Pair of National Science Foundation grants to help fund FIU STEM scholarships

by | Oct 24, 2022

  • A pair of grants awarded to Florida International University (FIU) by the National Science Foundation will help subsidize scholarship and curriculum costs to promote diversity in the STEM workforce 
  • The first grant aims to elevate STEM workforce assimilation to a status of national priority, filling preexisting vacancy gaps hindering technological progression 
  • The second helps provide scholarships to graduate students from underrepresented communities, also granting access to artificial intelligence software to help bolster research efforts

A pair of grants awarded totaling more than $2.5 million was awarded to Florida International University this week to help fund scholarships for students pursuing degrees in math and science fields.

The first grant, of $1.5 million, is part of the National Science Foundation Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program, which aims to elevate STEM workforce assimilation to national priority status.

Supplementing the scholarships, the program sponsors curricular and co-curricular activities promoting student success leading to graduation and future careers within the STEM workforce.

“This approach will promote camaraderie and cohesiveness that will make the students’ own successes a team endeavor,” said Svetlana Roudenko, Director of the FIU Joint Applied Math and Statistics Scholarship program.

The second grant, worth $1.075 million, is being utilized to support minority STEM students through graduate studies in an effort to facilitate diversity in science and technology avenues.

Also coming from the National Science Foundation as part of its Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation program, the funding will help provide students in FIU’s Bridge to the Doctorate program exposure to artificial intelligence that they can incorporate into research.

“The more diverse our graduate population is, the more perspectives we have,” explains Lidia Kos, associate dean of FIU’s University Graduate School, professor of biology, and co-director of the LSAMP program. “People coming from different backgrounds, from different cultures, always bring new ideas.”

The university states that the funding will cover educational costs for twelve students but will go even further and themselves subsidize costs for three additional learners.

FIU has been pushing for innovation and preparedness in the tech field of late, recently announcing a partnership with SkillStorm to introduce a series of courses that culminate in students receiving relevant industry certifications.

Through the classes, students are able to earn credentials from large-scale businesses, including AWS, Salesforce, CompTIA, and Pega.

With the credentials, students that utilize the resource can seamlessly translate learned material to an entry into the burgeoning tech industry in Miami, which has served as a hub for logistics, web3 technology, and software engineering in recent years.

The certificates offered are intended for students and professionals at any point in their study or career. Many of FIU’s certification courses will allow students to attend when it is convenient for them while still offering access to one-on-one training from instructors.


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