UNCG has received a 5-year, $1.15 million grant award from the U.S. Department of Education to support first-generation and underrepresented students in undergraduate research and graduate school preparation.
The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, one of eight federal TRIO programs, will serve promising UNCG students who are first-generation with financial need or members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented in research and advanced graduate studies. The first cohort of 25 undergraduate students will be selected this fall from each of the university’s colleges and schools.
UNCG is one of five universities in North Carolina to be selected for the program, and one of 161 institutions selected from across the country.
“The McNair grant will help UNCG deliver on our promise of providing both an opportunity to achieve and a path to excellence for our students,” said UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “Supporting these students in their preparation for and pursuit of graduate degrees will not only transform them as individuals, but will impact research and the generation of new knowledge. A more diverse research community leads to new ideas and perspectives, and that will fuel meaningful and exciting innovation and achievement.”
The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program was established in 1989 as a way to diversify academia by increasing the number of underrepresented students who earn PhDs. UNCG-McNair scholars will receive up to a $5,000 stipend and will participate in the McNair Summer Research Institute. Additionally, students will receive faculty mentoring, GRE test preparation and a summer course on research and writing. Students will have several opportunities to present their research at conferences across the country.
“The UNCG-McNair program is another example of how UNCG is setting the standard for student success,” said UNCG Provost Dana Dunn. “UNCG continues to prioritize what is most important: creating an environment that enables our students to maximize their potential and achieve their goals. This generous grant directly supports that objective. Our university is proud to be a leader when it comes to transforming the lives of students who come from traditionally underserved populations.”
The program is named in honor of Dr. Ronald Ervin McNair, an American physicist and astronaut, and the second African American to go to space. McNair was one of seven crew members who died during the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger.