Thank you for your interest in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Bridge to the Doctorate Program (LSAMP BD) at UMBC, part of the University System of Maryland’s LSAMP program. If you were part of an LSAMP program as an undergraduate student, you may be eligible for the BD program. The BD program provides funding from the National Science Foundation for 2 years, and the academic department provides an additional 3 years of funding to complete the PhD, pending completion of all academic requisite milestones.
The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation – Bridge to the Doctorate (BD) fellowships pay for tuition, individual health insurance, and includes a $30,000/year stipend for two years.
- You participated in a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program as an undergraduate student.
- You have a B.S. degree in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) field.
- You do not already have an advanced degree, e.g., M.S. or Ph.D.
- You are applying to UMBC for graduate school in a STEM field
Please note that LSAMP undergraduate programs do not include social sciences, and all LSAMP students are U.S. citizens and permanent residents. If you meet all of these requirements, you are eligible to apply for the fellowship.Please download and complete the application, following the instructions within the document.
Application for the LSAMP BD Program at UMBC:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: On the application, under “Application Checklist,” who should write the letter to satisfy the following requirement:
Nomination letter from a faculty member in the UMBC graduate department?
A: This letter, which can be in the form of a short email, should come from one of three people:
- Your UMBC graduate department chairperson,
- Your UMBC graduate program director (GPD), or
- Your new UMBC research advisor if you already have one.
A list of the graduate program directors (GPDs) can be found here: http://www.umbc.edu/gradschool/contact/gpd.html. The email needs to state that the department nominates you for the award, and that following the Bridge to the Doctorate (BD) award period (August 2015 – August 2017), the department will support your Ph.D. studies with funding in the form of a Teaching Assistantship (TA), Research Assistantship (RA), or external fellowship . In other words, once you have received funding from the BD program, your department needs to provide a commitment in writing for up to three more years of funding.
Please note that the additional funding for subsequent years can be set at the department’s designated funding rate which can be 30-50% less than the NSF BD stipend. Departments are generally unable to fund these additional three years at the $30,000 BD stipend rate, which is a significant award. We have had BD Fellows in the past from the following departments, EE, MechE, ChemE, Information Systems, Systems Engineering, Math, Stats, and Computer Science, so many of the department chairs and Graduate Program Directors are familiar with this process. Past BDs who have now graduated with PhDs, have had the following forms of additional support after finishing their BD terms: Meyerhoff Graduate Fellowship in the Biomedical Sciences, an external fellowship from an engineering or STEM organization (e.g., Google, NSF, GEM), TA in the department, RA with a faculty member in the department, RA with the research PI or advisor, fellowship through the department, or faculty member’s research grant. The nomination letter from the faculty member can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and cc’d to email@example.com.
Q: What do I need to do to become “certified” per the sentence under “Eligibility”: Must be certified as a participant by the applicant’s undergraduate LSAMP program.
A: You must have a letter or email of verification/certification to indicate that you participated in an LSAMP program during your undergraduate years, from your undergraduate LSAMP director or coordinator. That letter can come in the form of an email and it can be as short as one paragraph. It must come from the person who directs or coordinates your undergraduate LSAMP program. This person should be familiar with your participation in LSAMP at the undergraduate level. The email must come from the LSAMP director/coordinator of the school where you received your degree. Students CANNOT write their own letters of eligibility. We cannot accept letters from directors of schools where you may have participated in a summer program if you did not receive a degree from that institution. As an example, if you were an undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez, but participated in a summer program at Cornell, the letter/email must come from your LSAMP director at UPRM or within the UPR system. This verification/certification should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org and cc’d to email@example.com.