Academic Partners

The Illinois Chapter of ARCS Foundation is proud of and humbled by our academic partners.  It is because of their understanding of our mission and their continuing efforts to partner with us at all levels of the selection process that we are able to find and nurture the most deserving scholars to receive our annual ARCS Foundation awards. 

An Illinois ARCS Scholar Award is a prestigious,unrestricted award of $7,500 per year per designated student that provides an essential tool for recruiting and retaining top students at our five Illinois Academic Partner Universities.

From 1977 through 2019, the Illinois Chapter of ARCS Foundation has granted 519 awards totaling more than $3,698,500.

We are pleased to share the following comments from the leaders of our academic  partners:


“The importance of attracting the brightest students into advanced graduate programs in engineering and science cannot be underestimated.  ARCS has been a pioneer in financially supporting such students as they transition into PhD programs in STEM areas at our top universities.  The ARCS fellowships provided to IIT have enabled us to retain these students in graduate school,  many of whom will become faculty at other universities and top researchers in industrial and government laboratories, thus advancing discovery and technology in the United States."

Dr. John Anderson
Former President, Illinois Institute of Technology
Click here to learn more about programs supported at IIT.

  “From energy to climate change to health care, society’s greatest challenges require scientific understanding and new discoveries. The Chicago Chapter of the ARCS Foundation has supported students at the University of Chicago for over three decades, with great impact, and the University is honored to continue that partnership to develop the scientific leaders of the twenty-first century."

Dr. Robert J. Zimmer
President, The University of Chicago
Click here to learn more about programs supported at University of Chicago.


“Research thrives at Northwestern, with interdisciplinary teams working to address some of the most significant scientific, energy and other issues facing the world today.  Fellowships from the ARCS Foundation help us attract highly gifted graduate students who will go on to pursue discoveries that will make the world a better place for all. We sincerely appreciate ARCS’ support."

Dr. Morton Schap​iro
President, Northwestern University
Click here to learn more about programs supported at Northwestern.

  “ Loyola University Chicago is grateful to the ARCS Foundation Chicago for its support for our Stritch School of Medicine students who demonstrate academic excellence and a passion for medical research.  Research at Stritch is critical to our students' education and to our efforts exploring new and enhanced ways to care for patients. This partnership with ARCS helps ensure that talented students have access to, and can participate via their research, in Loyola's transformation education."

Father Garanzini
President, Loyala University, Stritch Medical Center
Click here to learn more about programs supported at Loyola.

“The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is honored to be the newest academic partner of the ARCS Foundation, Inc. Chicago.  Students from every state in the country come to our campus each year.  ARCS fellowships will expand the opportunities we can offer to the best and brightest of these who pursue their studies in the STEM fields.  We know that this partnership will have a national impact."

Dr. Phyllis Wise
Former Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign
Vice President University of Illinois
Click here to learn more about programs supported at U of I Urbana-Champaign.


Thanks From Scholar Rebecca Barak

Thank you for your interest in the future of science, and thank you so much for your generous support during my graduate school years. I have enjoyed meeting many of you at the ARCS events, and hope to stay connected to the ARCS family in the years to come. Thanks to your funding I was able to travel to the beautiful Zion National Park in Utah to conduct field work, and collect seeds for my research on ecological restoration in the Colorado Plateau. Thanks to your generosity I was able to focus my energies on my studies and my research, and I appreciate this immensely. My immediate plans include finishing my masters project! I hope to use my data to inform species selection for restoration in Zion National Park and the surrounding areas. Some native plant species which are not typically candidates for reseeding projects may have the potential to curb invasive species, and restore native diversity. In addition, I will continue my work as Coordinator of Climate Change Education at the Chicago Botanic Garden, where I work with teachers to develop, test, and implement curriculum that addresses climate change through data analysis and citizen-science. In the future, I hope to continue to marry my interests in education and restoration from within the field of seed conservation. Thank you again, ARCS members for all that you do!

Thanks From Scholar Kevin Nelson

The ARCS scholarship program has been a critical factor for my success in graduate school at Northwestern University.  Not only did the program provide financial aid for me to continue my studies, but it also allowed me to interact with a diverse group of scientists and nonscientists several times a year.  These interactions have allowed me to keep up with cutting edge research outside of my field of study and have provided enormous insight into my own work.  Given the multidisciplinary nature of the program, I have also learned how to effectively communicate my results so that anyone from any field can understand what I am doing, an invaluable skill for any budding scientist.  After I graduate from Northwestern, I plan on continuing my career in research by studying immunology in a postdoctoral position.  I know that I will be able to take the experiences and lessons I’ve learned in the ARCS scholarship program and apply it to my next job, as well as the rest of my career as a scientist.

Thanks From Scholar Louise Giam

I have been an Arnold Beckman scholar for the past three years while working towards my PhD at Northwestern University. I feel extremely privileged to have received support from ARCS and have always enjoyed meeting the members, whether it is talking about the creative event themes, lessons learned from different industries, or how science and technology have changed over the years.  ARCS has provided funds that enabled me to attend conferences and meet peers within my field. It has given me peace of mind to focus on research without distractions and the confidence to pursue important scientific questions that my lab would not typically investigate. Most importantly, however, ARCS has conveyed the importance of bridging lab work with the community-at-large and committed me to become involved in creating opportunities for future scientists as well.