Bradley University Receives Prestigious $1 Million NSF ADVANCE Program Grant

Bradley University has been awarded a nearly $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation's ADVANCE program (Award # 2303732). This highly competitive grant is a significant recognition of the university's commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus and beyond.

The NSF ADVANCE program aims to address the underrepresentation of women and minority groups in the academic ranks, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and to support the advancement of underrepresented faculty members into leadership roles. ADVANCE stands for Advocating Diversity and the Need for Cultural Exchange.

"This grant is a testament to our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusivity,” said Walter Zakahi, Ph.D., Bradley University provost. “By investing in our faculty, we are investing in the university’s future and helping our students prepare to enter a global economy. Bradley is proud to be able to drive positive changes like this in academia."

This prestigious grant will enable Bradley University to implement targeted initiatives that empower faculty members to thrive and excel in their careers.

Jackie Hogan, Ph.D., the principal investigator for the grant and a Bradley faculty member, expressed her enthusiasm about the grant's potential impact. “An ADVANCE grant provides an amazing opportunity for institutional transformation,” said Hogan. “Of course, countless Bradley faculty and staff are already working hard to advance equity on campus. And an NSF ADVANCE grant will allow us to turbo-charge those efforts and foster a climate of inclusivity, fairness, and mutual respect for everyone — faculty, staff, and students.”

Institutional research by Bradley’s Faculty Gender Equity Task Force identified equity issues that Bradley’s ADVANCE BU program will address. ADVANCE BU is committed to creating high-impact and sustainable institutional changes to advance equity and inclusion through six initiatives:

  • The IDEAS (Increasing Equity, Diversity and Solidarity) initiative, offering a range of workshops, lectures, films and more to explore the data behind equity work and to learn evidence-based ways we can all make a difference.
  • The Advocates and Allies initiative, raising awareness of systemic and interpersonal forms of discrimination, and building intervention and advocacy skills among the faculty.
  • The ADVANCE-informed Chair Training (ACT) initiative, offering chairs opportunities to share best practices with their peers.
  • An Equity Dashboard to track and improve DEI outcomes in the faculty ranks.
  • A TPR Review and Revision initiative aimed at promoting transparency and equity in tenure and promotion.
  • A Faculty Annual Review Revision initiative to promote equity and transparency in annual review processes.

“The goal of ADVANCE BU is to create lasting institutional change,” added Hogan. “Ultimately, we aim to make Bradley a better, stronger, more welcoming place for every member of the Bradley community.”

For more information about the ADVANCE BU program or the NSF ADVANCE program grant, visit