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The National Astronomy Consortium (NAC)

by Davis Murphy last modified Mar 14, 2017 by Lyndele von Schill

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About the NAC

The National Astronomy Consortium (NAC) is a program led by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and Associated Universities Inc., (AUI) in partnership with the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP), and a number of minority and majority universities to increase the numbers of students from underrepresented* and underserved groups and those otherwise overlooked by the traditional academic pipeline into STEM or STEM-related careers.

Primary Goal: to increase the number of students, who otherwise would have been overlooked by the traditional academic pipeline, in STEM and STEM careers by placing them in a cooperative, diverse team over the summer and beyond.

The National Astronomy Consortium (NAC) is an innovative, competitive program designed to provide research opportunities, and long-term mentoring support, to underrepresented students in STEM fields. The NAC program expands upon the traditional summer research experience by creating an expectation of long-term mentoring, along with engagement in a strong, national-level peer and mentor network. NAC students are selected for grit* and are partnered with world-class scientists, engineers, technicians, and other professionals, for research activities that extend beyond the summer into the academic year. Peer mentoring and support is an important component of the NAC, and is fostered through placement in thoughtfully-developed cohorts at leading observatories and universities.

Highlights of the NAC program include:


 more information

To contact the NAC please send an email to odi@nrao.edu.

* We define under-represented groups to mean all of the following, but not limited to, people of color, women, economically disadvantaged and first-generation college students.

** Students with ‘grit’ exhibit passion for a particular long-term goal, along with powerful motivation for achieving their objectives.