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McNair scholars at the 22nd Annual National McNair Conference, Lake Geneva, WI.

22nd Annual National McNair Conference, Lake Geneva, WI


Academic year activities prepare participants for success in undergraduate and graduate education, including completion of PhD studies. The University of Wisconsin-Madison McNair Scholars Program provides the following:

Skill-building Seminars

  • defining academic and career goals
  • career planning and development 
  • scholarly and technical writing enhancement 
  • professional oral presentation techniques 
  • library services and research techniques 
  • time management and stress management skills 
  • computer technology training, such as SPSS 
  • lecture Series on research, teaching, and academia. 
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) preparation workshops, and GRE test fee waivers for qualifying scholars
  • assistance in identifying the graduate school program that would be a best fit for the scholar 
  • advising on graduate admissions, financing graduate education
  • advise on navigating the demands of graduate study 
  • opportunity to network with other undergraduates who are interested in obtaining a Ph.D. degree
  • opportunity to network with Graduate Students and faculty in their area of interest
  • opportunity to work on an individualized research project under the mentorship of a UW-Madison faculty member.

Research Opportunities

The program, overseen by McNair Program staff and UW-Madison faculty mentors, provides McNair Scholars with direct participation in research projects and other scholarly activities (e.g. presenting research).
Research that is mentored by a faculty member is mandatory. There are two components: Academic-Year and Summer research that includes the following:

  • Faculty-mentored research projects
  • Ethics in research workshop
  • Seminars on research methodology and developing and presenting research papers
  • Research paper publications in the UW-Madison McNair Scholars Journal
  • Presenting research findings at Under Graduate Research symposia or National McNair conferences
  • Scheduled seminars on topics such as the graduate school application process, financial aid, scholarships and fellowships and the culture of graduate school
  • Scholars are eligible to receive a stipend of $2,800 for their research
  • Travel opportunities include: Visits to regional graduate school fairs, student or professional conferences throughout the country, and on sponsored educational trips to other universities
  • Additionally McNair Scholars are eligible to receive graduate school application fee grants waivers and other incentives from more than 100 participating McNair Institutions throughout the nation.