Nuclear Forensics Research Award

Funding Agency:
Department of Homeland Security

The National Technical Nuclear Forensics Center (NTNFC) was established on October 1, 2006, within the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). NTNFC was tasked with two core missions: to provide national-level integration, centralized planning, and stewardship for the National Technical Nuclear Forensics (NTNF) community; and to lead the U.S. Government (USG) in establishing a robust and enduring pre-detonation radiological/nuclear materials forensics capability. A top priority of DNDO/NTNFC’s stewardship mission is to lead USG efforts in addressing the enduring challenge of sustaining a preeminent Nuclear Forensics (NF) workforce.

The National Nuclear Forensics Expertise Development Program (NNFEDP) works to build a nuclear forensics workforce of recognized technical experts and leaders through fostering scholastic and research collaboration between and among academia, the national and defense laboratories, and the National Technical Nuclear Forensics (NTNF) Interagency. The implementation of the NNFEDP supports the Department of Homeland Security’s ongoing priority to prevent “Nuclear Terrorism Using an Improvised Nuclear Device” as outlined in the 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review and fulfills the requirements outlined in the Nuclear Forensics and Attribution Act (P.L.111-140) signed by President Obama on February 16, 2010.

The Nuclear Forensics Research Award (NFRA) supports the establishment of a team of faculty, students, and technical staff at the national or defense laboratories to conduct research in the field of nuclear forensics.

Deadline: Jan. 30, 2017

Agency Website

Areas of Interest


1. Recruit and produce a new generation of leaders and technical experts in a widerange of fields relevant to nuclear forensics. The NFRA is designed to link a qualified graduate student with a nuclear forensicsrelevant research project, that will serve as the basis of his or her thesis and be completed through work at a partner laboratory and the student’s home university. Through faculty and laboratory staff participation, a collaborative research process is established through which this graduate fellow is jointly mentored, further enhancing his or her understanding of the nuclear forensics field.

2. Enhance the ability for universities and the national and defense laboratories to work collaboratively on advanced research in the nuclear forensics field. The NFRA is designed to facilitate a multi-year process to build long-term collaborative partnerships among the laboratories, universities, and the next generation of nuclear forensics experts. These partnerships will provide universities opportunities to participate in research that directly supports USG NF strategic goals.

Technical Mission Areas (TMA)

  • TMA 1. Pre-Detonation Material and Device Signatures
  • TMA 2. Pre-Detonation Analysis Methods and Tools
  • TMA 3. Post-Detonation Material Collection and Analysis Methods
  • TMA 4. Post-Detonation Prompt Signal Analysis



Amount Description

Available Funding for the NOFO: $250,000 (subject to the availability of funds) per year, for two years.

Projected number of Awards: Two (2). One of these awards will be reserved for a Historically Black College or University, Hispanic-serving institution, Tribal College or University, Asian American or Native American Pacific Islander-serving institution, Alaska Native-serving institution, or Hawaiian Native-serving institution. 

Funding Type





Curriculum Development
Engineering and Physical Sciences

External Deadline

January 30, 2017