February 21, 2024

HACU receives grant from NSF to transform access to research support at Hispanic-Serving Institutions

SAN ANTONIO – The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant to support capacity-building for innovative research at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).

HACU is one of eight institutions in the country to receive the NSF award through the Growing Research Access for Nationally Transformative Equity and Diversity (GRANTED) initiative. The $1.9 million grant will help fund the Visioning, Organizing, Leading, and Advancing the Research Enterprise at the HSIs Institute (VOLARE Institute).

A total of $20 million in grant funding is being awarded to institutions, including HACU, through NSF’s GRANTED initiative, which aims to provide research access support by investing in projects that have a potentially transformative impact, particularly for emerging research and Minority-Serving Institutions.

"These projects underscore our dedication to empowering institutions, fostering inclusivity and propelling the entire research ecosystem towards greater heights of excellence," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan.

The VOLARÉ Institute project, will be led by Lisa Alcorta, Ph.D., senior vice president for programs and operations at HACU. This project aims to establish VOLARÉ Institutes, a series of research capacity building institutes for HSIs, encompassing three cohorts of institutions over three years. Each Institute will span a yearlong program of activities. The VOLARÉ Institutes will train a new research workforce at HSIs in a deliberate and systematic way by offering accessible and actionable information and tools to build a strong and inclusive national research system.

“As the sole national association representing Hispanic-Serving Institutions, we are excited about the great prospects of this NSF grant award that enables us to significantly increase research capacity at HSIs though HACU’s innovative initiative, ‘Visioning, Organizing, Leading, and Advancing the Research Enterprise (VOLARÉ, ‘I will fly’ in Spanish),” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. The VOLARÉ Institute will allow us to foster a more inclusive national research community as it captures the essence of reaching new heights in HSI research capacity and output.”

The VOLARÉ Institute will build upon HACU’s strong network of HSIs to broaden participation in STEM. Its primary goals are to launch research initiatives by providing administrative leaders, staff, and faculty with a framework for conducting needs assessments and collaborative action plans. VOLARÉ also aims to create cooperative consortia among regional HSIs to share research resources and expertise. Additionally, it will offer professional development, mentoring, and coaching to help VOLARÉ institutions pilot new research strategies and build the capacity to sustain and expand expertise and infrastructure.

Unlike traditional funding for scientific research or education, GRANTED focuses on strengthening the research enterprise at institutions and across the nation.

About HACU
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Latin America, Spain and school districts throughout the U.S. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The Association’s headquarters are located in San Antonio, Texas, with regional offices in Washington, D.C and Sacramento, California.


Media Contacts:

Norma Jean Revilla-Garcia
Senior Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
Phone: (210) 576-3206 E-Mail: 


Christopher de Hoyos
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
Phone: (210) 576-3242 E-Mail: