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Advancing Research Capacity at High Research Activity Historically Black Colleges and Universities

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2024
41 pages

This report discusses strategies for increasing research capacity at R2 Historically Black Colleges and Universities.


This report reviews important barriers and challenges faced by R2 (doctoral level/high research activity) Historically Black Colleges Universities (HBCUs) participating in the federal funding ecosystem. The report also summarizes promising and emerging practices currently implemented by agencies to support HBCUs and offers suggestions for federal research agencies to support R2 HBCUs and other HBCUs who seek to boost their research capacity. It provides recommendations to advance the research capacity of R2 HBCUs and highlights some practices implemented by some agencies to increase the participation of HBCUs in federal funding opportunities. Though this report is focused on reducing barriers to participation in the federal research ecosystem for R2 HBCUs, its findings can be adapted to support other emerging research institutions aiming to boost research capacity, including HBCUs that are not R2s, predominantly Black institutions, tribal colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and other minority serving institutions that have been historically underrepresented as awardees in federal research funding programs. These institutions can face similar financial, infrastructure, and administrative resource barriers as R2 HBCUs, and agency best practices for improving engagement with R2 HBCU faculty and staff would also positively impact these institutions. The recommendations outlined in this report to increase the number and accessibility of funding opportunities, promote genuine partnerships, mitigate biases, and provide training and technical assistance can facilitate the success of all historically underserved institutions.

Date Published: May 1, 2024