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CCCU and SCIO Receive $2.1 Million to Support STEM Research

CCCU and SCIO Receive $2.1 Million to Support STEM Research

December 1, 2020

WASHINGTON—The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) and Scholarship & Christianity in Oxford (SCIO), the CCCU’s U.K. subsidiary, have received a $2.1 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to launch Supporting Structures, a project designed to support and enhance STEM research among faculty and students on CCCU campuses.

This multi-faceted project will incorporate training, support, and events for faculty members, students, senior administrators, and the communities that feed into and support these institutions. It will expand research opportunities among existing, pre-tenure faculty members in the STEM fields and offer training to deepen their understanding of and engagement with issues pertaining to science, religion, and society. Additionally, the project has a specific fund dedicated to help participating campuses enhance diversity among their STEM faculty.

Not only will this project provide campuses with vital funding to advance scientific research and support newer STEM faculty in the wake of a global pandemic, it will also bolster unique partnerships between CCCU institutions and major research institutions, with CCCU faculty members undertaking research projects in research laboratories at R1 universities or comparable institutions. The project will also provide funding for campuses to establish student clubs and support undergraduate student researchers in STEM fields, as well as provide opportunities for administrators and other campus-connected communities to engage science, religion, and society issues.

“This project has significant potential to help participating colleges tactically maintain their strength in STEM amid the challenges imposed by COVID-19, and to strategically enhance their efforts in STEM for the future as we emerge out of these difficult times,” says Stanley P. Rosenberg, CCCU’s vice president for research and scholarship and SCIO’s founder and executive director. “In combining its various elements, this offers a highly integrative and structured way to pursue deepening STEM research while attending to the big questions and the wider concerns of the community. This also represents a purposeful strategy and vision for expanding STEM through the forging of strategic relationships, rather than trying to do it on our own.”

Supporting Structures is the eighth grant given to the CCCU and SCIO in the past 20 years from one of the Templeton Foundations (with participation in a further two Templeton funded projects). Rosenberg adds, “We are incredibly grateful for the trust and partnership enjoyed over two decades with the John Templeton Foundation as we work together to enhance opportunities in core research and in engaging serious issues of science, religion, and society and seek to contribute to the common good.”

The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the deepest and most perplexing questions facing humankind. Taking their inspiration from the intellectual legacy of Sir John Templeton, the foundation’s vision is one of infinite scientific and spiritual progress, in which all people aspire to and attain a deeper understanding of the universe and their place in it. They have given more than $1.5 billion to such projects in 195 countries.

“With this new CCCU project, the John Templeton Foundation encourages faith-based institutions of higher-education to contribute to the vitality of mainstream scientific research, and to invite faculty and students to embrace scientific questioning and discovery as valuable activities for religious communities, and indeed for humanity as a whole,” shares Matthew Walhout, vice president, natural sciences, at the John Templeton Foundation.

Applications to join the project will open January 11, 2021, and are due by March 1. Those who are selected will begin their activities in September 2021; the project will run through August 2024.

For more information and to learn about the application process, visit