Winthrop University: Winthrop McNair Scholars - Application

McNair Scholars

If you would like to get paid to conduct research, please consider Winthrop’s McNair Scholars Program. We offer a $2800 summer research internship plus on-campus summer housing, meals, and a free 3-hour course (MCNR 300). We work with each McNair participant to identify and hire a PhD faculty research mentor in their field of interest. All majors are welcome. Winthrop McNair Scholars present their research at a national conference and many have earned national awards for their presentations. Learn about our 17 amazing 2022 Scholars’ projects here:

The McNair experience starts with summer research, but McNair support continues until graduation and beyond. Winthrop’s McNair program also pays for students’ travel to conferences and grad school fairs, grad test prep and fees, grad application fees, and more. McNair Scholars receive guidance throughout the graduate application and interview process as well as help finding funding for graduate study. Undergraduate research makes graduate and professional school applicants more competitive for admissions and funding. Additionally, being listed in the National Directory of McNair Scholars opens all kinds of research, grad admissions, and funding opportunities.One of the best parts of McNair is being a part of a cohort of bright, motivated, and supportive peers.

The deadline guarranteeing consideration this year has passed, but we continue to accept applications and recommendations for our wait list. Almost every year, we select one or more students from the wait list to join the program. Application details and forms are below.

To apply, complete and submit Parts 1 and 2 of the application and have two professional recommendations submitted on your behalf. 

    Links to the three components of the current application are below.

  • Part 2 - Part 2 includes the Applicant Form available for download at the link below. Submit all application materials via e-mail to or in an envelope to the Program office (McNair Scholars Program, 104 Dinkins Hall, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC 29733). If you are looking for ideas for the research plan, check out "Summer Research" to see examples of recent McNair research projects and awards.  
  • Two Recommendations: Ask two professional references to complete and submit the recommendation form below. At least one of the two references must be a college faculty member who has evaluated your work. 

Are you eligible to be a Winthrop McNair Scholar?

If you are interested in participating in the Winthrop McNair Scholars Program, but do not know if you are eligible, complete the online survey ASAP or e-mail to inquire about your eligibility.

Apply if you can say "yes" to all of the following.

  • I am interested in pursuing a PhD, another doctorate, or a master's degree. 
  • I am a U.S. Citizen, permanent resident, or meet another citizenship requirement.*
  • I am either or both
    • a first generation college student* from a low-income family*   OR
    • a college student from a racial or ethnic group underrepresented in graduate education.*
  • I am available to participate in the McNair summer research internship all day every weekday. The summer research internship runs mid-May through mid-July.
  • I have a GPA of 3.0 or better and am enrolled at a four-year college or university in SC.
  • I will have completed my sophomore year (at least 54 credit hours) by the beginning of the next summer.
  • I will graduate at least one semester after the next McNair Summer Research Experience.

*Visit the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at this link and this link to see federal eligibility criteria and key definitions. The definitions below are quoted from the CFR and most recent Annual Performance Report (APR) instructions found here (  

First generation college student

The term “first generation college student” means—
(A) an individual both of whose parents did not complete a baccalaureate degree; or
(B) in the case of any individual who regularly resided with and received support from only one parent, an individual whose only such parent did not complete a baccalaureate degree; or
(C) an individual who, prior to the age of 18, did not regularly reside with or receive support from a natural or adoptive parent (this third definition is added, to those specified in the CFR, from the McNair APR instructions at

 Low-income individual 

The term “low-income individual” means an individual from a family whose taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of an amount equal to the poverty level determined by using criteria of poverty established by the Bureau of the Census. See

Groups underrepresented in graduate education

The following ethnic and racial groups are considered underrepresented in graduate education: Black (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, American Indian, Alaskan Native (as defined in section 7306 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA)), Native Hawaiians (as defined in section 7207 of the ESEA), and Native American Pacific Islanders (as defined in section 320 of the HEA).

Eligible sophomores and juniors at Winthrop and other SC colleges and universities are encouraged to apply (see eligibility info below). In addition to Winthrop students, our program has served students at Clemson, College of Charleston, Columbia College, Limestone, and Wofford.  

To learn more about the program or your eligibility after you have reviewed this website, join one of our drop-in sessions or contact the program at Please contact if you are interested in arranging or attending a Winthrop McNair info session. You can also learn about the program by checking out our program flyer.

Last Updated: 2/1/23