Become a Research Fellow

Applications for the 2017-2018 CMSI Research Fellowship are now open. Please note that the deadline for applications has been extended to August 18, 2017 at 11:59 P.M. EST. Click here to open the application portal.

The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) is committed to supporting the scholarship of academics focusing their work on Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).  In an effort to support this scholarship, we offer one CMSI Research Fellowship each year to any scholar pursuing research focused on MSIs.

The selected fellow will receive $5,000.00 over the duration of the fellowship period. The first check ($2,500.00) will be disbursed upon acceptance of the fellowship, while the second check ($2,500.00) will be disbursed at the end of the fellowship, contingent on successful completion of a report/research brief. 

At the end of the fellowship period, the fellow is expected to write either a report or research brief that includes original research on the proposed topic. CMSI is committed to publishing and disseminating this report or research brief through its network of supporters and readers by the end of the 2018 calendar year. CMSI staff will work with you to edit and format the report or research brief for final publication.


All students, faculty, and scholar practitioners are eligible to apply for the CMSI Research Fellowship. Applicants may reside anywhere in the world; however, the focus of the research must pertain to MSIs in the United States. Applicants do not need to work at or be a student of an MSI.

How can I apply?

Applicants must submit a completed application via our online portal, which can be found at this application link. Applicants will need to submit the following:

  • General information form
  • Answers to seven questions regarding their proposal
  • An estimated breakdown of how the stipend will be spent
  • Contact information for two references

This application should include an overview of your research interests and proposed project for study, a tentative budget narrative, and a list of two references. In addition, please submit an updated CV or resume (in PDF format). Your application will be reviewed based on its commitment to MSI-related scholarship and its degree of innovation and diversity.

To assist in the application process, a list of frequently asked questions can be found here.

When is the deadline?

***Note: the deadline for applications has been extended to August 18, 2017 at 11:59 P.M. EST.

 The deadline for the 2017-2018 CMSI Research Fellowship is July 31, 2017 at 11:59 PM ESTThe selected fellow will be announced on September 15, 2017.

Scholars that Have Previously Received Fellowships


As a full-time faculty member, Ervin teaches both humanities and social science courses at Paul Quinn College. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Tuskegee University and his master’s and doctorate degrees in history from Texas Southern University and Texas A&M University, respectively. Currently, he is studying the usage of open source course material at MSIs. He is also committed to developing innovative andragogical teaching techniques and retention strategies for first-generation college students enrolled in urban institutions that serve under-resourced communities.

Gina a. Garcia

Gina an assistant professor in the Department of Administrative and Policy Studies. She received her Ph.D in Higher Education and Organizational Change from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests center on issues of equity and diversity within higher education with an emphasis on the organizational culture and identity of Hispanic Serving Institutions and the retention, success, and identity development of Latinx college students. While at UCLA, Gina was a research analyst at the Higher Education Research Institute, where she examined the curricular and co-curricular experiences that foster success for students of color pursuing STEM degrees. *Note: Gina received a CMSI Research Support Grant, which has been folded into the CMSI Research Fellowship.

Shirley S. Tang

Shirley is an Associate Professor of Asian American Studies in the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development and a core teaching faculty in the Transnational, Cultural, and Community Studies M.S./Ph.D. Program at the University of Massachusetts–Boston. Her research project, “Digital Storytelling in Asian American Studies at an AANAPISI Research University,” will explore a generation of Asian American students who have turned to media technologies and created an archive of audiovisual products that reveal to the campus and the community new dimensions of Asian American student experiences.

Angela Rochat

Angie is the Director of the Office of Sponsored Research and Federal Relations, Fort Lewis College, Colorado. Her research project, "Raising Awareness of Native American-Serving, Non-Tribal Institutions in Higher Education Public Policy," is a call to include such institutions in the national narrative on MSIs and to develop greater advocacy for the Native American students who attend these institutions.