Encouraging the Participation of Neurodiverse Students in STEM Graduate Programs to Radically Enhance the Creativity of the Professional Workforce

By Arash Esmaili Zaghi, PI

Neurodiverse individuals, including those with ADHD, dyslexia, and frequently co-occurring conditions like dysgraphia and dyscalculia, have unique skills that may be assets in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields such as risk taking, divergent thinking, and spatial visualization. Encouraging the participation of these students in STEM graduate programs will significantly benefit the creativity of our professional workforce, which in turn will help to identify groundbreaking solutions to the large-scale and complex scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. In addition to supporting national prosperity and competitiveness, increasing the participation of neurodiverse individuals in graduate programs will significantly benefit the well-being of these marginalized individuals who are currently highly underrepresented in STEM education.

The goals of IGE are to pilot, test and validate innovative approaches to graduate education and to generate the knowledge required to move these approaches into the broader community.

This project aims to:

1) increase neurodiverse students’ awareness of their unique strengths and challenges enhances their self-efficacy and self-advocacy
2) provide opportunities for peer-to-peer interaction enhances the sense of belonging and experience of neurodiverse students in STEM graduate programs
3) provide writing interventions to enhance their writing productivity


> Read the project abstract

> Learn more with Neurodiversity UConn page