Indiana University-Minority Serving Institutions

Since 2015, a five-year, $1.66 million grant from the Department of the Navy has helped the initiative involve faculty and increase collaborations designed to become a self-sustaining and replicable model. As part of the Fully Engaged Partners component of the IU-MSI STEM Initiative, partner institutions will each annually invest $5,500 to support faculty and student research engagement, while IU and the Department of the Navy will triple that investment for a robust partnership.

That means more students from minority-serving institutions can have the opportunity to participate in a research experience where they have two sets of faculty mentors—one from their home institution and one from IU—and can extend their research throughout the academic year. Meanwhile, IU faculty will be able to forge new collaborations on research with their peers from minority-serving institutions, forming mutually beneficial relationships in the process.

Furthermore, added Yolanda Treviño, co-principal investigator of the IU-MSI STEM Initiative and assistant vice president of strategy, planning, and assessment in IU’s Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA). “Student scholars are more prepared for STEM futures because of the time they’ve spent working in faculty-mentored labs.

Initially, I was a bit nervous, because I didn’t know if the skills I had would translate to an R1. But I found out that all my skills were transferable, so it really helped me gain a lot more confidence in my skills as a researcher and helped me refine them as well.

Kristen Lewis, Ph.D. graduate of Jackson State University in Mississippi (one of the IU-MSI STEM Initiative’s Fully Engaged Partners