Minority-Serving Institution Opportunities

What is MSI?

Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) are U.S colleges and universities that enroll a high percentage of minority students. Because minority populations have experienced disproportionate barriers to higher education, the federal government provides financial support through various titles of the Higher Education Act. MSIs include Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), as well as colleges and universities with high enrollments of Native Americans, Asian Americans and Native American Pacific Islanders, and Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.

UNLV Designated AANAPISI, HSI, and MSI Institution

In 2012, The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) achieved designation from the Department of Education as a Title III & Title V Minority Serving Institution (MSI).  In 2015, UNLV achieved designations as an Asian-American and Native-American, Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI), and as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI).

Qualification for these designations requires that institutions meet specific primary indicators that include diversity of the student body by race and ethnicity and students qualifying for federal assistance under Federal Pell Grant, Federal College Work Study, Federal Perkins Loan or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.

What does this mean for UNLV?

UNLV is now competing for grants under Title III & Title V of the Higher Education Act. To be competitive, we must be able to show institutional commitment and support for these student populations.

Funding Opportunities

U.S. Department of Education

  • The Field-Initiated Projects (FIPs) are a program of investigator-initiated research for addressing diverse issues in promising and innovative ways. NIDRR is in the process of transitioning to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Under this new organization, 1-2 Research and/or Development project awards of $200,000 will be made in 2015.

  • This program provides discretionary grants to help institutions to become self-sufficient and expand capacity to serve low-income students. The most recent deadline was in December 2014.

  • The First in the World (FITW) Program will provide grants to institutions of higher education to spur the development of innovations that improve educational outcomes and make college more affordable for students and families, and to develop an evidence base of effective practices. Institutions of higher education or consortia of such institutions are eligible applicants for FITW grants. Applicants are encouraged to partner with public and private institutions and agencies that can assist to achieve the goals of the project.

Department of Defense

  • Supports the acquisition of research equipment and instrumentation by HBCU/MI to augment existing capabilities, or to develop new capabilities, in technical areas of interest to the DoD. This is a limited submission program — refer to the a href="/research/proposal-development/limited-submission/process">internal notification guidelines.

National Institutes of Health

  • The purpose of the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U-STAR) Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Training program is to assist undergraduate institutions to increase the number of well-prepared underrepresented (UR) students who, within three years of graduation, matriculate into competitive/research active Ph.D. or combined M.D.-Ph.D. programs in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, go on to research careers and will be available to participate in NIH-funded research. The program provides grants to institutions with significant enrollment of students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences that propose well-integrated developmental activities designed to strengthen students’ academic preparation, research training and professional skills that are critical to the completion of the Ph.D. degree in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.

  • The NHLBI T32 Training Program for Institutions That Promote Diversity’s goals and objectives are to: (1) enhance the future pool of individuals from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in research areas of interest to the NHLBI in the biomedical science enterprise, (2) increase trainee competitiveness for peer-review research funding, (3) strengthen trainee publication records, and (4) foster institutional environments conducive to professional development in the biomedical sciences.

  • SCORE is a developmental program that seeks to increase the research competitiveness of faculty at institutions that have a historical mission focused on serving students from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research.

    (OSP is working with Office of Decision Support to pull the data required for eligibility.)

Department of Energy

  • This program fosters partnerships and serves as an advocate for Minority Serving Institutions by engaging the Department's program offices, laboratories, and field sites in establishing business relationships with these institutions, including research opportunities, grants, or cooperative agreements. The successes of these partnerships are measured by the increased capability of Minority Serving Institutions to compete effectively for grants and contracts at the Department.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  • MUREP engages underrepresented populations through a wide variety of initiatives. Multiyear grants are awarded to assist Minority Institution faculty and students in research of pertinent missions. The program focuses on recruiting underrepresented and underserved students in STEM disciplines through completion of undergraduate or graduate degrees in support of their entry into the scientific and technical workforce.

National Endowment for the Humanities

  • This program supports individual faculty or staff members at Hispanic-Serving Institutions pursuing research of value to humanities scholars, students, or general audiences. Awards are designed to be flexible, allowing applicants to define the audience, type of research, award periods, and administrative arrangements that best fit their projects. Awards can be used for a wide range of projects that are based on humanities research.

  • This program provides funding to enhance existing humanities programs, resources, or courses, or to develop new ones. Each project must be organized around a core topic or set of themes.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • Requires 25% Hispanic undergraduates – UNLV is not eligible at this time.

  • Projects supported by the Higher Education Challenge Grants Program will: (1) address a State, regional, national, or international educational need; (2) involve a creative or non-traditional approach toward addressing that need that can serve as a model to others; (3) encourage and facilitate better working relationships in the university science and education community, as well as between universities and the private sector, to enhance program quality and supplement available resources; and (4) result in benefits that will likely transcend the project duration and USDA support.

U.S. Department of Education

  • (Asian Americans are not to be included in 50% requirement. Therefore, UNLV is not eligible at this time) Last funded in 2011.

  • Provides discretionary grants to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the attainment of, Hispanic students. Last funded in 2013.

  • Provides grants to expand post baccalaureate educational opportunities for, and improve the academic attainment of Hispanic students; and expand the post baccalaureate academic offerings as well as enhance the program quality in the institutions of higher education that are educating the majority of Hispanic college students and helping large numbers of Hispanic and low-income students complete postsecondary degrees. Last funded in 2013.

  • Focus Area D: Preparing Personnel in Minority Institutions of Higher Education to Serve Children, Including Infants and Toddlers, with Disabilities.

    The purposes of this program are to help address state-identified needs for highly qualified personnel—in special education, early intervention, related services, and regular education—to work with children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities; and ensure that those personnel have the necessary skills and knowledge, derived from practices that have been determined through scientifically based research and experience, to be successful in serving those children. Last funded in 2011.

U.S. Department of Energy

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

  • For this program, NRC considers three types of MSIs: Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities. NRC provides Federal financial assistance for programs and activities conducted by MSIs, educational institutions, nonprofit and profit organizations, State and local governments, professional organizations, private and public sector organizations and other providers of services for the exchange and transfer of knowledge, ideas, concepts, and skills that will: 1.) increase recruitment and retention; 2.) ensure availability of instructional and training experiences; 3.) provide opportunities for career exposure and on-the-job training; 4.) create research and development opportunities; 5.) develop leadership skills, 6.) offer mentoring opportunities, and 6.) make available internships.

Department of the Interior

  • This Program taps into the talents of students and faculty at our nation's Minority Serving Institutions with the hopes of fulfilling the Department's mission and objectives. The Department advances partnerships with MSIs through in-kind services, volunteerism, diverse hiring, grants and contacts. Hispanic Serving Institutions are one of the MSIs that the Department partners with.

If you have questions regarding the above programs or any other programs dedicated to supporting or researching minority populations please contact the OSP office, osp@unlv.edu, 702-895-1357.