DATABASE: From Nanotechnology To Goat Fiber Analysis, HBCUs Are Producing Cutting-Edge Research

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KEY INSIGHTS

  • There are more than 120 centers across HBCUs conducting research in areas ranging from agriculture to social justice to technology.
  • Almost 18 percent of Black STEM bachelor’s degrees are awarded from HBCUs.
  • HBCUs also occupy an important space in the humanities and social justice. 

There are more than 120 centers across HBCUs conducting research in areas ranging from agriculture to social justice to technology, according to a new database compiled by The Plug which highlights at least one research center, institute or office at every HBCU that has one. 

Though they are just three percent of all the nation’s four-year colleges, HBCUs are small but mighty institutions. Almost 18 percent of Black STEM bachelor’s degrees are awarded from HBCUs and one-third of all Black students who have gotten a doctorate degree earned their bachelor’s from an HBCU, according to the National Science Foundation.

Preliminary findings from a nearly million-dollar research project conducted by professors at Howard, Claflin University and Jackson State University also show Black students who go to an HBCU are more likely to graduate with a STEM degree than those who attend a non-HBCU.

But HBCUs are not just important producers of STEM talent and research. They also occupy an important space in the humanities and social justice. 

Morehouse College, the all-male HBCU that counts luminaries like Martin Luther King Jr. amongst its graduates, has just launched the Black Men’s Research Institute, focused on taking a nuanced look at the complexities and issues facing Black men.

Florida Memorial University launched the Social Justice Institute in the summer of 2020, which aims to be a research institute and think tank focused on examining issues at the intersection of racial disparities and injustice. They have also created a program to create a pipeline to inspire high school students to eventually go to law school, and they also host an advocate-in-residence, where a local community advocate creates programming for FMU students.

Some other HBCU research centers include:

Access the full database below:

Mirtha Donastorg

Mirtha Donastorg is a corps member with Report for America and The Plug's HBCU Innovation Editor and Senior Reporter, exploring start-up initiatives and innovations coming from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as the way students are shaping the future of tech. She previously worked as an associate producer and a researcher for CNN.
Contact: mirtha@tpinsights.com