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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue: November 3, 2003
Volume 39, Number 8


From left: UNM President Louis Caldera, Univ. of California interim VP of Laboratory Management Bruce Darling and LANL Director Pete Nanos sign the MOU. Standing is UNM Vice Provost for Research Terry L. Yates.

Researchers at UNM and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) worked together on individual projects for years, but until recently there was no formal agreement between the two entities. That changed on Oct. 16 when UNM President Louis Caldera and LANL Director Peter Nanos signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

“I am grateful for the opportunity to sign this document,” said Caldera. “This opens up new research and employment opportunities for UNM.”

The MOU includes the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, School of Medicine, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. It also establishes an executive committee to oversee the UNM/LANL Joint Science and Technology Laboratory.

The MOU is designed to cover three specific types of proposals. Sophomores and juniors with compatible research interests will participate in a combined work and study program at the two institutions, a major element of the agreement. Graduate students may also do thesis work at the laboratory, and if money is available, full fellowships for doctoral dissertations may also be supported. The executive committee will design the programs and may also allow postdoctoral work.

Faculty and staff are expected to have greater opportunity for collaborative research projects. Mentors and faculty advisors for student and graduate programs may also participate. The agreement says the laboratory will provide office space for UNM participants, and UNM will reciprocate. The MOU also anticipates a visiting scholars program for faculty and staff.

The third major element of the MOU is the collaborative research program encompassing bioscience, materials, quantum information science and computer science. The MOU specifically states that all joint work will be unclassified.

A spokesman for the University of California, which has the contract to manage LANL, says Governor Bill Richardson urged the MOU be completed as soon as possible.