Campus News

UT Martin receives National Science Foundation grant to fund STEM education scholarships


Contact 1: Erin Chesnut

MARTIN, Tenn. – The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Tennessee at Martin a $586,000 grant to fund scholarships and academic support for students studying in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-based areas. The five-year grant is funded through the Division of Undergraduate Education: Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Program.

“I am excited about the opportunities this grant will create for our students, and I certainly appreciate the work of Dr. (Robbie) Montgomery and her faculty colleagues who prepared this winning proposal,” said Dr. Jerald Ogg, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “These innovative programs will mean better-prepared students graduating with less debt, and I am pleased the NSF evaluators agreed this would be a smart investment in our nation’s future.”

The funds will be used to help students lighten the burden of educational loans and outside jobs and allow them to focus on their studies. Incoming freshmen planning to major specifically in chemistry, engineering, geology, computer science and mathematics can apply for the grant scholarships beginning in the spring 2016 semester. The first awards will be distributed the following fall.

“One of our main goals is to increase retention,” said Montgomery, associate professor of chemistry and one of five faculty members listed on the grant proposal. “We’re implementing a STEM Academy over the summer – a two-week period where students will get extra help in coursework to fill any gaps in the academic areas. … We’re trying to create a cohort of students to go through together so they have the support not only of faculty but of other students. We want to make sure they are prepared to be successful in a STEM field.”

Students will also have increased opportunities to participate in undergraduate research and field-specific internships.

Interested students must submit two letters of recommendation from high school teachers, one of which is from a STEM area; an essay outlining their interest and career plans in a STEM area; a minimum ACT score of 24 and a minimum high school grade point average of 3.0. Students must also have taken high school biology, chemistry, and algebra I and II; those who have completed calculus are preferred.

Transfer students will also be considered if they have enough college credits to qualify for junior class status.

For more information, contact Montgomery at 731-881-7445 or by email at

Dr. Robbie Montgomery, associate professor of chemistry, teaches her students through hands-on learning. A recent grant from the National Science Foundation will allow students at UT Martin to focus on their studies in STEM areas and alleviate the stress of educational loans.


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