Alabama Bridge to the Doctorate (BD)
Program Information

The Alabama program was instituted in response to the "Dear Colleague" letter dated June 3, 2003 from Dr. Judith Ramaley, Assistant Director, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Education and Human Resources. The BD supplement was begun for alliances in LSAMP Phase III (greater than 10 years of continuous support). The lead institution or any partner institution in the alliance is eligible for support although the lead institution is responsible for the program. The Alabama Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (ALSAMP) has an infrastructure that is uniquely positioned to implement a BD program as described in that letter.

The BD program guidelines require that one alliance graduate institution be selected as the program site. In order to meet this requirement, each partner institution was asked to submit a written proposal for the Alabama BD site. Because of its status as lead institution, UAB chose not to submit a proposal for the first two years.

Proposal review criteria included:

  1. Number, quality and variety of master's and doctoral degree programs at the site,

  2. Connectivity to other LSAMP programs and institutions for placement of BD master's degree recipients into doctoral programs,

  3. Recruitment and retention strategies,

  4. Availability of mentors and a support system,

  5. Institutional support for the BD program,

  6. Documented success in graduating underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) master's degree programs and

  7. The designated site coordinator's leadership and ability to organize and conduct seminars and workshops for participants on master's degree matriculation.

Auburn University was selected as the institutional site for the Alabama Bridge to the Doctorate program beginning with the 2003 Fall Term. The University of Alabama in Huntsville joined in the 2004 Fall Term, The University of Alabama at Birmingham joined in the 2005 Fall Term, Tuskegee University joined in the 2006 Fall Term and The University of Alabama joined in the 2007 Fall Term. Auburn University was the 2008 institutional site and The University of Alabama at Birmingham is the 2009 institutional site for a total of 84 participating BD fellows from 2003 to the present.

The program provides the following support for twelve minority students:

  1. An annual stipend of $30,000 plus tuition, fees and student health insurance,

  2. An assigned faculty mentor,

  3. The opportunity to attend and participate in at least one professional scientific meeting each year,

  4. The opportunity to visit the doctoral institution of choice and

  5. The opportunity to attend the NSF Human Resource Development meeting in Washington, D.C.

In addition, BD participants are required to attend special seminars regarding graduate school matriculation and other topics designed specifically for the program.

The Alabama Louis Stokes Alliance
for Minority Participation
BD Program Information   BD Program Staff   BD Mentoring Program