RIT has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the United States Agency for International Development’s Higher Education Collaborative Partnership Program to establish the Center for Energy and Natural Resource Development at the American University in Kosovo. The center will assist Kosovo in building self-sufficiency in energy and natural resource economics and policy studies and energy and power systems engineering. The center, which will be guided by an international advisory board, will focus on workforce development, consulting and research and building off of the established degree programs and training facilities that are currently being administered by the partnership between the American University in Kosovo Foundation and RIT. “This award will enable RIT and the American University in Kosovo to work together to conduct research and deliver education and training in energy and natural resource development,” says Jim Myers, the director of RIT’s Center for Multidisciplinary Studies and the principal investigator of the grant. RIT will make enhancements to existing courses at the American University in Kosovo in addition to delivering new undergraduate and graduate programs. New course development will focus on further expansion of graduate education options in Kosovo by creating a new professional studies master’s degree focusing on regional issues in energy and natural resource management and policy. Targeted high-level training and workshops will also be provided at the center for the regulators, policy makers, managers and technicians who will assume leadership positions in Kosovo’s newly deregulated energy and natural resource markets. The grant includes funds to support undergraduate and graduate student research funding for RIT students who are interested in international energy and natural resource issues in the Balkans. RIT will partner with the Regulatory Assistance Project, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Kosovo Ministry of Energy and Mining on the project. The constitutional status of Kosovo, a province under U.N. administration, is expected to be determined in the coming months.