U.S. Department of Agriculture: Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program
The Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP) will provide scholarships to support recruiting, engaging, retaining, mentoring, and training committed multicultural scholars, resulting in either baccalaureate degrees within the Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Human (FANH) Sciences or Doctors of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree. The scholarships are intended to encourage outstanding students from groups that are historically underrepresented and underserved to pursue and complete baccalaureate degrees in FANH Sciences, or achieve a D.V.M., that would lead to a diverse and highly skilled work force.
In addition to coursework and related experiences that prepare students for graduation, grantee institutions will be expected to identify and develop opportunities through partnerships with food and agricultural research programs at other academic institutions and cooperate with public and private entities to ensure MSP scholars are exposed to a wide spectrum of careers in the FANH sciences.
The MSP Program will support scholarship and training for baccalaureate degrees within the FANH Sciences and/or the D.V.M. degree with Multicultural Scholarship (MSP) grants and Special Experiential Learning (SEL) grants or a combination of the two.
1. Multicultural Scholarship Program (MSP) Grants: Grants support scholars through scholarships. Applicants are strongly encouraged to propose training that will use funding to:
- Create innovative frameworks, grounded in curricula, for undergraduate and/or D.V.M. training with collaborative knowledge and technology transfer components that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries in agriculture
- Establish baccalaureate and/or D.V.M. degree programs in which scholars can pursue related summer research opportunities (especially at other colleges/universities, industry, federal agencies, or nonprofit enterprises), or other learning opportunities in relevant topics
- Offer professional mentoring in undergraduate degree programs in the food and agricultural sciences and/or D.V.M.
- Increase the numbers of students from underrepresented/underserved groups who attain baccalaureate and/or D.V.M. degree level programs with scientific and professional competencies to meet the technologically advanced needs of the 21st century food and agricultural systems workforce
- Provide leadership skills opportunities for all projects
- Develop performance measures for evaluating the overall effectiveness of the undergraduate and/or D.V.M. training that the Scholars will receive
2. Special Experiential Learning Grants (SEL): Funded activities provide opportunities for MSP Scholars to participate in: (a) research projects focused on relevant topics at institutions or organizations other than their own; (b) apprenticeships, internships, or similar participatory learning experiences including, but not limited to, practicums for DVM students, internships abroad, or externships in the private or public sector; (c) study abroad programs relevant to their majors; and (d) other relevant activities.
SEL funds may be used only to pay living expenses, travel expenses, additional tuition (e.g., practicum credits for courses that would not have been taken if not for this experiential learning activity), and/or a cash stipend for SEL-supported Scholars during SEL-approved experiential learning activities. MSP grantees are able to apply and hold one SEL grant in the lifetime of their MSP grant.
3. Combined Multicultural Scholarship Program (MSP) Grants and Special Experiential Learning Grants (SEL): Combined grants include both the MSP and the SEL components.
Amount: A total of $945,000 is available. MSP grants range up to $200,000 for a duration of up to five years; SEL grants range up to $20,000 for a duration of one year; and combined MSP and SEL grants range up to $220,000 for a duration of five years.
Eligibility: Land-grant Institutions; colleges and universities having significant minority enrollments; other colleges and universities; and institutes or research foundations maintained by an eligible college or university. Institutions that have not previously applied are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants must be institutions that confer a bachelor’s or D.V.M. degree in at least one of the disciplines in the FANH sciences.
Note: Two-year colleges that are legally authorized to offer a two-year or equivalent program of college-level studies, which are creditable toward a baccalaureate degree, may be awarded a MSP grant in cases where an articulation agreement, bridging agreement, or other type of collaborative arrangement exists between a baccalaureate-level institution(s) and the two year college. MSP Scholars from 2-year colleges are expected to transfer and complete their baccalaureate degrees in the partner 4-year institution(s). In such instances, the baccalaureate-level institution must be the applicant and is responsible for disbursing grant funds to any MSP Scholars at collaborating two-year institutions.
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