The opportunity to explore

The GRA Student Scholars program aims to prepare tomorrows workforce

GRA offers undergraduate and graduate students in Georgia a way to gain invaluable experience working in a research lab alongside a top scientist.

It’s the GRA Student Scholars program, and it recruits students from across the state for real hands-on experience in the summer.

Research has shown that diversity of culture, background and perspectives strengthens teams, including those engaged in scientific exploration.

But some groups are underrepresented in STEM field research. For example:

  • A National Science Foundation report showed that Black, Hispanic and Native American people comprise 31% of the U.S. population but just 11% of the science and engineering workforce.
  • The 2019 American Community Survey revealed that women comprised just 27 percent of STEM employees, compared to 48 percent of all workers.

The GRA Student Scholars program seeks to contribute to a solution.

A pilot cohort in 2021 allowed 10 Georgia students to work in the lab of a GRA Eminent Scholar or GRA Distinguished Investigator. See how some students describe that experience >

In summer 2022, the program is being expanded to 16 students from across the state. To recruit the second cohort, GRA partnered with The Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, a UGA-led coalition working to increase participation of students underrepresented in STEM fields.

“Our partnership with Peach State LSAMP allows us to build on the success of our pilot effort for the Student Scholars,” says GRA President Susan Shows. “LSAMP's expertise and network will help GRA extend its reach to offer underrepresented students from across the state real hands-on experience in university research.”

Details about the GRA Student Scholars program

Students who are selected as GRA Student Scholars:

  • Learn and perform protocols and tasks directly related to the research project(s) design
  • Confer with lab colleagues and the lead scientist on objectives, methods
  • Attend meetings and/or conferences pertaining to the research
  • Prepare a scientific poster of the research problem and process worked on (end of summer)
  • Prepare a brief report of the summer experience (in written or video form)

GRA Student Scholars receive a monetary stipend as compensation and, in some instances, campus housing for the summer

To qualify, students must be:

  • Enrolled in a Georgia university for at least one semester in the current academic year
  • A declared major in a STEM field (or interest in pursuing a STEM field)
  • Legally eligible to work in the United States