STEM Bridge Scholarships

Virginia Space Grant Consortium provides STEM Bridge Scholarships of $1,000 to students who will be sophomores or juniors. Students from any federally recognized minority group in STEM enrolled full-time in a STEM program at one of the five Virginia Space Grant member universities are strongly encouraged to apply. Allied Health Science majors are not eligible for this program.

Applications: Due March 8

Students who apply must be a sophomore or junior year at one of our member universities (HU, ODU, UVA, VT, W&M) during their award period. This is a competitive scholarship program funded by NASA and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Awards are one-year, non-renewable scholarships. 

Encourage students, especially underrepresented minorities, to pursue STEM careers and undergraduate research through the following goals:

  • Connect students to STEM opportunities, internships, and scholarships offered by VSGC and NASA
  • Foster participation in research by preparing students for success and bridging them to future STEM opportunities
  • Retain students in STEM through mentoring and support
  • Diversify the pool of applicants to the VSGC Undergraduate Research Scholarship program
  • Provide $1,000 in scholarship support
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be enrolled as a full-time student (minimum 12 credit hours) at one of the five Virginia Space Grant Consortium member institutions (William & Mary, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech)
  • At the beginning of the next academic year, awardees must have completed the first-course sequence of their STEM major and have at least two years of study remaining before graduation 
  • Must have a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Must be in a STEM major and demonstrate an interest in STEM and in supporting one of NASA’s mission directorates. STEM majors include science, technology, engineering, math, and related disciplines. The following majors are not the target of this scholarship: psychology (except for human factors), business, and applied health sciences.

Students who are members of a federally recognized minority, including ethnicities such as African American, Native American, Hispanic, or Pacific Islanders, and female students are strongly encouraged to apply

VSGC established this program to promote STEM-related careers and research at the undergraduate level and to serve as a bridge to VSGC’s Undergraduate Research Scholarship and Graduate Research Fellowship and other NASA related programs.

  • Awardees should have an academic background that demonstrates a strong interest and ability in science, math, and technology reflected by completion of a significant number of these courses with high achievement.
  •  The student should have the necessary academic coursework and preparation to be successful in a STEM major at the institution.
  • Awardees should also possess a strong interest in a STEM-related career demonstrated by participation in extracurricular activities and prior school projects in STEM.

Prior participation in research, NASA programs or similar STEM-related educational programs, both formal and informal, would also indicate the student has a good chance of sustaining interest in STEM. Student applications will be judged based on academic merit, background, faculty recommendation and demonstrated interest in NASA and a career in STEM. More information about NASA’s Mission Directorates can be found here.

Fall requirements:

  • Attend a fall webinar with VSGC scholarship coordinator and STEM Bridge mentors.
  • Interview a current faculty member at their university who teaches and conducts research in an area of interest to the scholar. Scholars should interview someone who could be a good faculty mentor for their future research.
  • Awardees are required to submit a one-page report summarizing what they learned during the interview and the alignment of the research interest with one of NASA’s mission directorates.
  • The first half of your scholarship award ($500) will be released.

Spring requirements:

  • Attend the Student Research Conference in April.
  • Awardees are invited to attend an optional spring webinar with the VSGC scholarship coordinator. Information about the Student Research Conference and other appropriate information will be provided.
  • The second half of your scholarship award ($500) will be released to you at the mandatory Student Research Conference.