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Brandeis receives $1 million grant to boost science education

Brandeis has been awarded a $1 million, 5-year grant from The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to increase institutional capacity for fostering the success of students from all backgrounds in science.

The funding propels the university into the front ranks of educational institutions working to diversify the so-called STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The grant will provide resources and support to undergraduates, particularly students of color, those from a low-income background, first-generation college students and military veterans.

Over time, many of the HHMI-funded initiatives will be available to all Brandeis undergraduates in an effort to boost the overall retention of students in STEM fields. Nationally, only 48 percent of undergraduates who start out in STEM graduate in one of those majors.

"We are among the handful of schools that are taking important and innovative steps to enhance student success in STEM," says Henry F. Fischbach Professor of Chemistry Irving Epstein, who wrote the winning grant proposal with Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Kim Godsoe and Professor of Biology Melissa Kosinski-Collins.

Brandeis is one of 33 institutions of higher education that received the HHMI Inclusive Excellence award this year. “This initiative is about encouraging colleges and universities to change the way they do business — to become institutions with a significantly greater capacity for inclusion of all students, especially those from non-traditional backgrounds,” says Erin O’Shea, HHMI’s president.

Read more about this grant and how it will be used on BrandeisNOW.

Date: June 21, 2018