McNair Scholars Program

The purpose of the McNair Scholars Program is to prepare, empower, and expose academically talented low-income, first generation, and underrepresented students toward pursuit of advanced graduate degrees.

Our Purpose

One of eight federally funded TRIO Programs, the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program (the McNair Scholars Program) offers effective preparation for doctoral study to low-income, first-generation college students and students from groups underrepresented in graduate education. McNair Scholars participate in extensive undergraduate research internships in their field of interest. Currently, 152 McNair Programs are funded at colleges and universities across the United States.

For more application instructions, please view the Applicants page.

Program Highlights

  • Participate in a 10-week summer research internship program and receive a $3,500 stipend
  • Learn how to showcase your research and network at symposiums and conferences
  • Attend year-long graduate school preparation seminars
  • Free GRE or LSAT Exam Preparation Classes
  • Participate in graduate school visits, recruitment fairs, and social activities
  • Build relationships with diverse faculty, students, and alumni


Applicants Must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Have completed 60 college credits by May 31st
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 (sophomore), 3.0 (junior)
  • Be a first generation college student, or a student who is defined as low-income by the U.S. Department of Education, or of a background that is underrepresented in graduate education.

Average Cumulative GPA for 2019 Scholars

UD McNair alumni are currently pursuing graduate degrees (since 2007)

Confirmed PhDs from UD McNair alumni

Sierra Enea

Sierra Enea (2018 and 2019 McNair Scholar) was recently awarded the Enoch Lee Memorial Award. This award honors an outstanding graduating senior biological sciences major who, like Enoch, is generous with his/her time, gives back to the community and is intent on making others smile. We’re so proud of you Sierra, congratulations!

For more information, please visit

Bianca Mers

Bianca Mers (2019 McNair Scholar) was recently awarded the Emalea Pusey Warner Award from the UD Alumni Association. This award honors the most high-achieving female senior in the Class of 2020. As a recipient, Bianca’s name will be inscribed on a wall in the new Alumni Circle. We are thrilled to have a McNair Scholar win the University of Delaware’s highest honor for the best graduating female in the class. Congrats, Bianca!

For the full article, please visit

Gloria Soto

Gloria Soto (2019 McNair Scholar) was recently accepted to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Delaware. This program is ranked #1 in the Nation by US News & World Report. Congratulations Gloria, we are so proud of you!

Brandon Vance

Brandon Vance (2017 and 2018 McNair Scholar from Iowa State University and UD Ph.D. Candidate in Chemical Engineering) was recently awarded the Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. As a fellow, Brandon will receive financial support for 3 years via a stipend and tuition support for his graduate education. He will also gain access to NSF workshops for career development, access to national laboratory resources, and a travel budget to attend these activities as well as external conferences. For more information about the NSF Fellowship please visit

Kadisha Mack

Kadisha Mack (2017 McNair Scholar) is currently earning her M.A./Ed.S. in School Psychology at the University of Delaware. Kadisha won the Graduate Scholars Award which covered the first two years of her graduate program tuition and secured her an assistantship at the university. She also received the Wayne Gresset Memorial Minority Scholarship Award in 2018 from the National Association of School Psychologist and was recently honored as a University of Delaware Student of Distinction.

Jordan Spencer

Jordan Spencer (2018 and 2019 McNair Scholar) is named a Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI) Scholar. RBSI is an annual five-week program at Duke University designed to expose undergraduate students from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups to political science scholarship focused on issues affecting underrepresented groups. Jordan’s research focuses on Black descriptive representation.

Gloria Soto

Gloria Soto (2019 McNair Scholar) talks about her experiences and involvement at the University of Delaware as a student veteran.

Arif Peracha

Arif Peracha (2019 McNair Scholar) engaged in research in STAR (Science, Technology and Advanced Research) Campus, working in the Muscle and Tendon Performance Lab with Dr. Karin Silbernagel, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy.

Taurence Chisholm Jr.

Taurence Chisholm Jr. (2018 McNair Scholar) wins the Grossman Award, UD’s prestigious award honoring a senior for outstanding contributions to campus-wide co-curricular programs, as well as a high quality of leadership and organizational ability in helping plan and present programs. Taurence is currently pursuing a Master’s in Conflict Resolution at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Vanessa Santiago

Vanessa Santiago (2016 McNair Scholar) earns her Master’s of Science in Kinesiology and Health with a concentration in Health Promotion from Miami University Oxford, OH.

Rosymar Magana

Rosymar Magana (2016 McNair Scholar) earns her Master’s of Public Health from West Chester University.

Meet our Scholars

McNair Scholars are academically talented students. Our students come from different academic disciplines and are involved in various extra-curricular activities.

Featured Events

McNair Graduate School Chat and Chew

Tuesday, February 11th

The McNair Program will offer a program to talk about the graduate school process. This event will feature Brandon Vance, McNair Scholar from Iowa State University, who is currently a PhD student here at UD. No matter where you are in the graduate school process, this is a great opportunity to answer any questions you may have!

National McNair Conference

March 12th-15th, 2020

The Annual National Conference for McNair Scholars and Undergraduate Research will take place from March 12th-15th, 2020 at the University of Maryland. General Registration is now open!

Regional Undergraduate Student Research Conference

April 4th, 2020

The annual Regional Undergraduate Student Research Conference consortium invites submissions of
proposals/abstracts to its 10th annual interdisciplinary conference to be held at the University of Delaware. The focus
of this year’s theme allows presenters to consider the myriad of ways in which climate change and changing climates are
impacting Earth and influencing research and development, activism, and the decisions being made by those concerned
(or lack thereof) about the planet’s physical, philosophical, and political future.

University of MS Diversifying Psychology Visit Day

April 24, 2020

The UM Psychology Department invites underrepresented students to spend a day networking with faculty and graduate students and learning about ongoing research projects in the department. The event will showcase the values and strengths of UM’s doctoral programs in clinical and experimental psychology while also providing an inside scoop on the graduate student experience. A limited number of travel and housing awards are available.

Pacific Northwest McNair Scholars Conference

May 14-15th, 2020

A conference in Seattle, WA for TRIO students interested in research and graduate study.

UWM Graduate Diversity & Inclusion McNair Visit Day

June 26th, 2020

The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee will host its annual UWM Graduate Diversity & Inclusion McNair Visit
Day. McNair scholars are encouraged to meet with faculty and staff in their desired program area to discuss interests, ask questions, and learn about the program(s).There will also be staff-led tours of the UWM campus and a presentation about the process of applying for admission to graduate programs. Continental breakfast and lunch will be served, followed by the opportunity to take a Specialty Tour to see several other popular spots on campus.

Contact Us

10 + 9 =


Dr. Rosalie Rolon Dow

Faculty Director

Dr. Lauren Barsky

Interim Program Director

Sophia Vilceus

Graduate Assistant

Our Office

180 S. College Ave. Newark, DE 19716


Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 9-4 pm

Phone: 302-831-4396

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