MSI STEM Bridge Scholarship Programs

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MSI STEM Bridge Scholarship Programs

The NC State University is offering  MSI STEM Bridge Scholarship Program for the students who demonstrate a desire to pursue STEM-based degrees of relevance to NASA, inclusive of commercial space and research conducted on the International Space Station (ISS). This is a competitive scholarship program for undergraduate students (sophomores, juniors, and seniors) who attend a four-year Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) or a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the State of North Carolina identified by NASA’s Minority Serving Institutions Exchange. A list of eligible colleges and universities is provided under “Eligibility Requirements” below.NC Space Grant supports scholarships targeted to these individuals to help diversify the STEM workforce of the future. This is following NASA’s aim to enhance the capabilities of Historically Black Colleges and Universities; Hispanic Serving Institutions; Tribal Colleges and Universities; and Other Minority Universities to contribute to the research needs of science and technology enterprises.

The primary purpose of this scholarship program is to encourage talented students from underserved and underrepresented populations (e.g., women, minorities, and persons with disabilities) to pursue STEM-related research, degrees, and careers. The following scholarship program aims at promoting STEM-related research at the undergraduate level and cultivate skills to develop research proposals and competitive scholarship and fellowship applications. The scholarship grants awards to up to 12 recipients of the amount of $5,000 each. The period of performance is Nov. 1, 2021 – May 31, 2022, and the awards will be announced on/around, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021

NC Space Grant was established in 1991 and is administered at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. NC Space Grant is a state-wide network of North Carolina higher-education institutions, industries, government entities, educational programs, and nonprofit partners with NASA-related interests. These partners, and others across the state, work collaboratively to promote, develop and support space-related STEM research, education, and public outreach across North Carolina.

Brief Description

Following is the brief description of the following scholarship:

OrganizationNC State University
Education LevelFull-time sophomore, junior or senior 
Access ModeOnline
Number of Awards12
Contest DeadlineMay 31, 2022
Application FeesNot required
RequirementsEssay, transcripts, letters of recommendation

Who is Eligible?

Following are the eligibility requirements for the following scholarship contest:

  • The student must be a U.S. citizen. Permanent residents (i.e., green card holders) are not eligible to receive a NASA award.
  • The student must be enrolled as a full-time sophomore, junior or senior (minimum 12 credit hours) at an accredited Minority Serving Institution (MSI) or Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the State of North Carolina identified by NASA’s Minority Serving Institutions Exchange.
  • Students must remain enrolled with full-time status throughout the award period. NC Space Grant must be informed of changes to enrollment status.
  • The student must be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a STEM discipline of interest to NASA, commercial space, and/or in the ISS (inclusive of astronaut health). Links to NASA Mission Directorates:
  • Aeronautics Research
  • Human Exploration and Operations
  • Science
  • Space Technology
  • The student must have completed at least one year studying a STEM field at the time of application (i.e., sophomore, junior or senior).
  • Students who have transferred from an accredited community college are eligible to apply if all other eligibility requirements are met.
  • The student must have a grade point average of at least 2.8 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Students enrolled in an accredited Dual Engineering Degree program are eligible to apply.
  • Applied Health Science majors are NOT eligible for this program at this time.
  • Students may receive up to two (2) MSI STEM Bridge Scholarships throughout their studies.

Eligible universities/colleges:

  • Bennett College
  • Chowan University
  • Elizabeth City State University
  • Fayetteville State University
  • Johnson C. Smith University
  • Livingstone College
  • North Carolina A&T State University
  • North Carolina Central University
  • North Carolina Wesleyan College
  • Saint Augustine’s University
  • Shaw University
  • The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
  • Winston-Salem State University

How to Apply?

Interested students must complete an online application. The application must be submitted online and all information must be complete or the application will not be reviewed. Respond to a few questions with short, 300-word essays (provided below).

