About Us

The UF McNair Scholars Program, named in honor of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, exists to support undergraduate college students from low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented backgrounds in their future pursuit of a Ph.D.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the federal government's TRIO programs, this program prepares undergraduate students for pursuit of a doctoral degree by providing financial support, mentoring and opportunities so they can gain research experience, academic skills and strategies, and develop student/faculty mentor relationships that are so crucial for success in higher education.

To learn more about Dr. McNair (an African-American engineer, scientist and astronaut who perished in the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger), visit our About Dr. McNair page. 

What the McNair Scholars Do

In the summer, they participate in an intensive research program and attend weekly workshops on the nature of academic life, standardized test preparation, writing and researching skills, the graduate school application process, and other topics related to graduate study at the doctoral level.

During the academic year fall and spring semesters, McNair Scholars continue working on research, participate in cultural and educational activities, and meet regularly with their research mentors and other McNair staff.

All of these activities are designed to equip McNair Scholars with the information and experience they need to successfully enter and complete a graduate program.

Benefits of the Program

Benefits of the Program

  • Conduct an extensive research project with faculty member guidance
  • Receive a research stipend of up to $2800
  • Receive peer support, mentorship, tutoring, and academic counseling
  • Take courses to enhance research and writing skills
  • Resources for GRE preparation 
  • Attend seminars to prepare for graduate education
  • Receive assistance with the graduate school application process
  • Obtain fee waivers for graduate school applications
  • Present research at local, regional and/or national conferences
  • Visit prospective graduate institutions

Research Stipend

Each McNair Scholar receives a stipend of up to $2,800 disbursed over the academic year while they are in the program. Stipends will be awarded as scholars fulfill requirements in accordance with guidelines set by the McNair Scholars Program and the U.S. Department of Education. 


During our 2020 Open House, our Director Dr. Samesha Barnes Ivey presented on the essential information interested students need to know about the McNair program.

Watch the video here