McNair Scholars

Interested in earning a doctorate?

This TRiO McNair Program prepares undergraduates to be successful in PhD and other research-intensive doctoral programs. We serve outstanding first generation college students from low-income families and undergraduates from groups underrepresented in graduate education. To learn more about program outcomes, check out our program flyer

The deadline to ensure application consideration for the upcoming year is November 1. The Advisory Board made its selections for 2023-24, but we continue to accept applications in case we are able to invite additional students. For more information about applying and eligibility, visit our application webage.  


Dr. Jordan Lewis, Winthrop McNair Alumnus

Learn more by watching Dr. Jordan Lewis' address to Florence School District 3 students on the Legacy of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, here, reading our latest Challenger anniversary letter posted here, and our Scholars' outstanding summer research abstracts and outcomes here


Winthrop McNair Summer 2023 Researchers


  • Our list of  Winthrop McNair alumni with doctorates continues to grow. Check it out here.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Chandani Mitchell and (soon-to-be Dr.) Jessica Stevens whose doctoral dissertation defenses are Feb. 28 and March 7. 
  • Our 2024 letter celebrating the legacy of Dr. Ronald E. McNair is posted here.
  • Our new G.A., Shyanne Hamrick, started in January. We are excited to have Shyanne's expertise and commitment to serving students in the McNair program!
  • Check out our update on the outstanding work of our 13 McNair Summer 2023 Research Interns and their Mentors. They presented their research on campus at the McNair Summer Research Symposium and at our national conference in Atlanta. 
  • Our Writing Specialist, Stephanie Bartlett, is offering Scholars and Alumni weekly drop-in office hours Tuesdays 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. (Zoom), Wednesdays 2:45 - 5 p.m. (in Dinkins), and Saturdays 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (Zoom). E-mail for details and the Zoom link. 
  • Read about the impressive accomplishments of Winthrop's McNair Summer 2022 Scholars and Mentors here and their abstracts here.
  • Congratulations to Ryan Carr for being voted Scholar Among Scholars by the 2023 McNair Summer Research cohort!
  • If you are interested in seeing if you are eligible for Winthrop's McNair program, please complete the first part of the application at: Dr. Fortner, the Director, will e-mail you regarding your eligibility for the program after you complete the online survey.
  • See McNair Scholar McKenzie Bennett, NSF Graduate Research Fellow, celebrated in the July 2021 Winthrop Magazine (p. 17) and in this press release. Helping Scholars secure funding for doctoral studies is one of McNair's services. 
  • Click here to read the Director's letter to campus regarding Dr. McNair's Legacy on the 35th Anniversary of the Challenger Tragedy (527 KB). Here are a couple links to learn more about and/or remember Dr. Ronald E. McNair. 


About the Program

McNair services help participants increase their competitiveness for, apply to, and succeed in master's and doctoral programs. The program provides transformational research and graduate admissions supports and professional development opportunities throughout the junior and senior years. At Winthrop, this includes, but is not limited to, a paid summer research experience; faculty mentoring; quantitative and verbal reasoning prep; writing and stats & methods coaching; graduate admissions and funding application guidance; and travel to present research and explore graduate programs. At least two-thirds of every Winthrop McNair cohort are first-generation college students who meet the TRiO low-income definition. Up to the remaining one-third of each cohort meet McNair federal eligibility as an undergraduate from a racial or ethnic group underrepresented in graduate education.

Winthrop's program is funded through September 2028 by a five-year renewable TRiO grant from the U.S. Department of Education. $272,364 in federal funding is provided each year for programming and materials that will help 30 eligible students prepare for graduate study. This represents 74% of program costs. Winthrop contributes the remaining 26% of the budget with approximately $94,930 in cash and in-kind funds.  

To learn more about the impact of Winthrop's Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, check out our program flyer or this article in the Winthrop Magazine

For a fun look at what our Scholars and Alumni have done, visit our newsletters or here.

To learn about our Scholars' award winning research, visit our summer research page, see Scholar Monejah Black's story, or check out

Useful Links 

Information about applying to the program is available here. 

Winthrop McNair Digital Commons

We continue to work with the good folks in Winthrop's Dacus Library to update our Digital Commons pages. In the meantime, here are the last three volumes of the Winthrop McNair Research Bulletin.

Dr. Ronald E. McNair Biography

Other sources of information about Dr. McNair include: His life story throughout Story Corps (Eyes on the Stars), Remembering the Challenger Disaster (, and his academic accomplishments (  

Winthrop McNair GEPA Statement on Equitable Access

Winthrop McNair Graduate Associateship (filled through spring 2025)

Winthrop McNair Graduate Scholarship