Spelman College Led Team Awarded $14 Million National Science Foundation Grant Focused on Transforming the Research Enterprise

Spelman College | Mar-12-2024

ATLANTA, GA (February 21, 2024)  Today, Spelman College, in collaboration with Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine and Clark Atlanta University, was awarded a $14 million competitive grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of its Growing Research Access for Nationally Transformative Equity and Diversity (GRANTED) initiative.

NSF announced a $20 million investment across eight institutions through its GRANTED initiative, transforming research support access. NSF GRANTED aims to address the systemic barriers within the nation’s research enterprise. Many of the initiatives previously funded by NSF GRANTED have had a transformative impact, particularly for emerging research and minority-serving institutions.

"This $20 million investment through NSF's GRANTED initiative reflects our commitment to breaking down barriers in research access. By strategically supporting collaborations like the Atlanta University Center, we are committed to creating a transformative hub, setting the standard for equity and diversity in the national research landscape," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. "These projects underscore our dedication to empowering institutions, fostering inclusivity, and propelling the entire research ecosystem towards greater heights of excellence."

AUC-GRANTED: A Collaborative Approach for Transforming the Research Enterprise through a Shared Support Model for Collective Impact and Synergistic Effect aims to synergistically expand the research support and service capacity within and across the Atlanta University Center (AUC) through activities and shared resources designed to reduce barriers to competitiveness and strengthen the research enterprise within the AUC.

The collaborative AUC-GRANTED project is designed to: (1) augment the knowledge management and exchange of research leadership in the AUC and at other HBCUs and regional institutions; (2) enhance research development capacity to support ideation and competitive proposal development; (3) strengthen the research administration infrastructure at AUC institutions; and (4) create and implement an AUC-wide Office for Research and Technology Commercialization. The proposal’s overarching goal is to establish a hub that promotes equity in the national research ecosystem and serves as a model for other HBCUs and emerging research institutions (ERIs). Unlike traditional funding for scientific research or education, GRANTED focuses on strengthening the research enterprise at institutions and across the nation.

“The NSF funding will have a significant and long-lasting impact on strengthening the research support infrastructure within the AUC. It will provide the opportunity to advance knowledge and thought leadership and spur innovation and entrepreneurship.  It will also enable Spelman and the collaborating AUC institutions to increase their role in the growth of the state's economy," said Helene Gayle, Spelman College president.

“I congratulate Spelman College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University on securing this Federal funding. Senator Warnock and I will continue to champion Georgia’s HBCUs in the U.S. Senate,” U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff said.

U.S. Congresswoman Nikema Williams, a member of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus, added, “I’m a third generation HBCU alum and I know the power of an HBCU education. That’s why I partnered with Spelman College and the National Science Foundation to deliver a $14 million investment in the Atlanta University Center to expand its world-class research capabilities. These funds will open doors for researchers who have historically faced barriers to their academic success. I will continue to partner with Spelman College, the Atlanta University Center, and HBCUs across the country to set the standard for equity in higher education.”

“Congratulations to Spelman and the entire Atlanta University Center for securing this well-deserved funding, recognizing the invaluable contributions they have already made and will continue to make in our communities for generations to come,” said Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens. “Funding awards like these are crucial to enhancing our economic development and entrepreneurial spirit in the city. A heartfelt thank you to Senators Ossoff and Warnock and Congresswoman Williams for their unwavering support and dedication as champions of Atlanta’s HBCUs.”

For more information about GRANTED, visit the program website.

Media Contact:
Denise Ward, 770-862-4028 (Mobile)