STEM BRIDGE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) has made updates to the STEM Bridge program for the 2021-22 academic year. Interested students should contact the STEM Bridge Contact at their institution for more information. This list of STEM Bridge Contacts is included at the bottom of this page.

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Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) provides STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Bridge Scholarships of $1,000 to students who will be sophomores during the 2021-2022 academic year. Students from any federally recognized minority group in STEM and enrolled full-time in a program of STEM 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.

STEM Bridge students at the Student Research Conference, 2018

STEM Bridge Scholarship Program

Overview

Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) provides STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Bridge Scholarships of $1,000 to students attending member institutions.

 

A major goal of the VSGC is to help produce the engineers and scientists of the future and diversify the STEM workforce. While opportunities for careers in aerospace have expanded, the number of talented students pursuing degrees in mathematics, engineering, and the sciences has declined. To encourage talented individuals to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) related fields and research, VSGC created the STEM Bridge Scholarship program to help meet this goal. VSGC will award 25 new awards to sophomore students, five at each member institution.

Student Eligibility

  • 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 (College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech)
  • Must have completed at least one year of an undergraduate program and be classified as a sophomore during the 2021-2022 academic year. Students who are completing the first course sequence in their major are eligible, even if they have academic standing higher than sophomore year.
  • 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 NASA’s mission. 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

STEM Bridge Goals

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

Benefits

  • Students enter into the VSGC scholarship pipeline. This opportunity can lead to future VSGC scholarships and fellowships as well as NASA internship programs
  • Students are also encouraged to apply to the Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program (CSIIP) here
  • Students are also encouraged to apply for the NASA Internships and Fellowships program. The link can be found here
  • Students are exposed early in their college careers to STEM-related research and will be connected to faculty and students conducting research at their institution. Scholars can use this opportunity to identify research projects to be submitted for future scholarship opportunities.
  • Students receive feedback and guidance on how to prepare applications for NASA-related and other STEM internships.

Awardee Requirements

FALL requirements:

  • Awardees are required to attend a fall webinar with VSGC Scholarship Coordinator and STEM Bridge Mentors. At the information session you will hear about VSGC scholarships, fellowships and internships available.
  • Conduct some online research about NASA’s current missions or planned missions, from any of the four NASA Mission Directorates. NASA aligns its research and other activities into these four Directorates.
  • Interview a current faculty member at your university who teaches and conducts research in an area of interest to you. This research should be of interest to NASA but not necessarily already being conducted by NASA.
  • Do your own research to identify someone who could possibly be a good mentor for your future research. VSGC can also help connect you with faculty in your area of interests and also to other student competitions, student flight and design projects and other opportunities.
  • Awardees are required to submit a 2-3-page report summarizing what you learned during the interview and a summary of the NASA Mission Directorates and your research interests align with NASA.
  • Submit a complete application for an internship through the NASA’s Internships and Fellowships program (NIF) and the Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program (CSIIP).

 

Spring requirements:

  • Awardees are required to attend a spring webinar with VSGC Scholarship Coordinator and STEM Bridge Mentors. Information about the Student Conference and other appropriate information at that time, general tag-up networking sharing meeting.
  • Attend the VSGC annual Student Research Conference and Luncheon held in March/April and submit a conference evaluation.

After your conference evaluation is submitted to VSGC, the second half of your scholarship award ($500) will be released.

Selection Criteria:

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 four Mission Directorates can be found here.

 

Interested students for this program should contact the STEM Bridge Scholarship Contact (see list below)

 

STEM Bridge Points of Contact

College of William and Mary – Dr. Janice Zeman, Dean for Undergraduate Studies, (jzeman@wm.edu).

Hampton University – Dr. Isi A Ero-Tolliver, Interim Dean-School of Science, (isi.erotolliver@hamptonu.edu).

Old Dominion University – Dr. Gail Dodge, Dean of Science, (gdodge@odu.edu).

Virginia Tech – Dr. Bev Watford, Associate Dean, Equity and Engagement and Executive Director, Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity, (deuce@vt.edu).

University of Virginia – Dr. Andrus Ashoo, Director of the Center for Undergraduate Excellence, Office of the Provost, (aga3j@virginia.edu).

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

March 22, 2021 

Letters of reference due by March 26, 2021

Check with the STEM Bridge Contact as internal deadlines at each institution will vary. 

Any questions can be directed to Joyce Kuberek jkuberek@odu.edu

Please visit our other research scholarship and fellowship programs:

Graduate Fellowships

Undergraduate Scholarships

Community College Scholarships

Deadline:

March 22, 2021

Letters of reference due March 26, 2021

Application link:

Interested students should contact the STEM Bridge Contact at their institution for more information.

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