Native American Graduate Program

Research Assistantships

Funding is available to support Native American students pursuing graduate degrees. Based on our third-year experience, the institution and Native American student will jointly submit the application, allowing us to make the award for the start of the next semester.

South Dakota EPSCoR | Native American Graduate Program - Shane Starr in the Lab
Graduate student Shane Star, working with the SD EPSCoR/2DBEST researchers, Dr. Venkata Gadhamshetty (SDSMT), Dr. Grigory Serada (USD), Dr. Bharat Jasthi and Dr. M. Meyyappan (NASA), developed a method to incorporate functionalized graphene nanofillers in commercial epoxy coatings applied to mild steel surfaces to prevent corrosion and microbial attacks on the surface.

The support may take several forms, such as:

  • Traditional graduate research assistantships for research and/or teaching related to the Track-1 project.
  • Summer support for assisting with a summer institute, including teaching, assisting with research activities, and mentoring participants.
  • Work with instructors on the education component of the NSF Track-1 project, on developing and assessing STEM K-12 curriculum modules for teacher workshops.
  • Internship experiences with the SD EPSCoR office or working with other participant organizations.

Since the primary goal of the activity is to develop more qualified Tribal College faculty candidates, we can be flexible in terms of majors and student requirements. Students may be current graduate students — or incoming students — and full- or part-time students. The funding can be used to pay the student salary, benefits, tuition remission for assistantships and indirect costs. We seek to support as many students as possible so will leverage other funds that might be available to support the students.

The Graduate Research Assistantship application submission has a rolling deadline, but funding is limited, so apply as early as possible.

Recorded July 8, 2020: Graduate Research Assistantship Application Process
View a complete Zoom recording of the Graduate Research Assistantship Application Process (from July 2020) that includes more information.

SD EPSCoR Diversity Goals and Strategies:

South Dakota faces significant challenges in the area of diversity. Currently, student and faculty numbers fail to mirror the state’s population in many areas of science and engineering. Women and American Indians are most notably underrepresented.

  • Develop a mechanism for sharing successful diversity initiatives and discussing policies, progress and barriers statewide.
  • Develop meaningful partnerships between state government, K-12, higher education and the private sector to strengthen STEM education for diverse audiences and to diversify STEM-related workforce. Utilizing statewide initiatives to improve instruction for underrepresented groups and those in remote regions as well as diversifying SD’s STEM workforce.

The SD EPSCoR diversity plan represents bold, catalytic, strategic and systemic approaches to recruiting and supporting citizens of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, gender, age, economic status, and sexual orientation within STEM. With a small population, South Dakota must take advantage of all its human resources if it is to advance.