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gulf scholars programThe Gulf Scholars Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB-GSP) is designed to provide undergraduate students the opportunity to develop critical thinking and civic engagement skills with a focus on challenges facing the Gulf Coast region in the United States. The UAB-GSP will develop an annual cadre of students that will ultimately contribute to the well-being of the Gulf Coast states that face a variety of threats including for example, tropical storms, increased precipitation, harmful algal blooms and increasing temperatures. This will be explored in the context of at-risk communities facing a number of additional challenges where resources are limited and social factors, some long-running, impact their ability to adequately prepare for, respond to and recover from such threats. The UAB-GSP will immerse students in selected courses and interactions designed to provide scholars the background, training, education and tools to implement robust community-oriented projects oriented towards selected Gulf Coast challenges.

Funded by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the Gulf Scholars Program supports Gulf of Mexico region colleges and universities in preparing undergraduate students as the next generation to address critical challenges in the region related to the focus areas of the Gulf Research Program – community health and resilience, environmental protection and stewardship and offshore energy safety.

How to Apply

Interested in contributing to the well-being and health of communities in the Gulf states?

The Gulf Scholars Program is open to any UAB undergraduate student who is a rising sophomore and above. The next application cycle will open on February 1, 2024 and will close on March 1, 2024.

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Scholars will be eligible to receive a stipend (up to $2000) for completion of programmatic requirements.

Programmatic Requirements

The UAB Gulf Scholars Program curriculum was designed to be flexible, interdisciplinary and comprehensive. Gulf Scholars will complete curricular and co-curricular activities related to five learning outcomes in preparation for their culminating GSP experience – participating in a community-driven Gulf Impact Project. Following the completion of the project, students will have the opportunity to present their results at the UAB Expo and/or the Annual Gulf Scholars Meeting.

  • Learning Outcome 1: Knowledge of the Gulf Region

    Gulf Scholars will increase their knowledge about the Gulf Region to include the culture, economy, history, social/environmental justices and injustices and challenges of the region. Scholars will meet this learning outcome by completing a one credit hour online seminar course in the SOPH (PUH 299).

  • Learning Outcome 2: Interdisciplinary and Integrative Learning

    Scholars will complete four courses (minimum of 12 credit hours) of courses that align with the overarching themes and goals of the Gulf Scholars Program. The UAB GSP coordinator will work with each student to identify which previously completed and upcoming courses will be credited towards this requirement. The intention behind this process is to avoid imposing additional courses or workload on the scholars.

  • Learning Outcome 3: Intercultural Knowledge and Competencies

    The UAB Student Multicultural & Diversity Programs office offers education topics designed to provide students with a greater understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion, and its importance as a core value at UAB. Gulf Scholars will complete three core courses on diversity training:

    1. Who’s in the Room
    2. Introduction to Implicit Bias
    3. Cultural Humility
  • Learning Outcome 4: Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning

    Through this learning outcome, Scholars will learn how to integrate theoretical concepts of social responsibility and ethical reasoning with practical experiences gained through community engagement. This outcome can be met by completing one of two options:

    1. A three-credit hour course (one course) that incorporates service-learning or community based learning
    2. Or, community service (a minimum of 10-15 hours) tracked via Blazer Pulse
  • Learning Outcome 5: Innovation and Entrepreneurship

    Scholars have a strong capacity and ability to develop and implement innovative solutions and responses to major challenges facing Alabama and the Gulf Coast states through the program. This requirement can be met by either completing one course that incorporates principles of innovation/entrepreneurship or co-curricular activities, seminars or workshops offered through the Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

  • Learning Outcome 6: Gulf Impact Project

    Gulf Scholars will complete a substantial independent research or creative project (40-hour minimum) addressing a major challenge facing the Gulf around one or more of the core areas of the GRP. Scholars are strongly encouraged to complete their projects with a community organization. Each project will involve a faculty mentor and include an artifact as a lasting demonstration of the student’s work. Project ideas can come from the scholar, their mentor or both.

Need More Information?

For questions regarding the Gulf Scholars Program, contact gulfscholars@uab.edu.

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