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Advancing the Faculty Careers of Historically Underrepresented STEM Doctoral Candidates Who are Instructors at Historically Black Universities



The goal of The AGEP Alliance Model for Advancing the Faculty Careers of Underrepresented STEM Doctoral Candidates who are Instructors at Historically Black Universities is to increase the number of underrepresented STEM faculty with PhDs in the professoriate. 

The AGEP Alliance will develop, implement, study, and disseminate an AGEP Alliance model to provide faculty professional development and career preparation activities to African Americans and other historically underrepresented STEM doctoral candidates, who are instructors at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), for completion of their PhD degree and progression in early career faculty positions.  The alliance team includes faculty from Virginia Tech (VT), Morgan State University (MSU), Virginia State University (VSU), Jackson State University (JSU) and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). HBCU ABD candidates who are working as instructors will be supported in overcoming sociocultural professional barriers to completing their PhDs and continue on into the professoriate.

The Alliance’s HBCU Instructors Bridge to Academia Project (HIBridge) consists of model activities identified from the literature as significant to supporting doctoral students in being fully socialized into the academy.  These model activities include a peer cohort for collaboration, career preparation activities and alumni follow-up meetings.   The HIBridge project also includes a faculty mentoring component that in addition to their responsibilities of mentoring the ABD candidates, the faculty mentors participate in professional development sessions and potential networking with faculty mentor peers in their cohort groups.   HIBridge organizes the model activities into two programs, Bridge to Academia Fellowship Program and the Bridge to Academia Faculty Mentoring Program.

The Bridge to Academia Fellowship Program is a cohort program in which each year, 12 ABD candidates who are instructors at HBCUs, will be engaged in career preparation activities such as research seminars, research advising, faculty mentoring, research presentations, peer collaboration, networking, early career professional development sessions, and alumni follow-up meetings.  These activities are designed to support the candidates in completing their PhDs, and also prepare them for success in their faculty careers.

The Bridge to Academia Faculty Mentoring Program is a cohort program in which each year, 12 faculty members will provide the research guidance and professional mentoring necessary for supporting the ABD candidates in completing their PhDs and developing as scholars.  Faculty mentors will participate in faculty mentoring professional development and faculty mentor peer collaboration sessions that are veered toward developing effective strategies for mentoring doctoral students and early career faculty in achieving success in academia, with emphasis on faculty from underrepresented groups.

HBCU STEM Careers in the HIBridge to Academia Project

Bridge to Academia Fellowship Program

  • Two-year program
    • Research and Scholarship
    • Early Career Faculty
  • Research Advising
  • Faculty Mentoring
  • $2,000 Yearly stipend ($4,000 across two years)
  • Summer Institute travel and lodging to VT
    • Research presentations
    • Professoriate workshops
  • Early career professional development
  • Peer cohort
  • Networking opportunities
  • Certificate of Completion

Bridge to Academia Faculty Mentoring Program

  • Faculty Mentoring ABD candidates (research and professional guidance)
  • $2,000 stipend
  • Summer Institute travel and lodging to VT
    • Research presentations of mentees
    • Faculty mentoring networking
  • Faculty mentoring professional development
  • Faculty mentor cohort
  • Networking opportunities

Who Should Apply?

You should apply if

  • Individuals working as instructors at HBCUs and other higher education institutions are encouraged to apply.
  • You are majoring in a STEM discipline or an NSF approved field of study
  • You have completed all of your coursework in your doctoral program. 
  • You have completed your dissertation proposal and are in the writing stage. 
  • You are in academic good standing for completing your PhD. 
  • You are motivated to complete your doctoral programs of study. 
  • You are interested in expanding upon your knowledge and skills for achieving success as a tenured track faculty member. 


Applications are open.


This section is designed to provide information regarding the application process. In the application you will be asked a series of questions as well as receive a prompt to upload your C/V and a copy of your unofficial transcript. We have provided three templates to email directly to your research advisor, faculty mentor, and supervisor.  These templates can be found below. Each template outlines information regarding their commitments during your enrollment of the program. Once your research advisor, faculty mentor, and supervisor have agreed to serve by signing the recommendation letter,  please email the signed documents to you do not have a faculty mentor or if you have any questions, please email


Thank you for your interest in the AGEP Bridge to Academia Fellowship Program. 

Application deadline: Open until filled

Bridge to Academia Faculty Mentoring

In support of developing a bridge to academia fellow? Click the link below. 

Contact Us

If you have questions about anything, please contact us: 

Brenda R. Brand 
Associate Professor 
Director of Program

Lezly Taylor
Project Coordinator

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