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Molinaroli College of Engineering and Computing

  • female graduate student works with a robot in a lab

Bridge to Doctorate program at UofSC supports minorities in STEM

September 16, 2019

Twelve minority students will receive funding to participate in STEM-based doctoral degree programs at the University of South Carolina as part of a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The program, funded through the NSF Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (NSF-LSAMP) Bridge to Doctorate fellowship program, will be administered through UofSC’s College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). The South Carolina LSAMP (SCAMP), an alliance of 11 colleges and universities in the state, selected South Carolina to host the Bridge to Doctorate program.

The grant will assist American minority students who wish to pursue a doctorate in a STEM-related field by providing full funding for the first two years of their studies. These students will be connected with research advisors among 16 graduate programs within the two colleges and will have access to a mentoring and support network. Individual departments will support the students in securing funding for the remaining three years, with the emphasis on completing the Ph.D. within five years.

Co-Directors Michael Matthews, CEC, and Claudia Benitez Nelson, CAS, who will lead the program, wrote in their proposal about the importance of diversity in STEM fields.

“Diversification of STEM Ph.D. recipients not only enhances the size of the U.S. workforce, but also brings different viewpoints, experiences and opportunities for creativity that will help maintain the competitiveness of the American economy and solve critical questions in STEM that require out-of-the-box thinking,” they wrote.

The colleges are currently recruiting students to begin the program in the fall of 2020 and are also training faculty members to serve as mentors. Students who are interested in learning more and applying to the program should email and visit the website for more information.

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