AISES Awarded Nearly $500,000 Grant From the Spencer Foundation

The grant will highlight the impact of AISES on Indigenous STEM students' and professionals' persistence in STEM fields and careers
Aug 24, 2023 4:00 PM ET
logo for AISES - Advanced Indigenous People in STEM
AISES - Advanced Indigenous People in STEM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., August 24, 2023 /3BL/ - AISES is thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a large, competitive grant from the Spencer Foundation for our project entitled "Leveraging the AISES Archival Database: Mixed Methods Study on Native STEM Success." The Spencer Foundation grant will provide funding over three years for a total of nearly $500,000.

In partnership with TERC researchers, this three-year project asks the following research question: "What AISES experiences influenced persistence and success in STEM of Native students and professionals as they are related to the impact on their families, communities, and Tribal Nations and with respect to their intersecting identities?" Previous funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Spencer Foundation allowed AISES to establish an archival database of participant data spanning 30+ years. To build up and leverage this work, AISES proposed to conduct analyses of the existing archive and expand the database across time by tracking previous participants' current outcomes. This multidisciplinary research will provide an in-depth understanding of Native students' and professionals' experiences with AISES, and how those experiences have impacted their families, communities, and Tribal Nations. We believe the findings from this study will inform best practices on how to support Native students and professionals in STEM as they combat settler colonial challenges to their persistence and success in their fields and careers.

Stay tuned as we learn from this study. In the meantime, take a look at a project AISES collaborated on entitled "Native STEM Portraits: A Longitudinal, Mixed-Methods Study of the Intersectional Experiences of Native Learners and Professionals in STEM" that investigates the experiences of Native STEM students and professionals in order to make visible how they navigate, respond to, and are changed by the supports and barriers they encounter while trying to persist in STEM.


Advancing Indigenous People in STEM since 1977, AISES has focused on substantially increasing the representation of Indigenous peoples of North America and the Pacific Islands in critically needed STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) disciplines. This robust nonprofit currently supports individual student and professional members across the U.S. and Canada through chartered college and university chapters, professional chapters, tribal chapters, and affiliated PK-12 schools. Members benefit from diverse STEM-focused programming that supports careers and promotes student success and workforce development in multiple crucial areas. To learn more, visit

About TERC

TERC is an independent non-profit organization focused on STEM education issues. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, TERC is dedicated to inspiring and engaging learners from diverse backgrounds through stimulating research, materials and tool development, and professional development. Today, TERC reaches millions of learners worldwide, embracing educational initiatives in K-12 classrooms, afterschool programs, community colleges, adult education centers, universities, zoos, aquariums, national parks, and research institutions. They closely evaluate and measure the impact of STEM on learning experiences, and in turn, the people and projects they reach. TERC's staff consists of forward-thinking math and science education professionals, many of whom are nationally recognized in their fields. To learn more, visit

About the Spencer Foundation

The Spencer Foundation has been a leading funder of education research since 1971 and is the only national foundation focused exclusively on supporting education research. They believe education research is integral to improving education, making education systems more equitable, and increasing opportunities to learn across the lifespan. As a part of their core commitments, they support education research that is rigorous, relevant, equitable, collaborative, and transformative. To learn more, visit