National Science Foundation Undergraduate Research & Mentoring (NSF-URM)

Increasing the Number of Under-Represented in Science

An award has been made to Tennessee State University (TSU) to establish a URM program in order to significantly increase the number of under-represented minority students who are prepared for, and motivated to, pursue graduate studies in Ecology and Environmental Science. A cohort consisting of six students will be recruited each year in the first three years of the grant, and NSF funds will be used to support each undergraduate participant for a total of two years.

Over the 4-year period of the grant, a total of eighteen students will participate in the program. The TSU URM program involves an intensive year-round research training and mentoring for undergraduates. At least six faculty members from three departments at TSU will serve as mentors and engage the students in research in a wide-range of ecological and environmental disciplines, including global change ecology, microbial ecology, environmental biology, water quality, bio/phytoremediation, and ecological modeling.

Students will be paired with faculty mentors, who will provide them guidance at all stages of their laboratory research. In addition, the participants will be prepared for graduate school through activities that include GRE preparation and enhancement of communication skills, both oral and written. Students will also be encouraged to spend a summer at one of the research-intensive universities (such as NSF REU sites), to enhance their experience in research. Students are also expected to present their work at a scientific meeting.

webpage contact: