CAPS Research Scholar and McNair Scholar

student in lab

The CAPS Research Scholar opportunity is an intensive, multi-year, year-round, research and graduate school preparation program for upper-division STEM students actively wanting to pursue careers in academia. Scholars become academically well-rounded, competitive candidates for graduate study, and are prepared to succeed in earning Doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees.

The Program involves:
  • Enrollment in a 1-credit academic research course, UNIV 2100, as a CAPS Research Scholar Candidate
  • Completion of a quantitative-focused research project
  • Faculty mentorship
  • Graduate school and application preparation
  • Engagement in a community of researcher

​Upon successful completion of the UNIV 2100 course and semester requirements as a Candidate, students may be named CAPS Research Scholar or McNair Scholar based on their level of active participation, academic performance, and graduate school goals.

CAPS Research Scholars and McNair Scholars can partake in:

  • Fully funded, eight-week, research-intensive summer component
  • Research symposia presentation experience
  • Travel to professional conferences and graduate school visits
  • Graduate school application fee waivers

The above items are guaranteed for McNair Scholars, and may be guaranteed for CAPS Research Scholars.

Check out the benefits infographic on our homepage to learn more about the benefits and prestige of being named McNair Scholar!

      A Day in the Life...

      See what the McNair experience is like from the perspective of current McNair Scholar, (now PhD student) Bethlehem Abebe

      video link


      To be eligible, students must:

      • Be a sophomore or junior at UConn in good academic standing
      • Be enrolled in a STEM major with plans to pursue a STEM Ph.D.
      • Identify as first-generation to college and from a household defined as low-income by the U.S. Department of Education and/or self-identify as an underrepresented racial or ethnic group in STEM graduate studies


      Contact CAPS Research Scholars/McNair Scholars Program Director, Renee Trueman, Ph.D.:

      Apply to Become a CAPS Research Scholar Candidate to be in contention to be a CAPS Research Scholar or McNair Scholar!

      Applications for the 2023-24 AY are now closed. The cycle will open in September - October 2024 to start participating in the spring 2025 semester.

      The application requires:

      • Demographic Information
      • Short Answer Questions
      • Unofficial Transcript