NSF Planning Grant

The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant to a team lead by Hrant to develop a full proposal for the next round of Partnerships for Research and Education in Chemistry (PREC) program. The grant is titled "Planning: PREC: The UC Merced/MolSSI Chemical Computation and Theory Pathway Program" and will support a UC Merced team working with the Molecular Sciences Software Institute (MolSSI) to develop a partnership that could form the basis of a future submission to the Partnerships for Research and Education in Chemistry (PREC) program. Specifically, this planning grant examines and develops a Chemical Computation and Theory Pathway (CCTP) program bringing together scientists at the University of California, Merced (UC Merced), a Hispanic Serving Institution, and the NSF-CHE supported MolSSI. The planning project aims to develop the CCTP program to advance chemical computation and theory and to broaden participation of persons from underrepresented communities in the chemical research enterprise. The CCTP planning project involves three key activities: (1) in person team meetings; (2) research community discussions; and (3) periodic team member teleconference meetings. The CCTP vision develops a program enhancing diversity in the chemical sciences research and training pipeline. Hrant is the PI on the grant; Professors Liang Shi, Christine Isborn, David Strubbe, and Aurora Pribram-Jones are Co-PIs.

Pribram-Jones and Hratchian Groups Awarded New DOE Grant

The Department of Energy has awarded a $637,500 grant to Aurora Pribram-Jones and Hrant to support a collaborative research program with Frank Graziani at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). This award is part of the DOE's FAIR program. This project will expand an established partnership between UC Merced and the High Energy Density Sciences (HEDS) Center at LLNL to expand recent method development work from our labs in new directions for studying the electronic properties and phase transitions of target materials along the fusion ignition pathway. The DOE's award announcement is online here.

$1.3M DOE Grant Awarded for Lanthanide Studies

The Department of Energy has awarded a $1.3 million grant ($443,709 to our lab) supporting collaborative research between our group, Lee Thompson's group at the University of Louisville, and Caroline Chick Jarrold's lab at Indiana University. This grant (award number DE-SC0024282) supports experimental and theoretical characterization of the electronic structures of clusters of lanthanide and mixed lanthanide materials (oxides, borides, nitrides). The hypothesis driving this project is that the electronic and magnetic states of homo- and hetero-metallic lanthanides in clusters, oxides, borides, and nitrides can be controlled through interactions with free electrons, modeling the control of the properties in single molecule magnets and devices through electronics. Expected outcomes include determining new electronic structures and magnetic properties of homo- and hetero-metallic oxide, boride, and nitride clusters using synergistic experiments and theoretical methods, development of new theoretical approaches for treating exceptionally complex electronic structures, and determining intrinsic properties of bare clusters that will inform design of new lanthanide-based single-molecule magnets and related materials. This work is co-funded by Basic Energy Sciences' Gas Phase Chemical Physics (GPCP) and Chemical Theory and Computation (CTC) programs.

NSF Grant Funds New Central Computer Cluster

The National Science Foundation has awarded our campus a grant for purchasing a new high-performance computing (HPC) cluster. The grant is titled "MRI: Acquisition of Pinnacles -- Raising Research Computing to New Heights in California's Central Valley." Hrant is the PI on the grant; Professors Suzanne Sindi (Applied Math) and Ashlie Martini (Mechanical Engineering) are Co-PIs on the grant. Several other faculty colleagues contributed to the proposal as senior personnel. This award will result in the acquisition of a shared HPC cluster named Pinnacles at UC Merced. Building on an increasing strength in scientific computing at UCM, the nation's first new research-intensive university of the 21st century, this project will deploy a new state-of-the-art HPC to enable exciting cutting-edge science and facilitate advanced research training that will promote the progress of science. UCM, an Hispanic Serving Institution, is also uniquely positioned to leverage the new HPC to provide access and training opportunities for students from underrepresented groups. Full details of the grant are available online.


Hrant has been awarded a National Science Foundation CARRER Award! This award supports ongoing work in the group to develop and implement new models that address electronic structure posing challenges for current approaches and to explore metal oxide and metal sulfide chemistry using these new models. This award also provides support for undergraduate and graduate education efforts as well exciting new outreach work with local schools. [The UC Merced news story about this award is online here.]