Winston-Salem State University has received $2.3 million in National Science Foundation grants this year. The funds are intended to expand research opportunities for students.

The money is going to support chemistry, biophysics, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, among other subjects. The majority of the grants come from a program that the foundation has in place to directly support Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Since May, WSSU received eight research grants from the foundation. The grants will allow for around 35 undergrads a year to conduct paid research. Other students will feel the grant's impacts through classroom research projects.

In a press release, provost Anthony Graham says the grants show a growing understanding that HBCUs play a critical role in increasing the number of African Americans with STEM doctorates.

This news comes as WSSU prepares for the opening of a $53 million science building. The five-story research facility is funded through the Connect NC bond.

The university's previous record for NSF grants was $1.6 million in 2015.

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