Program Status: Closed

This opportunity is currently closed but will re-open in Monday, August 24, 2020.


The National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program (Space Grant) champions diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by recruiting, retaining and preparing a diverse workforce, and proactively engaging and serving diverse populations. North Carolina Space Grant (NC Space Grant) is committed to building inclusive research, education, and public outreach programs that serve people with unique backgrounds, circumstances, needs, perspectives and ways of thinking.

Recognizing that some students have historically been underserved and underrepresented (i.e., minority groups that are not represented in the science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) fields in numbers proportional to their composition in the U.S. population), NC Space Grant supports scholarships targeted to these individuals in order to help diversify the STEM workforce of the future. This is in accordance with NASA’s aim to “enhance the capabilities of Historically Black Colleges and Universities; Hispanic Serving Institutions; Tribal Colleges and Universities; and Other Minority Universities to contribute to the research needs of science and technology enterprises.” (NASA, Minority University Research and Education Programs, FAQs)

NC Space Grant’s MSI STEM Bridge Program aims to facilitate access to careers in STEM disciplines, and is designed to address the national challenges of attracting and retaining underrepresented, underserved, and minority students and faculty in STEM courses of study.

NCSES, 2019 Women, Minorities and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering Report


To encourage talented students from underserved and underrepresented individuals (e.g., women, minorities, and persons with disabilities) to pursue STEM related careers, NC Space Grant will implement the MSI STEM Bridge Program. This is a competitive scholarship program for early undergraduate (freshmen, sophomore, and junior) students who attend Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) or a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the State of North Carolina with the goals of:

Students from Shaw University learn about NASA content.

Award Level

Eligibility Requirements

Awardee Requirements

Awardees are required to complete the following in order to receive funding: 

Fall Semester – 2020:  2 Requirements

  1. Awardees are required to attend a fall semester webinar that will feature a NASA expert and an information session with an NC Space Grant staff member. During the information session awardees will hear about opportunities with NC Space Grant for scholarships, fellowships, and internships. 
  2. Apply to the NASA Internship program. Students shall send a screen shot of their finalized application to NC Space Grant as verification. Please note that should an internship be awarded to the student that it is not a binding commitment. If awarded, funding for the experience shall be discussed with NC Space Grant. (Note: Receipt of scholarship funds is not contingent upon successfully obtaining a NASA internship since offers are dependent on the NASA selection process. Rather NC Space Grant values the experience applying for NASA Internships – you never know!)

After awardees complete both fall semester requirements, the first installment of scholarship award ($1,500) will be released (anticipated date: December 2020).

Spring Semester – 2021: 3 Requirements

  1. NASA aligns its research and other activities into these four Directorates. The student shall conduct online research about NASA’s Mission Directorates or any current or planned missions. Links to NASA Mission Directorates

2. Interview a current faculty member at your university who teaches or 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). Awardees should consider identifying a mentor for future research.

*****Awardees are required to submit a report (approximately 3 pages) summarizing what was learned a) during the NASA expert webinar, b) by researching the NASA Mission Directorates, and c) from the faculty interview.*****

3. Attend/participate in the NC Space Symposium to be held April 15-16, 2021. There is no registration cost for MSI STEM Bridge Scholars.

After the research paper is submitted and approved by NC Space Grant, the second half of the scholarship award ($1,500) will be released (anticipated date: April 2020).

Upon selection, awardees must submit an acceptance form and provide a photo and biographical information; inform NC Space Grant of changes of address; and respond to academic and employment follow-up surveys.

Students may be asked to share their experience in public forums, in social media, in an NC Space Grant News story, in professional meetings, etc. Awardees will be requested to collaborate with the NC Space Grant communications specialist, Lee Cannon ( 

How to Apply

This opportunity is currently closed but will re-open in August 2020.

There are informational data fields required for the application, however, key application essay questions include:

  1. What areas of STEM interest you? Why?
  2. What STEM-related career would you like to have in the future? Why?
  3. How are your academic and career interests related to NASA?
  4. Describe any STEM-related extra-curricular activities in which you have participated (e.g., clubs, teams, camps, mentoring, jobs, internships, etc.).
  5. How will the research performed under this award impact your academic or career pathway?

To apply, click HERE for a link to the application system.

Request for Proposals



Sandy Canfield, Assistant Director