Multimillion-dollar scholarship program to help African-American physics and astronomy students graduate

Multimillion-dollar scholarship program to help African-American physics and astronomy students graduate

Press release from: American Institute of Physics
Posted: Thursday June 2nd 2022

TEAM-UP Together is proud to announce the launch of a game-changing, multimillion-dollar scholarship program aimed at reducing the underrepresentation of African-American students in physics and astronomy over the past few years. next five years.

The TEAM-UP Together Scholarship Program will provide financial assistance to these students to help them earn their bachelor’s degree. These scholarships of up to $10,000 per student per academic year aim to reduce the financial barriers that prevent many black students from completing their undergraduate programs in physics and astronomy.

“The American Institute of Physics partners with the American Association of Physics Teachers, American Astronomical Society, American Physical Society, and Society of Physics Students to establish a student support program and undergraduate departments in physics and astronomy as part of achieving TEAM-UP’s goal of doubling the number of African-American bachelor’s graduates in these fields by 2030,” said Michael Moloney, CEO of AIP.

The scholarship initiative will help needy Black students with expenses that help them pursue or complete their undergraduate studies. The money could be used for tuition and fees required for registration or attendance at an educational institution, or for fees, books, equipment or other related expenses required for courses or internships.

“This scholarship program offers a real opportunity to help African American students complete their education by alleviating the stress that many experience due to financial hardship,” said Arlene Modeste Knowles, TEAM-UP Together Project Manager. “We hope this will create mental space for them to more fully engage and thrive in their educational programs.”

In the first year of the scholarship program, students must attend historically black colleges and universities or predominantly black institutions to be eligible for the scholarship, but over time these scholarships will be extended to African American students from all institutions of the United States. The scholarships will be administered by the Society of Physics Students of the AIP, on behalf of the partner societies of TEAM-UP Together.

Students must complete their scholarship application by November 15, 2022. Full details on what is required for application, selection criteria and other information can be found at

The percentage of African Americans with degrees in physics and astronomy has been appallingly and consistently low for more than two decades. According a survey by the IAFF Statistical Research Centeronly 3% of bachelor’s degrees in physics were earned by African Americans for the Class of 2018.

By comparison, African Americans earned 10% of all bachelor’s degrees awarded for the 2017-18 school year. Personal support, including financial support, was one of five factors identified in the TEAM-UP study as contributing to the persistence of underrepresentation.

“With the completion of the two-year period TEAM-UP study released in 2020, we better understand the factors that have led to the persistent and gross underrepresentation of African Americans in these fields,” Moloney said. “We are compelled as a community to act. Our partners at the Simons Foundation and Simons Foundation International fueled the effort with a $12.5 million grant, enabling the launch of these transformational initiatives that will drive systemic change and affect the lived experiences of students. »

In addition to scholarships, TEAM-UP Together will soon be offering grants to undergraduate physics and astronomy departments that are committed to implementing the recommendations of the TEAM-UP report at their institutions.



TEAM-UP Together is a collective impact initiative led by the American Institute of Physics, American Association of Physics Teachers, American Astronomical Society, American Physical Societyand Physics Student Society to help the scientific community take the next bold step of doubling the number of African-American students graduating annually with a bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy by 2030. To learn more, visit

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