Minority Ph.D. Program


State Sloan Scholar Oralia Garcia celebrates with her family upon receiving her PH.D. in biobehavioral health from Pennsylvania State University.

Program Goal

To diversify the U.S. Ph.D. degree-holding workforce through the support of university-based efforts to improve the recruitment, retention, and graduation of underrepresented minority doctoral students in STEM fields.


Grantmaking in this program takes the form of support for the creation and administration of eight University Centers of Exemplary Mentoring (UCEMs).  UCEMs are campus-based initiatives that provide scholarships, faculty and peer mentoring, professional development activities, and seminars and other resources aimed at promoting successful completion of graduate study.

Selected through a competitive review process, UCEM host institutions were chosen based on a number of criteria, including 

  • historical success in recruiting and mentoring doctoral students from underrepresented minorities;
  • quality of the departments and programs constituting the UCEM; 
  • quality, breadth, and creativity of planned future activities;
  • strength of institutional commitment to furthering education for underrepresented minorities in the natural and physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

Almost all funds provided through the Minority Ph.D. program go directly to students in the form of scholarships or stipends.


The Foundation currently supports eight University Centers of Exemplary Mentoring at the following institutions. The Foundation is not seeking further UCEM partners at this time.

Day-to-day operations of the Minority Ph.D. program are administered by the Foundation's longtime partner, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME).


The Foundation is not seeking to create new University Centers of Exemplary Mentoring at this time.

This sub-program does not accept unsolicited letters of inquiry or grant applications. Grantseekers with a relevant project to advance the education or professional advancement of minorities or women within STEM fields should apply through the Foundation's Education for Underrepresented Groups program.

This program does not award scholarships or fellowships directly to minority students.  Graduate students interested in acquiring funding through the program should inquire with one of our UCEM partners about relevant processes, eligibility, etc.

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