Improving Access to Career and Educational Development for Talented, Low-Income Students through the Flexible Internships-Research-Education Model (I-ACED) is a multi-institutional NSF backed program integrating internships and research experiences to prepare students for careers in engineering and STEM fields.

Applying a FIRE model (Flexible Internships, Research and Education), this grant will support 220 students from low-income backgrounds seeking master’s degrees in engineering, computer science, mathematics and data science. Students will select from among disciplines in one of three technical tracks: biotechnology, sustainability and resilience, and digital twinning. Retention and graduation rates in these programs are already nearly 100%; I-ACED will aim to maintain that while removing barriers to low-income students pursuing masters degrees in these areas.

Five key partners are contributing to this grant, Jackson State University, Prairie View A&M University, Rice University, Texas Southern University, and the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). In addition to supporting masters level graduate students this program will employ and study the team-of-teams approach.