Clare Boothe Luce

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“The prestige associated with the Clare Boothe Luce Professorship has been the single most important factor in helping me to establish myself as a respected member of my department and among colleagues in my field.”
— Clare Boothe Luce Professor

Seattle University Undergraduate Research Scholar Suzi Bredberg talks to community members at a science expo.

University of Virginia Graduate Fellow in Astronomy Sandy Liss at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in New Mexico.
The Clare Boothe Luce Program


Since its first grants in 1989 the Clare Boothe Luce Program (CBL) has become one of the single most significant sources 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. Thus far, the program has supported more than 1900 women.


  • Grants are made to four-year degree-granting institutions, not directly to individuals
  • Preference is given for support of women in the physical science and engineering fields in which women are the most underrepresented, e.g., physics, computer science, mathematics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, etc.
  • Catholic Institutions with strong science programs are especially encouraged to apply (according to the terms of the bequest, at least 50% of the awards go to Roman Catholic colleges or universities)
  • Student recipients must be U.S. citizens; faculty recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Medical and social science fields are excluded


The program has three categories:

Undergraduate Awards

  • Undergraduate Scholarships cover educational expenses, enabling students to focus on their studies during the final two undergraduate years.
  • Undergraduate Research Awards support research projects with faculty mentors,motivating and preparing recipients to apply for graduate study.

Graduate Fellowships

  • Graduate Fellowships benefit recipients at the beginning of their graduate studies, when funds for independent research are rarely available.


  • Recognition and prestige: A professor asserts, "The prestige associated with the Clare Boothe Luce Professorship has been the single most important factor in helping me to establish myself as a respected member of my department and among colleagues in my field."
  • Professional development support: The substantial professional development funds associated with each professorship provide flexibility and support rarely available to new faculty members.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Program Director: Dr. Carlotta ArthurCarlotta earned a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from Purdue University, and worked for ten years in industry before completing a M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and a W.K. Kellogg post-doctoral fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health. Carlotta also taught at Meharry Medical College in Nashville and later at Smith College. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served on the staff of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Program Assistant: Ms. Bridget Talone
A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Bridget worked in arts administration and event planning before pursuing her M.F.A. at the Iowa Writers Workshop. She joined the Foundation in 2013.

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Grant Spotlight:
A glimpse inside the Clare Boothe Luce 25th Anniversary Professors Conference, held at Fordham University.

Momentum, the newsletter of the CBL program, offers a glimpse into the diverse ways in which different institutions use CBL funding to support women in STEM fields.

Mount Holyoke CBL Assistant Professor of Computer Science Audrey Lee-St. John in her robotics lab with students.