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Biden-Harris Administration Announces $93 Million in Grants to Support Research and Development at HBCUs, TCCUs and MSIs, and Postsecondary Completion for Underserved Students

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced today $93 million in grant awards to 20 colleges and universities to support research and development at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), and to improve completion rates for underserved students.   

The grants are being provided under the Research and Development Infrastructure (RDI) program and the Postsecondary Student Success Grant (PSSG) program. The RDI program provides funds to HBCUs, TCCUs, and MSIs to transform their research infrastructure, including strengthening research productivity, faculty expertise, physical infrastructure, and partnerships leading to increases in external funding. The PSSG program aims to equitably improve postsecondary student outcomes, including retention, transfer, credit accumulation, and completion, by leveraging data and implementing, scaling, and rigorously evaluating evidence-based approaches.  

This funding builds on the more than $25 billion in funding to HBCUs, MSIs, and TCCUs through the Department since President Biden took office. Specifically, $7.3 billion in cumulative investments in HBCUs, $474.5 million for TCCUs, and $18.1 billion for MSIs.  

“The Biden-Harris Administration recognizes the urgency of this moment in higher education and that creating opportunities for students of color and other underserved students to succeed in today’s most cutting-edge fields has never mattered more,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “These grant awards will help many of our nation’s most inclusive and diverse colleges and universities expand their capacity to drive research and innovation, and propel more students to graduation day and fulfilling careers. This is how we Raise the Bar for college excellence and attainment in this country and close equity gaps in higher education that have no place in the 21st century.” 

RDI program grants are being awarded to five HBCUs, two TCCUs, three Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and a dual HSI and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI). 

For HBCUs and MSIs, the grant will support institutions in increasing their level of research activity in alignment with the Carnegie Classification designations to move from the Doctoral and Professional Universities (D/PU) classification toward the Doctoral Universities with High Research Activity (R2) classification. It also will increase their classification from the Doctoral Universities with High Research Activity (R2) toward the Doctoral Universities with Very High Research Activity (R1) category. For TCCUs, the funds will support an increase in research activities, undergraduate research opportunities, faculty development, research development, and infrastructure, including physical infrastructure and human capital development. Because of their central role in educating underserved students, including students of color, it is important for HBCUs, TCCUs, and MSIs to excel in research activity that can impact funding, faculty and student recruitment, student research opportunities, and promote diversity in graduate students and faculty at an institution.  

Nine institutions are receiving grants through PSSG to fund evidence-based strategies that result in improved outcomes for underserved students. The funding is being awarded to six grantees that are in the early phase and three grantees in the mid-phase/expansion phase, based upon the amount of existing research validating their effectiveness in improving student postsecondary education outcomes.

List of Awardees 

The RDI program grantees are:

Hampton University (Virginia) ($4,962,986) to progress to R2 through the establishment of an Interdisciplinary Climate Science Degree Program embedded in a National Center for Climate Modeling Research
Southern University and A&M College (Louisiana) ($4,999,999) to progress to R1 through establishing multidisciplinary research centers focused on advanced manufacturing and biological sciences; executing ambitious faculty hiring and development efforts; reducing teaching loads to increase research time and providing seed funding to catalyze innovation; expanding Ph.D. program offerings in high-demand STEM fields; and implementing efficient grant administration processes to expand its capacity to secure external funding
University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Maryland) ($4,680,568) to progress to R1 through establishing the Futures Institute, which will recruit Ph.D. students, assistant professors, a proficient grant writer, and world-leading scientists to serve as research mentors for faculty and students
Texas Southern University (Texas) ($4,996,543) to progress to R1 through increasing research productivity and innovation; expanding graduate programs; recruiting faculty expertise; building physical research infrastructure; supporting human capital development; and establishing academic and industrial partnerships
Tennessee State University (Tennessee) ($4,946,573) to progress to R1 through the establishment of the Center of Biomedical Sciences to strengthen biomedical and behavioral research capacity and capabilities
United Tribes Technical College (North Dakota) ($2,000,000) to create the Research Den (Dakota Equipment Nexus) to expand and build new infrastructure; increase STEM research and research collaborations in the region, including at tribal colleges and with tribal nations; and achieve sustainable research excellence that contributes to innovation, workforce development and the economy of the region
Blackfeet Community College (Montana) ($1,999,840) to develop BFCC Access to Lifelong Educational Opportunities to increase expertise and human capital development in order to provide programs and services that are reflective of the needs of the Blackfeet Nation and support the use of Piikani-centered resources by incorporating both historical and contemporary content of education with an emphasis on Blackfeet Ways of Knowing
City College of New York (New York) ($5,000,000) to progress to R1 through the Translational Research Excellence Across Disciplines (TREAD) project, which will grow the number of Ph.D. graduates by building an ecosystem of support for Ph.D. student recruitment and success; fundraising to create sustainable fellowship programs; germinating translational research and training in partnership with industry and government; and developing a training and research program in convergence science
The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (Texas) ($5,000,000) to progress to R1 through increasing the number of successful grant proposals; increasing expenditures; supporting more doctoral students and postdocs; expanding their faculty base; and building a stronger doctoral student pipeline
California State University, Fullerton (California) ($4,997,384) to progress to R1 through increasing human capital; investing in technology infrastructure; and increasing faculty and faculty-mentored student research opportunities, and
Roosevelt University (Illinois) ($4,991,504) to progress to R2 through implementing RU Prime: Producing Research and Innovation through a Mentoring Ecosystem to initiate research clusters; add or modify two STEM graduate programs; and develop a vertically integrated research ecosystem supporting underrepresented STEM students from admission through graduation.

The PSSG program grantees are: 

The University System of Maryland (Maryland) ($3,999,582) to establish peer mentors to implement coaching-informed practices
Long Beach City College (California) ($4,000,000) to implement the Success and Completion Achievement Network to create a structured support system for students who do not enroll in college immediately after high school
Saint Peter’s University (New Jersey) ($3,844,614) to establish the Peacock Success by Optimizing Data and Support Project, which will provide team-based advising, retention-data platform expansion and training, and establish a Male Resource Center
California State University, Fullerton (California) ($3,999,436) to establish Fullerton RISES: Re-imagining Success for Every Student to provide interventions for students who are on academic notice and academically at-risk
Tulsa Community College (Oklahoma) ($3,717,502) to redesign its First Year Experience course
University of California, Berkeley (California) ($3,034,708) to provide high-need underserved students with individual success counseling, co-curricular group programming, peer mentors, supplemental financial aid, and individual counseling
City College of New York (New York) ($7,319,134) to restructure and expand existing programs, including cohort-based learning, advising, and dedicated tutoring
Colorado State University System (Colorado) ($7,844,905) to transform the system’s data strategy, develop a systemwide advising network, and expand and adapt U-Behavior which leverages retrieval practice activities, and
Georgia State University (Georgia) ($7,578,694) to integrate personalized, course-specific chatbot communication into gateway postsecondary math and English courses.