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NSF awards nearly $3 million to Georgia Southern RaMP

The National Science Foundation has awarded Georgia Southern University nearly $3 million to launch the Research and Mentoring for Postbaccalaureates (RaMP) program. At each university, RaMP supports roughly 10 students per year in gaining full-time research experience, mentoring for potential career paths and building a network of professional contacts. 

Checo Colón-Gaud, Ph.D.

Georgia Southern’s project, Mentoring and Research Opportunities for Careers in Coastal Science (MROC2S), aims to aid those with little to no exposure to research or the resources to do so. “The target is to benefit underrepresented minority students to increase diversity in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields,” said the project’s principal investigator Checo Colón-Gaud, Ph.D.

The program’s participating students will be given a stipend for the year and should begin in August of 2024, while the remainder of this academic year will be used for planning. These postbaccalaureate fellows will have the opportunity to learn regional-specific natural resource science and participate in meaningful training with their peers before entering the field. 

“It would benefit those who are not yet sure if they want to pursue careers in natural resource science or graduate studies after earning their undergraduate degree,” Colón-Gaud added. Should a graduate not have the research experience to determine their next step in their professional career, RaMP is designed to give them the opportunity to have the experience every student deserves. 

Georgia Southern’s awarded fund will run from 2023 to 2027, and with 10 participants at a time, Colón-Gaud stated that this “significant and transformative” experience should build up the workforce. Colón-Gaud is joined by three additional faculty members as co-PIs: John Carroll, Ph.D. in Biology, Lacey Huffing, Ph.D. in Middle Grades and Secondary Education and Asli Aslan, MSc, Ph.D. from the Institute for Water and Health. 

As national funds are typically awarded to Carnegie Doctoral/R1 institutions, Georgia Southern and the RaMP program is eager to take advantage of this opportunity in the coming years. Georgia Southern is a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution. The leading higher education institution in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities.

Last updated: 10/2/2023