Welcome to The Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership

Sloan Program Overview
SIGP Eligibility Criteria
SIGP Application
Contact Information

logoThe Montana University System SIGP Program was established in the fall of 2005. Indigenous (Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian – U.S. Citizenship) graduate students pursuing degrees in STEM at MSU are eligible to apply for the scholarship program established by the A.P. Sloan Foundation. The MSU SIGP Program is intended to increase the number of Indigenous Americans earning master’s and doctoral degrees in STEM disciplines.

The MUS SIGP program provides supplemental funding to selected graduate students on a competitive basis. The MUS SIGP committee will determine the number of master’s and doctoral SIGP scholarships awarded to Indigenous STEM graduate students (Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian; U.S. citizenship) for each academic year based on available funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Depending upon the need to balance the MUS SIGP portfolio, the numbers of STEM M.S. and STEM Ph.D. awards may vary. The M.S. awards are $20,000 total and the Ph.D. awards are $40,000 total. The Sloan awards are a supplement to a student’s existing teaching or research assistantship. A student can apply for an M.S. award and then apply separately for a Ph.D. award upon completion of the M.S. degree.

The program has attracted an extraordinary group of Indigenous American graduate students who are pursuing degrees in the natural sciences. Among our students, research has ranged from wild rice, black bears, white bark pine trees, fish, neurology, water, buffalo, toxic dumping, to many other areas close to the heart of indigenous peoples. 

If you are an Indigenous American who is interested in a graduate degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM), we are very interested in talking with you. We believe you will see that the SIGP program can offer you a unique opportunity to earn your graduate degree. Not only will you be given the opportunity for financial support, you will also have access to top faculty here on campus and the chance to connect with other Indigenous Americans pursuing graduate degrees.

Meet a Sloan Scholar

photoRobert Dorsey
Master's Candidate, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

I am working with my research advisor, Dr. David Claudio, to develop a continuous improvement model to help improve patient satisfaction at healthcare clinics in rural areas, specifically on Native American reservations. The overall aim is to close gaps between clinical staff services and the expectations of patients. Read more about Robert..


History of the SIGP Program

Since November 2001, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) has been proud to partner with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in managing two innovative graduate scholarship programs focusing on increasing the number of underrepresented American minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduate programs. The Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership (SIGP),  initiated in 2003 through a partnership between the University of Arizona and the Sloan Foundation, was expanded in the fall of 2005 to include the participation of select faculties and departments at The University of Montana (Missoula, MT) and Montana Tech of The University of Montana (Butte, MT). In 2012, the Montana University System (MUS) SIGP program was expanded again to include students and faculty at Montana State University (Bozeman, MT).

MSU SIGP Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be U.S. citizens and should provide evidence of enrollment in a federally or state recognized tribe. In the absence of such verification, the applicant must provide a written statement explaining her or his connection to a tribe or indigenous community. Applications from U.S. citizens who belong to tribes in Mexico or Canada will be considered.

A scholarship applicant must be accepted into a qualifying science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) program at MSU (see the list of eligible Master’s and Doctoral degrees below). A primary research advisor must be identified, and each MSU SIGP applicant must have a teaching assistantship (TA) or research assistantship (RA).

Master’s Degrees Doctoral Degrees

Animal & Range Sciences

Industrial & Management Engineering Industrial & Management Engineering

Biological Sciences

Land Rehabilitation Applied Mechanics Materials Science


Land Resources & Environmental Sciences Biochemistry  Mathematics

Chemical Engineering

Mathematics Bioengineering Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering Biological Sciences Microbiology

Civil Engineering

Microbiology Chemistry Molecular Biosciences* 

Computer Science

Neuroscience Civil Engineering Neuroscience

Earth Sciences

Optics Engineering Computer Science


Electrical Engineering

Physics Earth Sciences Plant Science


Plant Pathology Ecology & Environmental Sciences Statistics

Environmental Engineering

Plant Science Electrical & Computer Engineering  

Fish & Wildlife Management

Statistics Fish & Wildlife Biology  

Immunology & Infectious Disease

  Immunology & Infectious Disease  
*The Molecular Biosciences program does not offer its own degree; rather it is an interdisciplinary program where students enter and try research in many fields and then decide in which field to get their PhD.

SIGP Application

Students will be invited to apply.

Contact Information

Please contact Dr. Barbara Komlos, bkomlos@montana.edu, 406-994-4206, if you have any questions or need more information.

Click here to visit the Sloan Foundation webpage or find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/sigpscholar/