nuclear sciences.

“This Academic Research Initiative is a critical element in building the Nation’s intellectual capital in nuclear detection capability,” said DNDO Director, Vayl S. Oxford.  “Continued advances in science and technology are a key element in the long-term effort to protect the Nation against nuclear attacks.”

Proposals submitted to NSF through the Fastlane electronic system, or through Grants.gov, will be reviewed through NSF’s merit-based process using panels of peer reviewers and experts recruited jointly by NSF and DNDO.  Seven NSF units will be participating in the effort including five directorates and two additional offices.  Spanning multiple academic disciplines, this broad expertise will form a comprehensive platform for fundamental research on domestic nuclear detection.”

The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense. With an annual budget of about $5.58 billion, NSF is the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 1,700 universities and institutions.

The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office is a jointly staffed office established to improve the nation’s capability to detect and report unauthorized attempts to import, possess, store, develop, or transport nuclear or radiological material for use against the Nation, and to further enhance this capability over time.


The House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation holds a hearing March 8 at 10:00 a.m. on the Department’s R&D efforts related to nuc and bio terrorism.  Look for more about outreach to the academic community then.

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