March 20, 2015

Manchin and Capito Announce Funding to Expand Pulsar Search Collaboratory at WVU

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito applauded West Virginia University (WVU) for receiving the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) Physics Frontier Center Award. The award provides a $4,738,010 federal grant to leverage and expand the Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC) program, which is a joint project between WVU and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Green Bank, West Virginia. 

“West Virginia University students and professors continue to make our state proud with their innovative and meaningful work,” Senator Manchin said. “I congratulate the participants of the WVU and Green Bank Observatory Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC) program on receiving the NANOGrav Physics Frontier Center Award. Through the $4.7 million grant, undergraduate students, graduate students, and professors will have an unparalleled opportunity to expand their own skillsets as well as our nation’s knowledge of the universe. The WVU PSC is a testament to the value of STEM education, and I am pleased that West Virginia remains on the forefront of the growing STEM industry. I trust that their efforts will truly be out of this world.”

“The NANOGrav Physics Frontier Center Award boosts WVU’s national prominence in STEM education and enables students and professors at our state’s largest university to take part in groundbreaking research,” Senator Capito said.  “I hope that opportunities, like those available through this grant, will encourage young West Virginians to consider careers in STEM fields, gain the skills necessary to compete in the changing workforce and become our state’s future leaders. I am thrilled to congratulate WVU on this outstanding achievement.”

This award will fund summer salaries for three associate professors, a post-doctoral scholar, four graduate students, and a systems administrator at WVU.  The award will also provide funds for project-related equipment, travel and support for up to eight undergraduate students. Students will have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of NANOGrav research, including local and remote operation of the world’s most sensitive radio telescopes, and analysis of the data collected to find new pulsars.