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April 01, 2019

North Park University Receives Grant from National Science Foundation

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North Park University has been awarded a $650,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to expand pathways for more undergraduate students to meet the nation’s need for well-educated scientists, engineers, and technicians.

North Park faculty members Dr. Stephen Ray (principal investigator), and co-principal investigators Dr. Eric Brown, Dr. Elizabeth Gray, and Dr. Sunshine Silver won the grant for their project entitled, Leveraging a STEM-focused Urban Industry Immersion Program to Expand Pathways for Undergraduates into STEM Fields.

“This historic award will be absolutely transformational in the lives of our STEM students,” said North Park University President Mary K. Surridge. “And it represents a tremendous amount of excellent work by our distinguished faculty. This should continue to raise the profile of our outstanding science programs and the overall educational experience at North Park.”

Over five years, this project will fund 20 scholarships for two groups of 10 students who are pursuing baccalaureate degrees in physics/engineering or biology. The project will support science and engineering students as they participate in a new urban-industry experiential immersion program.  This program includes undergraduate research, internships, class projects, job skills development, and opportunities for students to learn about careers in industry. Student cohorts will be guided by faculty to foster strong connections with the industry and to help students develop job skills and knowledge about science and engineering-oriented careers.

The interdisciplinary research team is composed of faculty from the Departments of Physics & Engineering, Biology, Psychology, and Chemistry. To win this substantial grant award, the team leveraged the momentum gained from North Park University’s recently constructed Nancy and G. Timothy Johnson Center for Science and Community Life, and the University’s newly implemented Chicago-based curriculum, Catalyst 606__.


North Park University is a city-centered, intercultural, and Christian university located in Chicago.

Christopher Childers
Assistant Vice President of University Marketing and Communications
North Park University

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