LSU McNair Research Scholars 2017 Cohort Accepting Applications



Matthew Johnson, biological sciences, and Maheshi Dassanayake, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and primary investigator of the Comparative Functional and Evolutionary Genomics Lab.LSU

BATON ROUGE – LSU University College’s McNair Research Scholars program is accepting applications for its 2017 cohort. 

LSU McNair Research Scholars is a TRIO program administered through LSU University College that provides undergraduate research internships and graduate school application assistance for students who would be the first in their family to complete college, students who are from a background of financial need, and students from ethnic groups underrepresented in graduate education.

An ideal candidate for the McNair Research Scholars program is an eligible sophomore student with a 3.0 GPA or higher interested in research and pursuing a graduate education or is currently working in a research lab and could benefit from more funding and graduate school preparation services.

“The McNair Research Scholars program has been a great opportunity to get into undergraduate research. The program paired me with a faculty mentor, and we have developed a great relationship,” said Matthew Johnson, graduate in biological sciences (May 2016). “My research focus is genomics – how genomes of organisms have evolved. I analyze genes and develop novel techniques to investigate these genes, probing specifically how they have evolved and how this applies to new plants and research. I would not be doing this without McNair and my faculty mentor.”

LSU McNair Research Scholars are provided with faculty mentorship, which provides a strong network of academic support. McNair participants have the opportunity to attend workshops designed to help them prepare to be competitive graduate school applicants.

“From earning top honors at LSU as Tiger Twelve award winners and Undergraduate Research Conference placeholders, to national recognition as first place research competitors in New York, and receiving tens of thousands of dollars in funding from the National Science Foundation and Fulbright Foundation, our students have proven they are among the most elite undergraduates in the country,” said Joseph Givens, director of McNair Research Scholars.

McNair students receive comprehensive advisement on strategies and resources for graduate school funding. McNair helps students obtain undergraduate research experience by funding up to $2,800 per academic year for research activities. Students are provided instruction on the basis of scientific and scholastic research. The program supports students in locating funded undergraduate research opportunities at other universities in the United States and abroad.

“McNair Research Scholars has introduced me to friends who have the same goals as I do. McNair is a diverse support system with students from different backgrounds all focused on research and achievement,” said LaTerricka Smith, senior majoring in political science with a minor in sociology (May 2017). “Everyone has strengths and great potential. Having and being a mentor brings out that potential and helps one transform skills. I admire my mentor, Dr. James Garand, because he shares his knowledge with me and introduces me to opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise have.”



Application details are available at

Contact McNair Research Scholars at or Joseph Givens directly at or call 225-578-4321.   

Services are FREE to program participants.

We need your help.

  • Invite us to speak with your classes about the McNair Program
  • Refer students to the McNair Program
  • Offer to Mentor a student or host an undergraduate research experience
  • Share your expertise and advice with McNair Scholars students through a presentation or discussion

We help students prepare for graduate school.

  • Faculty and graduate student mentorship provide a strong network of academic support
  • McNair participants attend workshops designed to help them prepare to be competitive graduate school applicants
  • Students receive comprehensive advisement on strategies and resources for graduate school funding

We help students obtain undergraduate research experience.

  • McNair participants are funded up to $2,800 per academic year for research activities
  • Students are provided instruction on the basics of scientific and scholastic research
  • We help students locate funded undergraduate research opportunities at other universities in the United States and abroad

We can work together.

  • Students who are participating in other undergraduate research programs are welcome to apply for the McNair Research Scholars program
  • We will provide support to your students throughout their undergraduate studies
  • We welcome opportunities to collaborate with departments and programs to maximize the use of resources and to best serve students


Since 1933, LSU University College has served as the portal of entry for students enrolled at LSU.  Academic and personal success is the hallmark of a well-rounded student, and University College provides a foundation of support services for students beginning their academic careers at LSU.  University College has two enrollment divisions: The Center for Freshman Year and The Center for Advising and Counseling.  Additionally, University College offers retention-specific programs: Student Support Services, Ronald E. McNair Research Scholars and Summer Scholars.  These academic support programs focus on particular student populations and are a significant part of the role and mission of University College.

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Contact Jacquelyn Schulz Craddock
University College


Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations