May 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Bloomberg giving Johns Hopkins $150 million to diversify science PhD programs

Students at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2016.
Students at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2016. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is giving Johns Hopkins University $150 million to diversify its science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) PhD programs, the institution announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: Minorities account for 11% of students in Johns Hopkins' STEM PhD programs, which is far from representative of the overall population, the university said.

What they're saying: "STEM fields play an increasingly important role in developing innovative solutions to a wide range of pressing challenges, yet STEM PhD programs don't reflect the broad diversity of our country," Bloomberg said.

  • "So creating more equitable opportunities for more students is critical to our country's future in so many ways," Bloomberg added.
  • "Scientific discovery that continually advances human flourishing and creates a healthier, safer world must be fueled by the expertise and insights of people of differing perspectives and ideas," Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels said.
  • "Yet decades of data and our own experience show the persistent truth that PhD programs, particularly in the STEM fields, do not reflect the full spectrum of available talent," Daniels continued.

The big picture: The initiative will "create new pathways for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions to pursue and earn PhDs in STEM fields," the university said.

Go deeper