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The Institute for Functional Nanomaterials is a research center in the field of functional nanomaterials.
The institute was established in 2007 with a $9 USD million NSF grant over 3 years in the reserve round, and an institutional contribution from UPR in the amount of $3.9 USD million over the three-year duration of the grant.
The IFN will provide resources for the assignment of up to five start-up awards per year, of up to $200,000 for a 2-year period during the 3-year duration of the project. The awards will be made to new faculty on a competitive basis. The RII will make special efforts to recruit women nanoscientists through this mechanism, and expect to recruit at least 5 new women nano scientists during the duration of the project. Each applicant will be required to prepare a research and professional development proposal to achieve research competitiveness; the proposal will be externally peer-reviewed; then the RII Task Force will make the final award decision, based on the programmatic needs of the research Clusters and the long range objective of developing the IFN Institute. The objective of this program is to bootstrap the number of competitive nanoscientists in Puerto Rico by recruiting up to 15 new members to strengthen the IFN clusters and their evolution toward interdisciplinary research groups.
The IFN will provide funds for twelve Ph.D. and six postdoctoral fellows per year. These fellowships have the dual purpose of advancing the research agenda of the IFN Clusters and increasing the number of people working on Nanoscience and Technology in the IFN Clusters and in PR. The IFN researchers, or the applicants themselves, can apply for the fellowship competition. The IFN is committed to actively search and recruit women to the graduate and postdoctoral fellowship programs. All applicants will submit their academic record and a professional development plan. The postdocs will also have to submit a research plan. The RII Task Force will peer review the submitted documents for academic merit, and will make the final selection from among the most meritorious cases, based on the programmatic needs of the Clusters and the evolving IFN research plan, as well as to ensure the diversity of the selected fellows. In addition to the six postdocs, two postdocs will be selected to work specifically in the testbed initiatives of the IFN projects.