Press Release

New Hub Will Accelerate Progress in Advancing and Scaling STEM Graduate Education Research

Katherine HazelriggIssued: 10-05-21

Contact: Katherine Hazelrigg (202) 461-3888 /

Washington, DC — Today the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) announced a cooperative agreement with the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF# 2105723) to lead the Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Innovation Acceleration Hub, which is designed to foster learning and collaboration among awardees of NSF’s IGE program and the broader STEM graduate education community. The Hub aims to amplify the impact of the NSF IGE grantees’ projects by providing mechanisms to support creative, widespread, and sustainable change across U.S. graduate institutions.

Over the five-year project, CGS will work with IGE grantees to design Hub activities, develop strategies for greater visibility for the grantees’ work, and engage a broader audience of stakeholders. By creating opportunities for IGE project teams to communicate regularly, the IGE Innovation Acceleration Hub will provide a platform for participants to share lessons learned, promoting scalable, successful practices within and across grantee institutions. Increasing the number and competitiveness of proposals from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), other minority-serving institutions (MSIs), and other institutions serving underrepresented populations will be a core component of the project.

“The goals of NSF’s Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) program are closely aligned with CGS’s core mission of advancing master’s and doctoral education and research, and we’re well positioned to leverage our role as a membership organization to broaden awareness for the wonderfully innovative work developed by IGE awardees,” said Suzanne Ortega, president of the Council of Graduate Schools. “We’re dedicated to facilitating the development and implementation of bold, transformative approaches to STEM graduate education training.”

The range of Hub activities will include assessment of needs and interests among Hub participants, the development of a dedicated website, workshops, and a range of activities that engage disciplinary societies and other organizations with a strong commitment to graduate education. An external evaluation will help CGS to continuously refine Hub activities to support participants’ needs and advance the goals of the IGE program.

“This cooperative agreement with the Council of Graduate Schools will accelerate national innovation in graduate education in STEM and broaden participation in the IGE program,” said Sylvia Butterfield, acting assistant director for NSF’s Education and Human Resources Directorate.  “The IGE Innovation Acceleration Hub will strengthen and expand the community of researchers, educators and administrative leaders engaged in identifying and implementing evidence-based best practices in graduate education.”

The Hub Advisory Committee members include:

  • Lisa Amini, Director, IBM Research Cambridge; Member, CGS Employer Roundtable
  • David Asai, Senior Director, Science Education, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
  • Lorelle Espinosa, Program Director, DEI in STEM Education, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • Norman Fortenberry, Executive Director, American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
  • Cynthia Fuhrmann, Assistant Dean of Career and Professional Development, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, UMASS Medical School; Principal Investigator, pd|hub
  • LaTrease Garrison, Senior Vice President, Education and Membership, American Chemical Society
  • Ann Quiroz Gates, Vice Provost, Faculty Affairs and Director, CAHSI INCLUDES Alliance, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Juan Gonzalez, Dean of the Graduate School, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Clay Gloster, Vice Provost of Graduate Research and Dean of the Graduate College, North Carolina A&T State University
  • Sara Hernández, Associate Dean, Inclusion and Student Engagement, Cornell University; Chair, CGS Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee
  • Maureen Hoyler, President, Council of Opportunity in Education (COE)
  • David Kieda, Dean of the Graduate School, University of Utah
  • Christine Ortiz, Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT; Founder, Social Entrepreneur, Station1
  • Michelle Penn-Marshall, Vice President for Research and Associate Provost, Hampton University
  • Talitha Washington, Director, Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC) Data Science Initiative


About CGS
The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) is an organization of approximately 500 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada engaged in graduate education, research, and the preparation of candidates for advanced degrees. The organization’s mission is to improve and advance graduate education, which it accomplishes through advocacy in the federal policy arena, research, and the development and dissemination of best practices.