Women & Philanthropy at The Ohio State University


Each year, we select deserving programs and organizations to receive grant funding from our membership pool. Through careful research, discussion and leadership, we narrow down applicants, and those selected as finalists present their project or research proposal to our membership. Our members can learn about and ask questions of each partner before voting on the amount of funding they will receive. Funds are released within the same academic year to be put to immediate use for program and research efforts as well as new and innovative projects.

Award Allocation

How are grants awarded?

  1. Members contribute to the Women & Philanthropy fund through their annual membership investment.
  2. We learn about our grant finalists and what they hope to achieve through their program or research.
  3. Each member votes on how to divide funding by allocating 100 points across the three finalists.
  4. We celebrate the finalists and award grants out of the Women & Philanthropy fund.

General Overview

  • Applicants must be current Ohio State faculty or staff.
  • Grants awarded typically range between $10k-$50k.
  • Finalists are required to present their project proposal to the full Women & Philanthropy membership for consideration.


For more information about the grant process or how to apply, please contact:

Katie Viau
Associate Director
Women & Philanthropy


Fall 2022 Grant Partners

The Neurobiology of Pre-Literacy Development

Presented by Zeynep Saygin – Department of Psychology

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Photo of Zeynep Saygin

Dr. Saygin is an Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University Psychology Department and director of the z-lab at Ohio State. She received her Sc.B. in Neuroscience from Brown University and her Ph.D. in Systems Neuroscience from MIT. She is interested in the origins of the human mind and investigates how mind and brain change with experience and maturation, and how individual variability arises. She uses noninvasive MRI to build equitable and inclusive models of brain and behavior, and to predict cognitive outcome in neonates, infants and older children longitudinally across their lifespan. Dr. Saygin is the recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in Neuroscience.

Preventing Genocide

Presented by Hollie Nzitatira – Department of SociologyPhoto of Hollie Nzitatira

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Hollie Nyseth Nzitatira is an Associate Professor of Sociology (Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, 2014). She has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles on genocide and human rights, is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook on Atrocity Crimes and is the recipient of highest early career award from the International Association of Genocide Scholars and the American Society of Criminology. Dr. Nyseth Nzitatira serves on a federal atrocity prevention task force and conducts atrocity forecasting for the U.S. government. She is a research associate with Rwanda’s Institute for Research and Dialogue for Peace and has interviewed over 500 Rwandans about their experiences during and after the genocide. Dr. Nyseth Nzitatira also leads a study abroad in Rwanda and has received Ohio State’s highest teaching honor. She is the founder and global editor-in-chief of the International Association of Genocide Scholars Policy Brief Initiative and consults for several museums and nonprofits dedicated to genocide prevention and awareness.

Technology Needs for Early Breast Cancer Detection

Presented by Asimina Kiourti – Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

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Photo of Asimina Kiourti

Asimina Kiourti is an Innovation Scholar Endowed Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The Ohio State University where she first joined as a faculty member in 2016. From 2013 to 2016, she was a Post-Doctoral Researcher and then a Senior Research Associate at Ohio State’s ElectroScience Laboratory. Prior to that, she received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece (2013) and the M.Sc. degree from University College London, UK (2009). Prof. Kiourti’s research interests lie in bio-electromagnetics, wearable and implantable antennas, sensors for body area applications and conductive textiles. Her publication record includes 1 book, 12 book chapters, 6 granted patents, 75 journal papers and over 130 conference papers and abstracts. Her work has been supported by NSF, NIH, NASA, DoD, and more, and has been recognized with over 40 scholarly recognitions, including The Ohio State University Early Career Distinguished Scholar Award (2022), NSF CAREER award (2021), selected participation in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium (2021), “40 Under 40” recognition by Columbus Business First (2021), and the Buckeye Engineering Women in Executive Leadership (BEWEL) Leadership in Innovation Award (2021). Her mentees have received another 44 scholarly awards at an international, national and local level. Her team’s research contributions have been featured by TechCrunch, the Times of India, and Australia Network News, among others. Prof. Kiourti is active in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the International Union of Radio Science (URSI), and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), where she serves in several elected and appointed roles.

2022 Grant Voting Process

To vote on the funding allocated to each of the above partners, please renew your membership by December 31, 2022. To request a paper ballot, email Katie Viau at viau.6@osu.edu.

View Past Grant Partners