Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholars Program

2016-09-01 21

About the Program

Clare Boothe Luce was a playwright, journalist, U.S. Ambassador to Italy, and the first woman elected to Congress from Connecticut. In her bequest establishing the Clare Boothe Luce Program, she sought “to encourage women to enter, study, graduate, and teach” in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering. The CBL Program has become one of the single largest sources of private funding for women’s STEM higher education in the United States. As of 2020, the program has supported more than 2,800 women in STEM through a total of 807 grants to 200 different institutions, including 64 Minority-Serving Institutions.

At Le Moyne College, the Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholars program supports undergraduate women majoring in chemistry, computer science, mathematics, or physics. The program is designed to motivate and prepare high-potential women for success in graduate school and academic or research careers through engagement in mentored research, networking, and career preparation activities.

For more information about Ambassador Luce, please visit the Henry Luce Foundation website.

Current first-year students, sophomores and juniors may apply for summer 2022 or academic year 2022-23 awards; applications are due in mid-March, 2022. Please review all of the information below and contact the CBL Program Director to request an application.

Meet our CBL Research Scholars

Amber Ford '20 completed a major in chemisrty and minors in biology and music. In 2019-2020, her research investigated the antimicrobial effects of symmetrical and asymmetrical curcuminoids attached to specific linker peptides. Her faculty mentors were Dr. Joseph Mullins and Dr. Emily Harcourt. Amber is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Syracuse University.

Eva Keohane '21 completed a major in chemistry and minors in biology and mathematics. In 2020-2021, her research focused on developing a compound that can be used for metal organic chemical vapor deposition in the formation of electronic thin films. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Anna O'Brien. Eva will attend Colorado State University in fall 2021 to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry. Click here to learn more about Eva's experience as a CBL Research Scholar.

Isabela Fernandez '22 is completing a major in chemistry and a minor in psychology. In 2020-2021, her research applied principles of rational drug design in an effort to find curcumin derivatives that are effective against a treatment-resistant form of breast cancer. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Joseph Mullins. Isabela will continue as a CBL Research Scholar in 2021-2022. Click here to learn more about her experience.

Learn More

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Each CBL Research Scholar receives a stipend of $7,200 for participating in faculty-mentored research, a research expense fund of $1,500 (e.g., materials, supplies, fees, specialized software), and a domestic travel fund of $1,000 (e.g., professional conference participation, graduate school visit). CBL Scholars selected for the summer-only program are also offered on-campus, summer housing at no charge (availability is subject to COVID-19 conditions). All CBL Scholars receive special mentoring and preparation for graduate school and research careers through scholar-mentor activities, women in STEM/research seminars, networking events, and one-on-one advising.

Eligible students may apply for: (1) an academic year award that includes the fall and spring semesters; or (2) a summer-only award that includes up to 10 weeks during sessions I and II.

CBL Scholars engage in research throughout their appointment, devoting approximately 350 total hours to their project and CBL-related activities. CBL Scholars attend designated activities and events, meet regularly with their faculty mentor, meet periodically with the CBL Program Director, and connect periodically with their alumna mentor. As concluding activities, CBL Scholars present their research findings in a public venue (e.g., Scholars’ Day, professional conference) and submit a final report and personal essay to the CBL Program Director.

Faculty mentors are expected to attend selected activities and events with CBL Scholars, participate in topical workshops, and meet periodically with the CBL Program Director.

To qualify as a Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholar, the applicant must:

  1. Be female.
  2. Be a U.S. citizen.
  3. Be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate.
  4. Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  5. Have a declared or intended major in chemistry, computer science, mathematics, or physics.
  6. Not intend to pursue a career in the health professions (e.g., medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy).

Previous faculty-mentored research experience is not required.

NEW for 2021-2022! Current first-year students, sophomores and juniors may apply for summer 2022 or academic year 2022-23 awards; applications are due in mid-March, 2022. Please contact the CBL Program Director to request an application.

CBL Scholars who successfully complete the program may apply for a second award.

Up to 6 CBL Research Scholars will be selected for summer 2022 and academic year 2022-23.

Up to 6 CBL Research Scholars will be selected for summer 2023 and academic year 2023-24.

Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholars are selected based on

  1. Overall academic performance (cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher)
  2. Academic performance in major courses
  3. Merit of their research project and qualifications to pursue it
  4. Potential to contribute to their field of study
  5. Compelling goals for post-graduate study or a career in chemistry, computer science, mathematics, or physics

Preference goes to applicants

  • With no previous faculty-mentored research experience; or
  • Majoring in computer science or physics; or
  • From otherwise underrepresented groups in chemistry, computer science, mathematics, or physics; or
  • Intending to pursue a graduate degree; or
  • Intending to teach at the post-secondary level

The application for a Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholar award includes

  1. Full description of the proposed project (research question/topic, research plan and timeline)
  2. Proposed budget (e.g., materials, supplies, fees, travel)
  3. Previous experience related to the project (e.g., research, employment, activities, achievements)
  4. Personal essay describing educational and career goals
  5. Current transcript
  6. Letter of support from the faculty member who would mentor the proposed project
  7. Letter of support from a faculty member in the same or a closely-related field
  8. Interview with the Selection Committee

Please contact the CBL Program Director to request an application.

Faculty who work with or know of a student who may be eligible for this Program are encouraged to reach out and invite them to consider applying for a CBL Research Scholar award.

Faculty who mentor a CBL Research Scholar receive a $4,000 stipend and opportunities to learn more about best practices for mentoring young women in CBL-designated fields and to network with students, colleagues, and alumnae.

Letters of Support

The student’s application includes two letters of support: one from the faculty mentor for her proposed project and one from a faculty member in an allied field (i.e., the applicant’s field of study or a closely-related field).

(1) Faculty Mentors should complete this form: Recommendation-CBL-Mentor

(2) Allied Faculty should complete this form: Recommendation-CBL-Faculty


Contact Us

Dixie M. Blackley, Ph.D.
CBL Program Director

332 Reilly Hall