Posted on May 15, 2021

Bloomberg Gives $150 Million to Help Universities Diversify STEM Doctorates

Azi Paybarah, New York Times, May 11, 2021

Michael Bloomberg is donating a total of $150 million to Johns Hopkins University and six other institutions of higher learning to increase racial diversity among students seeking Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math.

The effort was announced Tuesday in a joint statement from Bloomberg Philanthropies and Johns Hopkins University, Mr. Bloomberg’s alma mater and the recipient of most of the money.

Funding will also go to a handful of historically Black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions: Howard University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, Prairie View A&M University, Spelman College and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


“STEM fields play an increasingly important role in developing innovative solutions to a wide range of pressing challenges, yet STEM Ph.D. programs don’t reflect the broad diversity of our country,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement. The initiative “will help increase diversity in industries that will pioneer advances we have not yet even imagined and shape the lives of generations to come,” he said.


{snip} In announcing the initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Johns Hopkins cited a report from the National Science Foundation showing that in 2019, in each of more than 30 scientific fields, fewer than five Ph.D.s had been awarded to Black or Hispanic students in the United States.

For example, in bioinformatics, a subdiscipline of biology and computer science, Ph.D.s were awarded to one Black student, two Hispanic students, 27 Asian students and 103 white students, according to the report.


At Johns Hopkins, 11 percent of students in STEM Ph.D. programs are from historically underrepresented racial groups, compared with an average of 9 percent at other private research universities, according to the statement.