In a notice published in the Federal Register on March 24, 2010, the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST), part of the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), announced the establishment of a financial assistance program to develop and implement a post doctoral/visiting fellowship program for the purposes of "promoting research, training and practical experience in nanoscale science and technology and to advance CNST’s mission to support the development of nanotechnology through research on measurement and fabrication methods, standards and technology, and by operating a state of the art nanofabrication facility, the Nanofab".

The primary objectives of the Post Doctoral and Visiting Fellows programs are:

1) Advancing, through cooperative Efforts with universities, the NIST/CNST mission

2) To provide future nanotechnologists with real experience in performing research at CNST under a mentorship with one of CNST’s Project Leaders

3) To give scientists and engineers in the private sector a chance to gain advanced training and expertise via performing research at CNST in collaboration with Project Leaders

4) To give Post Doctoral Researchers and visiting fellow professional development opportunities

5) To encourage scientists in industry, government and academia to participate in research at CNST.

Applications for the Postdoc/Visiting fellows programs will be evaluated on the following criteria:

1) Technical merit

2) The overall qualifications of the applicants

3) "Quality of the plan for providing support for travel and local expenses for students and scientists to participate in research at the CNST".

4) Cost of the proposed project.

Further information on the application process may be found in the FR notice. Applications, either in hard copy form or electronic form must be received by April 30, 2010.

The establishment of this program represents a recognition by the Obama administration of a need to support Post Docs in gaining a practical knowledge that will complement the theoretical  knowledge they’ve gained in the classroom, a practical knowledge that can be transmitted to future generations of students and to the establishment of a trained and prepared nanotech workforce. For scientists and nanotechnologists already in the workforce, the program offers a chance to add to their skills and the body of existing research. The program should be seen as an investment in the future prosperity of the United States.