Female faculty members from MUSC and College of Charleston receive $2.4M grant to tackle gender disparities in innovation | MUSC

CHARLESTON, SC (Oct. 25, 2022) –The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and the College of Charleston have received a total of $2.4 million in IPERT (Innovative Program to Enhance Research Training) grants from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The grant will be used to establish the STEM Coaching and Resources for Entrepreneurial Women (CREW) program and increase the number of female entrepreneurs. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The initiative is led by Carol Feghali-Bostwick, Ph.D., Kitty Trask Holt Endowed Chair in Scleroderma Research and Director of the Advancement, Recruitment and Retention of Women (ARROW) program at MUSC , headed.

Angela Passarelli, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management at the College of Charleston School of Business and Director of Research at the Institute of Coaching at McLean/Harvard Medical School, will lead the coaching. Tammy Loucks, DrPH of MUSC, science development officer for the South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute, will serve as communications director. Jesse Goodwin, Ph.D., Chief Innovation Officer at MUSC, will support the disclosure and entrepreneurial processes of inventions. Jillian Harvey, Ph.D. will lead the program evaluation efforts and Rachel Simmons will be the program coordinator.

“Studies have shown that women start businesses with 50% less money and raise 66% less capital than their male counterparts,” Goodwin said. “There are many hypotheses as to why this divide exists, and these include things like implicit bias and women’s willingness to seek funds within their own network of contacts. These are barriers to success for women who have already decided to become entrepreneurs. The CREW program hopes to address both through coaching, mentoring and other programmatic support.”

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The STEM CREW program will seek to address an imbalance in the number of women entrepreneurs in the biomedical sciences. For a period of one year, CREW participants will work with both an accomplished biomedical entrepreneur mentor and a professional coach, and participate in monthly one-on-one and group mentoring and coaching sessions. In addition, participants will complete entrepreneurial mindset surveys, an online entrepreneurship course and training in responsible research, and finally provide feedback and evaluation of the program.

“Women don’t typically advance themselves and their science as much as men do,” said Feghali-Bostwick. “And some may lack mentors. If they don’t see other women as role models and mentors in the world of entrepreneurship, they may think it’s not feasible for them to get there. We need more women there as role models to show them that it can be done.”

The program will initially focus its efforts in South Carolina, but will later invite applications from women in other states in the region with historically low research funding. Current applications will be accepted until November 30th. To apply, please visit https://redcap.link/crewprogram. Applications will be reviewed and those accepted for the limited places available will be notified by December. Participation begins in January 2023.


About MUSC

Founded in Charleston in 1824, MUSC is the state’s only comprehensive academic healthcare system with a unique mission to sustain and improve human life in South Carolina through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates more than 3,000 students at six colleges – dentistry, graduate studies, health professions, medicine, nursing and pharmacy – and educates more than 850 residents and staff in its healthcare system. MUSC raised more than $297.8 million in research funding in fiscal 2022, making it the nation’s leader in research funding. Visit musc.edu for information on academic programs.

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As the Medical University of South Carolina healthcare system, MUSC Health is dedicated to providing the highest quality, safest patient care and educates and trains generations of outstanding healthcare providers and leaders to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided in 14 hospitals with around 2,500 beds and five other hospital sites under development; more than 350 telemedicine sites with connectivity to patients’ homes; and nearly 750 nursing facilities throughout South Carolina. In 2022, US News & World Report named MUSC Health the #1 hospital in South Carolina for the eighth consecutive year. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.

MUSC and its subsidiaries have a combined annual budget of $5.1 billion. The nearly 25,000 MUSC team members include a world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers, scientists, students, partners and members of the nursing team who deliver and support breakthrough education, research and patient care.

About the College of Charleston

Located in the heart of historic Charleston, South Carolina, the College of Charleston is a nationally recognized public liberal arts and science university. Founded in 1770, the college ranks among the nation’s top universities for quality education, student life, and affordability. Its beautiful and historic campus, combined with modern facilities, cutting-edge programs, and accessible faculty, attracts students from across the United States and around the world.