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Larry MacIntyre
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, December 16, 2004

Lilly Endowment Inc. awards Indiana University $26 million grant

Grant is part of an initiative to expand intellectual capital at the state's colleges and universities

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Adam W. Herbert announced Wednesday that the Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded the institution a $26 million grant as part of an initiative to expand intellectual capital at the state's colleges and universities.

The money will be used for these purposes:

  • $10 million to recruit six of the nation's leading neuroscience researchers for IU Presidential Life Science Professorships, of which three will be at the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis and three at the College of Arts and Sciences in Bloomington. The intent is to raise neuroscience research at IU to international prominence.
  • $10 million to endow a merit-based Hoosier Presidential Scholars program that will attract 30 to 40 more of Indiana's top achieving high school students to IU each year.
  • $5 million for an arts and humanities program to assist in the creation of new musical compositions and works of art, special conferences and workshops, master classes and visits by international scholars and performers.
  • $1 million to support associated activities in furtherance of the initiative's goals and objectives.

Photo by: Chris Meyer

Herbert said the grant corresponds with three of the strategic priorities he has laid out for the university -- attracting more of Indiana's highest achieving high school students, making IU a recognized national leader in life sciences teaching and research, and maintaining IU's preeminent position in the arts and humanities.

"This grant will serve as a catalyst for expanded efforts to achieve the high institutional aspirations we have established in these areas of strategic priority," Herbert said. "We are very grateful to the Lilly Endowment for recognizing the promise offered by these initiatives and providing such a generous level of support for them."

The merit-based scholarship program will enable IU to attract even more of the Hoosier State's top achievers in high school. It will be known as the Hoosier Presidential Scholars Program.

Revenue from the $10 million scholarship endowment will establish at least 30 to 40 four-year scholarships each year. The monies from the endowment will be matched two-to-one by the university. In addition, each student will receive a new laptop computer in the first year of study and an International Study Abroad award during either the junior or senior year.

"We believe this program will provide an extraordinary opportunity for some of Indiana's best and brightest students," Herbert said. "It gives them several important advantages, including immediate access to IU's state of the art information technology, the opportunity for international travel, and exposure to distinguished scholars and academic leaders."

Progress and activities of Presidential Scholars will be closely followed. They will meet with President Herbert once a year and be offered regular opportunities to visit with campus chancellors, university vice presidents, nationally acclaimed speakers and special guests of the university.

This program will be in addition to the Wells Scholars and Kelley Scholars programs on the Bloomington campus, and the Bepko Scholars program on the IUPUI campus.

The neuroscience research grant will enable IU to enhance its basic and clinical neuroscience research and training. The IU School of Medicine and the College of Arts and Sciences will coordinate efforts to establish six Indiana University Presidential Life Sciences Professorships. Each will receive a start-up package to be used for establishing and equipping world-class laboratories and hiring staff and research assistants.

These research laboratories will focus on specific areas of neuroscience identified by BioCrossroads as having great potential for economic development in Central Indiana, according to Kumble R. Subbaswamy, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (COAS). These are diagnostics, pharmacotherapies, developmental neurobiology and substance abuse.

Dr. Craig D. Brater, dean of the IU School of Medicine, said this level of funding will attract leading researchers who will strengthen IU's research and teaching capabilities for neuroscience. These professorships will bring research leaders to the university in such key areas as molecular neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, neuro-imaging, neural modeling and informatics, and neuropharmacology.

"We are very excited about this funding from Lilly Endowment," Dr. Brater said. "It supports our commitment to the neurosciences at IU as a part of the life sciences initiative in Indiana and will strengthen an already powerful group of investigators on our faculty."

This funding will complement the on-going expansion of life sciences research being funded by previous grants from the endowment totaling $155 million that are being used for the Indiana Genomics Initiative (INGEN).

"IU has a long and distinguished history of research in molecular biology, genetics and analytic chemistry, which are the foundations of modern advances in the life sciences," Herbert said. "These additions will take us further toward our goal of transforming this university into one of the great centers of life science research in the world -- from the theoretical to the applied."

The arts and humanities initiative is intended to expand research and scholastic activities that chart new directions in human creativity. Over the next five years the grant will provide $1 million annually for this purpose.

Herbert said this funding will enable IU to maintain its preeminence in the arts and humanities.

"The Indiana University community embraces the conviction that studying music, foreign languages, history, drama, art, philosophy and literature is fundamental to knowing oneself, to deepening our understanding of the human condition and to living well," Herbert said.

The program will provide grants which will support the development of musical compositions and other artistic creations; provide funding for workshops, small specialist conferences and master classes; support extended visits to IU by visiting scholars and performers; and assist in expenses associated with national and international travel for IU scholars and researchers.

The program will be overseen in COAS by Subbaswamy.

"The combined strength in arts and humanities on all the IU campuses contributes significantly to the quality of life in the state," Subbaswamy said. "As federal support for artists and humanities scholars has declined, universities feel challenged to maintain this cultural capital. Funds from this Lilly Endowment grant will serve to re-energize the arts and humanities at IU through supporting the creation of new musical compositions, new works of art, and new creative and scholarly endeavors."

As one of the cultural centers of Indiana, the Bloomington campus will be the site of a series of conferences, workshops and performances involving both university faculty and visiting artists and scholars from throughout the world.

The Lilly Endowment's grant was part of a $100 million state-wide initiative involving 37 colleges and universities. This effort is entitled, "Initiative to Recruit and Retain Intellectual Capital for Indiana Higher Education Institutions." A total of 37 schools were recipients of grant money.

"We believe that the creative enthusiasm that bright and open minds bring to classrooms and laboratories and community settings can profoundly advance the schools' pursuit of excellence," said Sara B. Cobb, Endowment Vice President for Education.

Cobb stated that the endowment will enhance existing efforts "to form a critical mass of excellence and innovation that will continue to build momentum -- enhancing the reputation of Indiana and improving the quality of life of Indiana citizens in the years ahead."