Grants or Gifts Relating to Women in Higher Education

Here is this week’s news of grants and gifts that may be of particular interest to women in higher education.

Kaylin Hill, a postdoctoral scholar at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, has received a five-year grant exceeding $900,000 from the National Institutes of Mental Health for research into the neurobehavioral pathway from depression in mothers and birthing parents to the development of increased risk for depression in their young children. Maternal depression is a well-established risk factor for depression in children, but the genetic and environmental factors associated with this risk are not well known. Dr. Hill will assess neural and behavioral indicators of depression in 125 pairs of mothers and their 18-month-old children to establish foundational insights into the brain and behavioral basis for depression vulnerability in mother–child relationships.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst received a two-year, $650,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct research on the effects of ambient air pollution on women’s reproductive health. The project is under the direction of Carrie Nobles, an assistant professor in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the university. Air pollution, such as traffic and power-plant emissions, is associated with increases in inflammation and oxidative stress that may inhibit the establishment of a healthy pregnancy by disrupting endocrine function, ovulation, implantation, and placentation. “Around the time of ovulation and also around the time of implantation of the embryo, exposure during those points to higher levels of air pollution does seem to relate to a lower probability of getting pregnant and also a higher risk of pregnancy loss,” Dr. Nobles said.

Spelman College, a selective liberal arts college for women in Atlanta, announced a $200,000 grant from the Deloitte Foundation to provide scholarships for students majoring in economics, computer science, and mathematics. The donation to Spelman will establish the Deloitte Foundation Scholarship Fund to support 20 incoming juniors who are pursuing undergraduate degrees in the aforestated majors during the 2023-2024 academic year. Each scholarship recipient will be awarded $10,000 in installments of $5,000 per semester by the college if they continue to meet eligibility requirements. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher and demonstrate notable leadership impact, as well as participate in community service engagements.

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