Virginia Tech® home

MUNI: Multicultural and Underserved Nanoscience Initiative


MUNI is a NanoEarth signature initiative. With only 11% of underrepresented people working in science and engineering jobs, MUNI strives to provide an opportunity for inspiring those groups to pursue nanoscience degrees and careers. MUNI provides access to and training opportunities on state-of-the-art nanoscience-relevant instrumentation, as well as nano-synthesis and processing laboratories, for underrepresented professionals and students. For students, MUNI serves all academic levels, from K-12, to community college students, to students in four-year programs and even graduate school.   

Centrally located in the mid-Atlantic region, MUNI is able to accommodate nationwide. An easily manageable day’s drive (seven hours or less) to Blacksburg, Virginia includes cities such as Atlanta and Columbia to the south, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Columbus to the northwest, Cleveland and Pittsburgh to the north, and Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia to the northeast. An additional two hours of travel, includes northern Florida and New York. MUNI covers travel costs and usage fees to all its facilities. MUNI participants will also get a chance to interface with a variety of professors and gain valuable insight into the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology, especially as it relates to Earth and environmental science.


To apply for MUNI support, please complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the standard access request form.
  2. In your submission email, please indicate that you are applying for MUNI support and include a statement defining your multicultural or underserved identity.
  3. Include answers to the following questions:
    1. What is your main goal for visiting NanoEarth? How will this visit impact your research/students/etc.?
    2. What specific financial support do you need? (e.g. travel, instrument usage, etc.)
    3. Will you be able to cover part of the costs? Are their other programs that could provide financial support?

All applications will be reviewed for both project feasibility and grant status. We may request additional information.


“NanoEarth MUNI has become a valuable tool in my research at Howard University. The seamless efforts of directors, lab managers and staff at NanoEarth to assist in research work is second to none. I traveled to VT for some research work earlier this year and was thrilled by the willingness of everyone to help. During my visit, I had the opportunity to get a tour of the NCFL facility hosted by Dr. Hochella despite his tight schedule.  Following my research visit, the center has still offered remote efficient research support to our research group at Howard University. Thank you for making this initiative possible."---Temitope "Temi" Adegboye, Master's student at Howard University.


“Working at NanoEarth has been just awesome for our research and students. We are able to access instrumentations that we don’t currently have on campus. Students, many for the first time, got a hands-on experience working with these state-of-the-art instruments and learned from some of the most skilled and nicest scientists out there. It does not get any better than this opportunity!”---Nadine Kabengi, Assistant Professor at Georgia State University.