This National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) at North Carolina State University and North Carolina Central University is developing a new educational paradigm for Data-Enabled Science and Engineering of Atomic Structure (SEAS) to address the demand for a new generation of interdisciplinary, data-driven scientists who can apply advanced statistical methods to atomic-structure data generated from cutting-edge analytical and computational experiments.  

With large investments in our national scientific infrastructure at both Federal laboratories and universities, a new and evolving generation of atomically sensitive instruments has opened new opportunities for next-generation science. Parallel to these developments in measurement sciences, great strides have been made in computational materials science, which are providing unprecedented opportunities for predictive materials design. The SEAS effort is a new graduate-training model, responding to the emergence and rapid growth of this critical interdisciplinary research at the interface of materials and data science, aligning with the NSF Strategic Plan and contributing directly and indirectly to the national Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), a multi-agency initiative spearheaded by the White House that advances the U.S. economy by enabling faster deployment of new materials.

The SEAS traineeship program immerses graduate students in a unique interdisciplinary curricular and research environment in which the trainees are team-mentored by a diverse group of faculty and external industry and national laboratory scientists. The students develop professional training portfolios that include laboratory rotations, interdisciplinary research group activities, external internships, research training modules, communication training, and leadership-training activities. SEAS promotes and enhances diversity within the traineeship and larger professional community.  An integral part of the traineeship is the Bridge-to-PhD program between North Carolina Central University, which is aimed at better preparing students to succeed in research-intensive PhD programs.