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UMD receives $1.65M grant from the Department of Education for Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

The competitive program grant renewal has been awarded every five years since 1990, aimed at preparing traditionally underrepresented students to pursue careers in academia


Media Relations

image ofA Ap Student in Chemistry Lab

COLLEGE PARK, Md – The University of Maryland’s Office of Undergraduate Studies’ Academic Achievement Programs, was awarded a $1.65M grant renewal from the Department of Education to continue funding for the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program.

Also known as the McNair Scholars Program, one of five Academic Achievement Programs’ five Federal TriO grant programs, it has been within the Office of Undergraduate Studies for more than 30 years. The program is designed to prepare students who are primarily from low-income, first-generation, and traditionally underrepresented groups to pursue doctoral studies and careers in academia and research.

The grant was first introduced in 1990 by Dr. Jerry Lewis, Executive Director of Academic Achievement Programs, where it won funding by the United States Department of Education. Every five years since, the grant (amongst others) competes in the national arena for refunding. The grant has successfully won refunding every five years since its inception.

“The McNair program has been incredibly important for our students and faculty,” said Associate Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Studies William A. Cohen. “Providing pathways to diversify academic and research institutions is a paramount goal at the University of Maryland. By creating new opportunities for underserved and underrepresented students to thrive and meet their professional aspirations, this grant enables us to build on our core values by improving and expanding higher education and research.”

The program facilitates undergraduate students pursuing their master’s and Ph.D. goals, helping to pave the way for an inclusive and richly diverse academic community in the future. Roughly 30-35 students each year receive two years of preparation, working hand-in-hand with faculty mentors, along with a six-week hands-on summer research internship with faculty. Approximately sixty percent of McNair Scholar graduates enroll in master’s and doctoral programs of study each year. This summer, the McNair Program made its fourth visit to Ghana with 8 McNair Scholars and two non-scholars, as part of the Academic Achievement Programs’ Educational Abroad Study Course-Corporate Social Responsibility and Educational Equity Post COVID-19 pandemic.

“The McNair Scholars Program has been a beacon of support for the many talented and deserving students in our community,” said Dr. Lewis. “Our grant renewal will allow our students to continue to reach new heights and help build a pool of rich, diverse, and inclusive faculty and researchers who will help to improve educational equity in the future.”

For more information about the program, please visit


Academic Achievement Programs Grant / Fund

Areas of Expertise:

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Colleges and Schools:

Office of Undergraduate Studies

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