The McNair Scholars Program is looking for first-generation college students interested in graduate school, and qualified potential student researchers must turn in their applications by Nov. 15.
The program is designed to provide qualified first-generation college students with effective preparation for doctoral study. It gives its scholars access toÂ a research institute, faculty mentors, funds for conference travel and advising for graduate school admission.
“We work with students who are interested going on graduate school,” said Hilary Simpson, assistant director of the McNair Scholars Program. “We’re a federally funded program.”
To apply, students must have 3.0 minimum grade point average, U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, meet federal low-income guidelines and be in the first generation in their family to complete a bachelor’s degree or be a member of a group that is underrepresented in graduate education.
Research is one of the main elements of the McNair Program. The scholars must learn research methodology preparation, complete a research internship, attend a skills-building seminar and prepare for graduate school admission.
Scholars will be doing their paid research during the summer, Simpson said.
“They get to do a summer research institute,” she said. “After their summer research over, we also help them go to conferences and present.”
The federal government began the program to help increase the diversity in graduate programs and academia.
“In United States about 60 percent of professors across nation are still Caucasian,” Simpson said. “Our No. 1 goal is to increase diversity in graduate school.”
Students who are interest in the program have to get an application packet from the McNair Program office, submit a 300-word essay including the criteria supplied in the application and submit two recommendations from faculty.