Researchers at Brown University and Dartmouth College recently secured two supplements totaling $600,000 to their $4 million 2019 National Science Foundation grant, “Harnessing the Data Revolution for the Quantum Leap: From Quantum Control to Quantum Materials.” The supplements will fund a postdoctoral fellow from a Minority Serving Institution at Brown University. The supplements will also facilitate collaboration with a group from another EPSCoR state that works at Minority Serving Institutions.

The research team is working to develop a fundamental understanding of quantum systems to enable new quantum technologies and better understand the materials and the exotic quantum states that make these technologies possible. Principal Investigator and Brown Professor of Physics Vesna Mitrović says the addition of the postdoctoral fellow will be critical to “develop high-fidelity control of topological helical states of matter and unprecedented quantum sensing modalities.” According to Mitrović, the postdoctoral fellow will work in close collaboration with the multidisciplinary teams from both Brown and Dartmouth. 

The supplements will also allow the research team to adapt and expand quantum sensing expertise available at the University of New Mexico (UNM) to studies of the emergent quantum properties of materials. UNM is the flagship university in the EPSCoR program in the state of New Mexico. UNM is a Minority Serving Institution with a population that is approximately 50% Hispanic and 6% Native American. Mitrović says that UNM is a “great collaborator” and emphasizes the importance of symbiosis between the two groups, “[this collaboration] will not only provide the Brown and Dartmouth teams with training and access to cutting-edge quantum research but also allow us to learn from MSI students' experiences so that we can improve the climate within our own departments.”

The grant is part of NSF's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) designed to promote scientific progress nationwide. The grant funds efforts in Rhode Island and New Hampshire to attract investment, cultivate research talent, and create new data science training programs.