Flower sprouts in the spring on campus

Institute of Diversity Sciences Awards Four 2024 Seed Grants


To support STEM research that addresses social problems that create or exacerbate inequities, the UMass Amherst Institute of Diversity Sciences (IDS) recently awarded four grants to multidisciplinary teams of faculty and student researchers through its annual seed grant competition.

IDS awarded $59,498 in total to the four teams, each of which received a grant of approximately $15,000. The winning teams, which include researchers from eight departments at UMass Amherst, will address cancer in Ethiopia, water pollution and environmental justice, the health toll that work conditions take on black mothers, and the genetic defenses that make treating cancer particularly difficult in people of African descent.

The projects funded by this year’s grants are:

Additionally, gifts from three alumni donors to IDS will allow the institute to award additional supplemental funding in the amount of $15,512 to support six undergraduate Diversity Science Fellows who will gain valuable hands-on research experience working on one of these funded projects.

“I’m excited by the range of work proposed by this year’s winning teams,” says Nilanjana Dasgupta, director of IDS. “They focus on cancer, water quality, and work – and reveal disparities in social class and race that have a greater impact on vulnerable people’s health. This work is so important. I’m happy that IDS funding allows these teams to test their ideas and advance their projects toward something bigger to attract external research grants.”

Full information about the teams awarded grants and their projects, as well as past grant-funded projects, can be found on the IDS website.