CSU Awarded $700K NSF Grant to Support Research Opportunities Not Available During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Grant provides post-baccalaureate research experiences for diverse students in STEM

Chicago, IL (November 21, 2022)-Chicago State University was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that will support 12 IPRELS (Illinois Post-Baccalaureate Research Experiences for Students) fellows and their research mentors. The funding will provide students with an independent, yet guided research project to prepare them for their graduate education or entry into the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce.

“During the course of the pandemic, hands-on research experiences for underrepresented minority STEM students within our Alliance were grossly limited” said Dr. Chris Botanga, Professor of Genetics & Genomics at CSU and Project Director, Illinois Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (Illinois LSAMP). “These experiences determine the best path for a student seeking to matriculate into a graduate program or join the STEM workforce. With this grant, we can ensure that more individuals from populations underrepresented in STEM will get the experience needed to be successful in their chosen career.”

As Illinois’ only Predominantly Black Institution (PBI), CSU is specialized in educating diverse students who become leaders in their respective fields. “At CSU, we strive to achieve academic excellence through innovation and student transformation,” said Dr. Elizabeth Davies, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences at CSU. This grant enables us to provide a vital opportunity to our recent graduates, and those from the Alliance partner institutions, which was not available during the pandemic,” she added.



Students who were actively involved in LSAMP programs, have earned a bachelor’s degree in STEM awarded no more than 24 months prior to being selected for this opportunity, are not currently enrolled in another degree program, and intend to apply to graduate programs or jobs in the STEM workforce immediately following completion of participation in PRELS are eligible to apply here.

Through this opportunity, students can work with a research mentor of their choice. Using the resources available at their respective organizations, mentors will provide professional development and design programs that will enable students to work more efficiently and effectively towards their STEM-focused goal. This will also include training in research ethics, policies, and code of conduct, and preparing for job fairs and networking with employers interested in well-trained STEM-capable employees.


About the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate of Education and Human Resources

The mission of EHR is to achieve excellence in U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels and in all settings (both formal and informal) to support the development of a diverse and well-prepared workforce of scientists, technicians, engineers, mathematicians and educators and a well-informed citizenry that have access to the ideas and tools of science and engineering.