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Ronald E. McNair Graduate Fellowship

The McNair Doctoral Fellowship program enhances opportunities for our campus doctoral programs to recruit and retain outstanding McNair alumni from institutions across the country. The AY 25-26 McNair Graduate Fellowship is an enhancement package that may total $50,000 per student over the duration of the award.  Since the inauguration of the McNair Doctoral Fellowship program, 63 exceptional students have been recruited to the University of Maryland Graduate School.

Eligibility: Eligible candidates must be alumni of a McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, and must be a graduate student who is planning to enroll in a PhD program in the upcoming fall and to whom the nominating unit has already made a full funding offer. All PhD programs at University of Maryland, College Park, are eligible to nominate candidates.  

Nomination Deadline: The preferred nomination deadline is Wednesday, January 29, 2025.  We will continue to accept nominations after this date, if funding is still available.

McNair Graduate Fellowship Guidelines (AY 2024-25). AY 2025-26 guidelines coming soon.

Nomination Coversheet


Who was Ronald E. McNair?

Ronald Erwin McNair (October 21, 1950 – January 28, 1986) was an American NASA astronaut and physicist. In 1978, McNair was selected as one of thirty-five applicants from a pool of ten thousand for the NASA astronaut program. He flew as a mission specialist on STS-41-B aboard Challenger from February 3 to February 11, 1984, becoming the second African American to fly in space. He died during the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger  in which he was serving as one of three mission specialists in a crew of seven.

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, also referred to as the McNair Scholars Program, is a United States Department of Education initiative with a goal of increasing "attainment of Ph.D. degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society," including first-generation low-income individuals and members from racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in graduate programs. The Ronald E. McNair Graduate Fellowship Program at the University of Maryland is a Graduate School initiative with the same goal.  

Award Recipients

AY 2024-25 McNair Graduate Fellows
AY 2023-24 McNair Graduate Fellows
AY 2022-23 McNair Graduate Fellows
AY 2021-22 McNair Graduate Fellows
AY 2020-21 McNair Graduate Fellows
AY 2019-20 McNair Graduate Fellows
AY 2018-19 McNair Graduate Fellows
AY 2017-18 McNair Graduate Fellows
AY 2016-17 McNair Graduate Fellows
AY 2015-16 McNair Graduate Fellows
AY 2014-15 McNair Graduate Fellows
AY 2013-14 McNair Graduate Fellows

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