Student & Alumni Videos

Meet the MSU Scholars

The SIGP Program at Montana State

Sloan Scholars & Alumni in the News

SIGP Eligibility Criteria

Contact Information

logioThe Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership (SIGP) is a scholarship program funded by the A.P. Sloan Foundation since the fall of 2003 to support Indigenous (Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian – U.S. Citizenship) graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) with the intent of increasing the number of Indigenous Americans earning master’s and doctoral degrees in STEM disciplines.

To be eligible, students must be accepted into a STEM graduate program at one of the 9 SIGP partner institutions University of Alaska-Anchorage, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, the University of Arizona (Tucson), the University of Montana (Missoula), Montana Tech of The University of Montana (Butte), Montana State University (Bozeman), and Purdue University (Indiana). 


Scholar and Alumni Videos

Advice for American Indian and Alaska Native Graduate Students: video 

Challenges for American Indian and Alaska Native Students in Graduate School: video

Interview with now Alumna, Dionne Zoanni, MS, Earth Sciences, 2017: video


SIGP Financial Support

The SIGP program provides funding to selected graduate students on a competitive basis. Each SIGP program partner has a responsibility to provide financial support to their Scholars; the amount allocated for tuition and teaching/research assistantships varies by institution. The Sloan awards are a supplement to the funding a Scholar receives from the institution/graduate program. The M.S. awards are $20,000 total and the Ph.D. awards are $40,000 total. 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 Montana University System (MUS) SIGP Program

The national SIGP program was expanded in the fall of 2005 to include the participation of select graduate programs at The University of Montana (Missoula, MT) and Montana Tech of The University of Montana (Butte, MT). In 2012, Montana State University (Bozeman, MT) was invited to join the Montana University System (MUS) SIGP program.The

SIGP Program at Montana State

SIGP Group Photo

At Montana State University, the SIGP 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 the MSU Scholars

Lila Bull Chief

Lila Bull Chief

MS Student, Microbiology & Immunology

Lila's research focuses on making connections between chronic stress, diabetes, the and microbiome in Native American populations. 
Stephanann Costello

Stephanann Costello

PhD Student, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Stephanann's research focuses on the involvement of the gut microbiome, brain and metabolism in neurodegeneration and symptoms observed in the neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disease Familial dysautonomia. 
Robert Dorsey

Robert Dorsey

MS Candidate, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

Robert's research focuses on asessing patients' expectation for service in rural healthcare settings, especially on American Indian reservations. 

Jessica Eggers

Jessica Eggers

MS Student, Ecology

Jessica's research focuses on investigating the impacts of projected warmer growing seasons on Montana's native forbs and their associated arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.

Joshua Matt

Joshua Matt

MS Student, Microbiology & Immunology

Josh's research focuses on Helminth Worms and their roles in mediating Inflammatory Bowl Diseases.

Kyle Matt

Kyle Matt

PhD Student, Physics

Kyle's research focuses on the dynamics of stars and galaxies. 

Mariah Romero

Mariah Romero

PhD Student, Earth Sciences
Mariah's research focuses on the initiation and development of the Mesozoic Sacramento sedimentary basin in northern California.
Latrice Tatsey

Latrice Tatsey

MS Student, Land Resources & Environmental Sciences

Latrice’s research focuses on organic matter and carbon in soil, and specifically, the benefits to soil from the reintroduction of bison (iin-ni) to their traditional grazing landscapes on the Blackfeet Reservation.

Matthew Weingart

Matthew Weingart

MS Candidate, Earth Sciences

Matt's research focuses on the paleoecological reconstruction of the fire and vegetation history of the last ten thousand years in the Rainbow Lake area in Montana. 


MSU Sloan Scholars & Alumni in the News

  • Jason Baldes (Land Resources & Environmental Sciences, M.S., 2016) is featured in the MSU publication, Mountains and Minds, in a story about his ongoing work to restore buffalo to the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. 
  • Audrey Harvey (Land Resources & Environmental Sciences, M.S. 2019) is mentioned in the MSU publication, Mountains and Minds, in a story focused on MSU’s efforts to create a home away from home for Native students.
  • Anita Moore-Nall (Earth Sciences, Ph.D., 2017) is featured in the MSU College of Letters and Sciences publication, Confluence

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 Biological Sciences Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering Chemistry Microbiology

Civil Engineering

Microbiology Civil Engineering Molecular Biosciences* 

Computer Science

Neuroscience Computer Science Neuroscience

Earth Sciences

Optics Engineering Earth Sciences


Electrical Engineering

Physics Ecology & Environmental Sciences Plant Science


Plant Pathology Electrical & Computer Engineering Statistics

Environmental Engineering

Plant Science Environmental 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.

Applying to SIGP

Students will be invited to apply.
Please fill out the Graduate School inquiry form, and make sure you indicate your ethnicity/tribal affiliation so that your inquiry is directed to the SIGP program administrator.

Contact Information

Barbara KomlosPlease contact Dr. Barbara Komlos,, (406) 994-4206 for more information.


Visit the Sloan Foundation SIGP webpage or find us on Facebook.