What is McNair?

We want to know your passion.  
We are looking for enthusiastic and motivated students 
who want to take their education to new heights.  

According to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the purpose of getting your Ph.D. is to become educated to the level of being able to steer the direction of a particular field of study. Ph.D. scholars are entrusted to maintain the vigor, and quality and integrity of their respective fields. Such leaders have developed habits of mind and the ability to do three things really well:
  • ​creatively generate new knowledge
  • critically conserve valuable and useful ideas
  • responsibly transform those understandings through writing, teaching and application
The McNair program is in the business of creating new Ph.D. recipients.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education and named in honor of Dr. Ronald E. McNair who perished on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, we work with low income, first generation college students and underrepresented students who want to get their Ph.D. We’ve been working with CMU students since 1999 and are elated to announce that we have secured funding for another five years!  This means we can continue to service the AMAZING scholars that we have had the privilege of working with so far. 

We are producing new Ph.D.’s every year now and we invite you to consider pursuing this opportunity if this idea of growing your knowledge and becoming a leading researcher in your field sounds enticing to you!  We formally recruit scholars every fall but we invite you to reach out to us at any time.  We want to meet you, hear your story and help you find an educational and career path that will best fit your needs and interests.  Come talk to us!
Announcing the 2013 McNair Scholars Cohort
We are pleased to announce our newest cohort of scholars who are setting off on their McNair journey.  Each scholar is developing an original research project with a faculty research mentor and learning about the process of research in their field.  This summer, the scholars will complete their research projects and devise their plan for applying to graduate school.  Stay tuned for the McNair Fall Research Symposium to hear about their findings and see this awesome group emerge as future Ph.D.’s.
Bruce Barnes, Sociology
Amanda Clark, Biochemistry
Andy Deery, Neuroscience
Jim Dunn, Biochemistry
Matt Forbes, Political Science
Rhianna French, Psychology
Rob Fritchman, Sociology
Shantell Johnson, Psychology
Nicole Lynn-Bell, Biology
Leah Mays, Math
Ashley Pollock, Geography
Amanda Slezsak, Health Sciences
Jayson Smith, Biology
Tara Vancil, Biomedical Sciences
Mickey Wong, Linguistics