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Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholars Program at Iona

To Support Women in the Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Computer Science

CBL Scholar Spotlight

What is the Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholars Program?

The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded Iona College a prestigious Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) Research Scholars grant. This grant will support CBL Undergraduate Research Awards for women who are majoring in the physical sciences, mathematics, and computer science – fields where women have been historically underrepresented nationally. The director of the CBL Program at Iona College is Professor Sunghee Lee, Board of Trustees Endowed Professor of Science and chair of Chemistry.
The CBL Research Scholars program supports talented undergraduate scholars who will immerse in summer research projects for a 10-week period with meaningful research opportunities in the physical sciences, mathematics, and computer science. Ten outstanding students per year will be selected.

The CBL Research Scholars at Iona will receive many opportunities to engage in self-exploration and build interpersonal skills and mentoring, and will include a stipend ($4,000/summer). Scholars and mentors receive additional funds for materials ($1,000).

Female students at computers with Professor Paolina Centonze, Ph.D.

Eligible Students

Each applicant must: (1) be a female student enrolled full-time (usually applying as a sophomore or junior); (2) be a U.S. citizen or US Permanent Resident; (3) be a declared major in physics, chemistry, mathematics, or computer science; (4) have demonstrated scholarly promise with an overall GPA 3.0 or above; (5) provide a statement of their future career goals in the sciences, and; (6) demonstrate potential as evidenced in two letters of recommendation from faculty. Each student can receive an award for up to two years, but the student must compete for the award each year. Per Luce Foundation CBL Program directive, students who intend to pursue further education in the medical sciences (e.g., pre-med, dental, pharmacy, physician assistant) cannot participate.
Applications for the first round of CBL Research Scholars Program will be accepted at start of the Spring 2018 semester.

Three female students in science lab

How to Apply


  • January 2020: Prospective applicants should consult with a potential CBL mentor in the physical sciences, mathematics, or computer science.
  • February 24, 2020: Deadline for all application materials (See guidelines and check list)
  • February 25 - March 1, 2020: CBL candidate interviews

Guidelines and Checklist

  • Résumé/CV: Up to two pages
  • Student Statement: Students should prepare a concise (up to two pages) summary statement that includes:
    • proposed research goals and objectives; and
    • educational & career goals following graduation from Iona.
  • Transcript: Unofficial copy from the registrar is permissible; most recent semester's course grades must be included.
  • Recommendation Letter from Primary Mentor: The mentor should write a one-page letter describing the nature of the scientific projects, including the role and essential responsibilities of the CBL Research Scholar.
  • Second Letter: From a faculty member at Iona College
All materials should be emailed, with the applicant’s full name in the subject line, as a single PDF attachment to Professor Sunghee Lee at

Selection Process

The selection committee will be chaired by Professor Sunghee Lee (the CBL Program Director at Iona College), and will consist of the chairs of the departments of Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science. The selection committee will review application materials and conduct interviews and nominate the award recipients, based primarily on merit and promise of future careers in the sciences. The CBL Research Scholars will be officially confirmed by the Henry Luce Foundation prior to final announcement.
Please contact Program Director Sunghee Lee at for further information.

Clare Boothe Luce Program

Henry Luce Foundation logo
Since its first grants in 1989, the Clare Boothe Luce Program (CBL) has become the single most significant source of private support for women in science, mathematics and engineering. Clare Boothe Luce, the widow of Henry R. Luce, was a playwright, journalist, U.S. Ambassador to Italy, and the first woman elected to Congress from Connecticut. In her bequest establishing this program, she sought "to encourage women to enter, study, graduate, and teach” in science, mathematics and engineering." See more information on the national program.

National Science Foundation S-STEM Program

National Science Foundation logo
Iona College has been awarded funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to recruit, support and retain undergraduate students majoring in Chemistry and Computer Science.
Learn About Program

Iona Receives Clare Boothe Luce Grant

Dr. Sunghee Lab with female student in science lab
The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded Iona College a grant of $120,000 through its Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) Program.
Read News Release