The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced its initiative to help underrepresented ethnic minorities, first-generation college students and working adults with families get an education and explore STEM fields earlier this month, giving 33 colleges and universities the chance to highlight diversity and inclusion.
In 2017, 24 schools were chosen in the Inclusive Excellence initiative, and now the 57 total schools will be gifted $1 million in grant money to split up over the course of five years ($200,000 per year).
HHMI says that the 57 schools selected are expected to identify opportunities to build campus capacity for inclusion of students from diverse backgrounds, engage in the process of culture change by experimenting with approaches from faculty training to revising curricula, and to reflect on the impact of their efforts, discover areas to improve and share results with the scientific community.
Nearly 600 schools applied for the grant, and 140 were invited to submit full proposals of how they intended to be more inclusive.
“Rather than deficit-based thinking, the Inclusive Excellence initiative insists that schools recognize that the different perspectives that students of diverse backgrounds bring to science are assets, and then discover ways to nurture their potential,” said David Asai, HHMI’s senior director for science education in a press release.