RADIAL is designed to use radio astronomy as a means to contribute to the development of a diverse STEM workforce with transferable skills relevant for a rapidly changing workplace and society.

RADIAL is an intentional, creative partnership between, and among, the NRAO, a number of Minority-Serving Institutions (HSIs), including Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges, and international organizations. This partnership is designed to: 

  • broaden participation in radio astronomy and computer science, data science, engineering and IT (related fields) by underrepresented minoritized students by creating or strengthening partnerships with HBCUs and other Minority-Serving Institutions;
  • close the gap between education and practice in radio astronomy and related fields by innovating the teaching of these fields through the use of e-learning platforms and creating or facilitating opportunities for students to enter internships or in-service training;
  • improve STEM education by contributing to the development of STEM K-12 curriculum support materials in radio astronomy and related fields, and strengthening the teaching skills of teachers; providing access to computing infrastructure and large astronomy data sets that will enable partnering HBCUs and MSIs to improve their product offering in education and research in radio astronomy and related fields;
  • address current and future radio astronomy data challenges; and ensure technical and managerial readiness for mid to large scale facility development and associated data management.

RADIAL is an initiative of the NRAO Director, managed by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and is a flagship broader impact project of the NRAO.

RADIAL Development Lab, Washington DC

The RADIAL Development Lab in Washington DC (11-12 September 2019) will bring together RADIAL stakeholders and use co-operative design methodology to design a draft overall project plan and 2020 implementation plan for RADIAL. This approach will ensure that the project consults, serves, and benefits all stakeholders, and that project staff also actively research and consider the potential broader impacts of the project for society and incorporate these into their planning.

RADIAL Atlanta Meeting

RADIAL was initially described at the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) Meeting in Columbus, Ohio (November 2018).

The RADIAL Meeting of Interested HBCUs and other MSIs in Atlanta, Georgia (January 2019) was designed to bring together representatives from leading minority-serving institutions to discuss opportunities for collaborations between and among the NRAO and interested universities.