Project Details


This National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) project at Montclair State University in New Jersey will provide scholarships for talented students with demonstrated financial need pursuing Master of Science degrees in Chemistry, and Biochemistry. The program is called Opening Pathways, Engaging, and Networking in Chemistry in Northern New Jersey (OPEN-NJ). The program will provide pathways for supporting Biology B.S. graduates to transition into M.S. degree programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry. Program graduates are expected to contribute to the continued success of the chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries located in Northern New Jersey. Scholarships for academically strong students, who may not otherwise be able to afford college, will increase the number of graduates prepared to support national, regional, and local companies. The success of the program will produce a well-trained workforce that will contribute to the economic growth of New Jersey and the nation.

OPEN-NJ will award approximately 51 yearly scholarships to students admitted to the M.S. programs in Chemistry, Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry, and Pharmaceutical Biochemistry. The program will serve as a model for enabling Biology B.S. graduates to transition into M.S. degree programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry. Many recent biology B.S. graduates would like to pursue M.S. degrees in Chemistry or Biochemistry at MSU. However transitioning to Chemistry and Biochemistry from other STEM fields is difficult because these are fields where topics build on prior knowledge and a solid foundation is critical for success. The OPEN-NJ program creates a solution to this problem by creating a practical and easy-to-adopt track for biology graduates (and other related majors) to enter Chemistry and Biochemistry M.S. programs. OPEN-NJ will offer students support services including review of general chemistry during summer orientation, dedicated tutoring services, dedicated faculty mentors, and a learning community. OPEN-NJ program will enable students to move between disciplines and in the process come to chemistry with a new perspective, understand applications and make connections, and apply what they learn. Students will learn about careers and explore their interests via weekly exchanges with a mentor. Students will take part in a set of workshops on resume preparation, interviews, and on different aspects of professional skills development. The lessons learned, as determined through the program evaluation, will provide useful data for other field-to-field transitions within STEM. Effective practices that emerge from the program evaluation data will be disseminated widely to the STEM education community and help increase widespread understanding of the attributes and practices of successful student scholarship and support programs.>
Effective start/end date1/07/1530/06/20


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $50,000.00


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