The University of New Mexico and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) signed a landmark Institutional Agreement that provides staff from both institutions unprecedented access to collaborative research and allows for academic appointments for LANL staff and scientific staff appointments for UNM faculty.

As part of the agreement, laboratory staff can teach classes at UNM’s main and branch campuses, pursue joint funding opportunities, and work with faculty and students. UNM faculty enjoy similar, reciprocal privileges.

“After many months of work with colleagues here at UNM and at Los Alamos to lay groundwork for this agreement, I am extraordinarily pleased as UNM enters into a new level of collaborative relationship with Los Alamos National Laboratory,” said UNM's Richard L. Wood, who served as interim provost when the agreement was discussed and finalized. “This will allow UNM to more readily host interested Los Alamos researchers, and allow more UNM faculty and research staff to engage with colleagues at the Laboratory. I trust that will undergird some great new research in the months and years ahead—and eventually stronger economic development in New Mexico. As one born and raised in Los Alamos, the son of a Los Alamos theoretical physicist, it is great to sign this agreement as I exit the interim provost role at UNM.”

“Los Alamos is excited to take our relationship with the University of New Mexico to the next level through this agreement. Our institutions have a long history of productive collaboration, and this agreement creates additional mechanisms to strengthen and grow our partnership,” said John Sarrao, Los Alamos’s deputy director for Science, Technology and Engineering.

Previously, UNM faculty and staff operated at Los Alamos as visitors, highly restricting their access. This agreement updates their status so that they operate as staff, thereby streamlining their access to important research and information.

This five-year agreement provides an official mechanism to build joint appointments between UNM faculty and Los Alamos staff, allowing each to function in the same capacity at the other’s facilities. UNM faculty will now be provided the status and freedom to work with Laboratory staff members and their research. Los Alamos staff members will now have appointments in UNM academic departments, allowing them to teach and work with UNM students and faculty, and grants them access to UNM research.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Triad, a public service-oriented, national security science organization equally owned by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS), and the Regents of the University of California (UC) for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.

The University of New Mexico is a place where cutting-edge research and creative endeavors flourish. UNM research injects millions of dollars into New Mexico’s economy, funds new advancements in healthcare, and augments teaching – giving students valuable hands-on training in state-of-the-art laboratories.

UNM is one of only a dozen Hispanic-Serving Institution in the U.S. that are also classified by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education as a R1: Doctoral Universities with very high research activity.