Following essay questions are to be answered as part of the online application: (Word limit: 300 per question)

  • What STEM degree(s) are you pursuing? How/why did you decide to pursue it?
  • What specific interests (i.e., subject matter, research topic, etc.) would you like to explore as part of your undergraduate academic experience?
  • How is your interest related to NASA (inclusive of commercial space or the ISS)? (Tip: Check out the NASA Mission Directorate links under “Awardee Requirements” below.)
  • What skills do you hope to gain, or what do you hope to learn, as part of this scholarship?
  • Describe any STEM-related extra-curricular activities in which you have participated (e.g., clubs, teams, camps, mentoring, jobs, internships, etc.) that have prepared you to fulfill your scholarship requirements.
  • How will your research prepare you along your academic pathway and/or future career?

Awardees are required to complete the following to receive funding: 

Fall Semester – 2021:  3 Requirements

  1. Awardees are required to attend a fall semester webinar that will feature a NASA expert and an information session with an NC Space Grant staff member. During the information, session awardees will hear about opportunities for NC Space Grant scholarships, fellowships, and internships. 
  2. Awardees are required to apply to NASA’s Fellowships and Internships program to experience the application process. Students must send a screenshot of their finalized application to NC Space Grant as verification. Please note that should an internship be awarded to the student, it is not a binding commitment. If awarded, the student must discuss funding for the experience with NC Space Grant.
  3. Note: Receipt of MSI STEM Pathways Scholarship funds is not contingent upon successfully obtaining a NASA internship since offers are dependent on the NASA selection process. Rather, NC Space Grant values the experience of applying for NASA Internships – you never know unless you try!
  4. Awardees will conduct online research about any of the four NASA Mission Directorates. The student must notify NC Space Grant about their research topic via email no later than Dec. 15, 2021.
  5. Aeronautics Research
  6. Human Exploration and Operations
  7. Science
  8. Space Technology

After awardees complete fall semester requirements, the first installment of the scholarship award ($2,500) will be released (anticipated date: December 2021).

Spring Semester – 2022: 3 Requirements

  1. Interview a current faculty member at your university who teaches and conducts research in an area of interest to you. This research should be of interest to NASA (but not necessarily already being conducted by NASA). Awardees should consider identifying a mentor for future research – a mentor is a person who can support your interests, guide you, listen to your concerns, and give you advice and many other things.
  2. Attend an early spring semester webinar to learn about developing a research proposal.
  3. Submit a final report in the format of a research proposal. The report should reflect what the student has learned from the scholarship and layout a plan for future research. The report should be no more than five pages. The final paper is due no later than May 15, 2022

After the final research proposal/plan is submitted and approved by NC Space Grant, the second half of the scholarship award ($2,500) will be released (anticipated date: May 2022).

Supporting Documents

Following are the documents that need to be attached with your application form:

  • Upload a prior academic year transcript with GPA or equivalent.
  • Have a faculty member or academic advisor at the current institution submit a Letter of Recommendation to the application system. The faculty member or academic advisor must submit the letter to the system personally.
  • Upon selection, awardees must submit an acceptance form and provide a photo and biographical information; inform NC Space Grant of any changes of address throughout the award, and respond to academic and employment follow-up surveys after the award period.
  • Awardees may be asked to share their experience in public forums, on social media, in an NC Space Grant news story, in professional meetings, etc. Awardees will be asked to collaborate on communications products with the NC Space Grant communications specialist, Lee Cannon (, both during and after the scholarship period. 


Student applications will be evaluated based on academic merit, prior success in STEM coursework (GPA), extracurricular activities (e.g., teams, clubs, and relevant work experience), faculty recommendation, interest in STEM research, and interest in NASA-related research, inclusive of commercial space and/or research on the ISS. The 12 most deserving candidates will be selected and be granted the award amount of $5,000.

Application Deadline

The deadline for the application submission for the following contest is May 31, 2022. No applications will be considered after this date.

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