Loyola University Chicago

University Newsroom

Press Release - July 20, 2021

Loyola University Chicago Awarded $976K Grant from the National Science Foundation to Advance Equity in STEM Academic Professions

LUC INSPIRED will receive more than $976,000 over three years to support the retention and equity of women and other underrepresented faculty in STEM fields

CHICAGO – July 20, 2021 – Loyola University Chicago (LUC) today announced the prestigious National Science Foundation’s (NSF) ADVANCE Adaptation project has awarded LUC INSPIRED with a grant of more than $976,000 to support the retention and equity of women and other underrepresented faculty in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. The three-year grant will support evidence-based systemic change strategies that promote equity and inclusion and work to mitigate the systemic factors that create inequities in STEM academic profession and workplaces.

“Advancing equity and inclusion across Loyola—especially among women and underrepresented faculty in STEM—will substantially benefit all faculty and the greater academic community,” said Badia Ahad, Loyola professor and vice provost for Faculty Affairs, who also served as Principal Investigator on the grant. “We are proud to receive this grant and look forward to using it to advance Loyola’s racial and gender equity goals within a broader Jesuit framework of care.”

Through this grant, over the next three years, Loyola will:

  • Create a full scale and comprehensive mentorship program;
  • Provide pathways for professional growth for women and underrepresented faculty;
  • Implement policies that mitigate gender and racial inequities among faculty; and
  • Establish an institutional culture of interdisciplinary connection for the enhancement of cultural climate that combats social and professional isolation.

The funding for this work will be directed through LUC’s Inclusive Practices in the Retention and Equity of Diverse Faculty (INSPIRED), which aims to provide the university with comprehensive mentoring, pathways for professional growth, equitable workload policies and practices, and interdisciplinary connections across LUC’s three campuses. The program aspires to serve as a model for how other Jesuit and mission-driven institutions can deploy the tenets of Ignatian Spirituality to promote transformative change in the form of greater gender and racial equity.

Loyola’s work through the NSF’s ADVANCE grant will build on its ongoing efforts to support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts across campus. Last year, Loyola launched the Anti-Racism Initiative (ARI) with specific goals and strategies to begin systemic change for racial justice at the university. This fall, Loyola will open the Institute for Racial Justice (IRJ), a transdisciplinary center for research and education around racism and racial disparities in our society.

For more information, please visit nsf.gov and LUC.edu.

About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with more than 16,600 students. Nearly 11,500 undergraduates call Loyola home. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens); and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 14 schools, colleges, and institutes, including Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago, College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health, Quinlan School of Business, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, and Stritch School of Medicine. Ranked a top national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu, “like” us at Facebook.com/LoyolaChicago, or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago.

About National Science Foundation
NSF is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense”. They support basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.