STEM Bridge Scholarship Program
Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) provides STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Bridge Scholarships of $1,000 to students who are sophomores.
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.
- 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
- Must have a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
- Must be in a program of study demonstrating an interest in STEM and in supporting NASA’s mission
- Sophomores must not graduate before May 2024
Students who are members of a federally recognized minority, including ethnicities such as African American, Native American, Hispanic, or Pacific Islanders, are strongly encouraged to apply.
STEM Bridge Goals
Encourage students, especially underrepresented minorities, to pursue STEM careers and undergraduate research through the following goals:
- Connecting students to STEM opportunities, internships, and scholarships offered by VSGC and NASA
- Fostering participation in research by preparing students for success and bridging them to future STEM opportunities
- Retaining students in STEM through mentoring and support
- Diversifying the pool of applicants to the VSGC Undergraduate Research Scholarship program
- Provide $1,000 in scholarship support
Upon selection, awardees must submit an acceptance form and provide a photo and biographical information; inform the Consortium of changes of address, and respond to academic and employment follow-up surveys. Students may also be asked to share their experience in public forums, classroom presentations, and professional meetings. Presentations that encourage interest in aerospace careers and research to high school students are of particular interest to the Consortium.
- Attend a fall webinar with VSGC Scholarship Coordinator and STEM Bridge Mentors. At the information session, they will hear about VSGC scholarships, fellowships, and internship opportunities.
- Conduct 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 his/her university who teaches and conducts research in an area of interest to the Scholar. This research should be of interest to NASA but is not necessarily already being conducted by NASA. Scholars should do their own research to identify someone who could possibly be a good mentor for their future research. VSGC can also help connect Scholars with faculty in their area of interest and to student competitions, student flight, and design projects, and other opportunities. Awardees are required to submit a 2 – to a 3-page report summarizing what they learned during the interview and NASA mission research, and the alignment of the research interest with NASA.
- Submit a complete application for an internship through NASA’s Internships and Fellowships program (NIF) as well as the Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program (CSIIP).
Spring semester 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 will be provided.
- Awardees will attend the full VSGC annual Student Research Conference and Luncheon typically held in April. Awardees will submit a conference evaluation to VSGC at the conclusion of the Conference.
After your conference evaluation is submitted to VSGC, the second half of your scholarship award ($500) will be released.
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.
March 12, 2021: Applications are due by 11:59 p.m on this date.
Application link will be posted soon.
A printable flyer for the STEM Bridge Scholarship Program will be posted soon.