The Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership (SIGP) Scholarship Program
The Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership (SIGP) is a scholarship program funded by the A.P. Sloan Foundation since 2003 to support Indigenous (Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and original peoples of Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands with 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 8 SIGP partner institutions University of Alaska-Anchorage, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, the University of Arizona (Tucson), the University of Montana (Missoula), Montana Technological University (Butte), Montana State University (Bozeman), Purdue University (Indiana) or the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
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
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. Please visit the UM SIGP web page and Tech SIGP web page to learn about their respective programs.
The overall goal of the SIGP program is to strengthen and expand university initiatives to recruit, retain, and graduate American Indian and Alaska Native students in STEM master’s and doctoral programs. To this end, at Montana State University the SIGP program is an integral part of the collaborative support provided through the Graduate School and each STEM graduate degree program. In alignment with the University’s mission of "Choosing Promise," which was adopted as part of the University’s strategic plan in 2019, this partnership supports American Indian and Native Alaska students in the form of scholarships, assistantships, professional development, and community/networking support.
At MSU, the SIGP program has attracted an extraordinary group of Indigenous American graduate students who are pursuing degrees in the natural and physical sciences and engineering. Among our students, research has ranged from water quality, chemical contamination, data mining, invasive plants, buffalo, rural healthcare, food preservation to 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. We look forward to hearing from you!
Sweeney Windchief Ed.D. (Assiniboine)
Associate Professor – Dept. of Education; MSU SIGP PI
Lila Bull Chief
MS Student, Microbiology & Immunology
PhD Candidate, Chemistry & Biochemistry
MS Student, Earth Sciences
Kendall's researchcombines archeological, ethnohistorical, paleoecological and geospatial science approachesto examine a high-elevation bison drive-line on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, contributing to the efforts of the Blackfeet Tribal Historic Preservation Office in cultural landscape preservation.
Jessica's research focuses on investigating the impacts of projected warmer growing seasons on Montana's native forbs and their associated arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.
Zach's research focuses on the association of fire and herbicide control strategies on the invasive annual grass Ventenata dubia, as well as incorporating geospatial data and tools such as remote sensing and GIS to help detect and monitor species of concern.
Trisheena Kills Pretty Enemy
Trisheena focuses on applying research in microbiology, including on the SARS-CoV-2 virus, to health in Indian communities.
Josh's research focuses on Helminth Worms and their roles in mediating Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
Kyle's research focuses on the dynamics of stars and galaxies.
Randall Not Afraid
Randall's research focuses on optimizing battery charging rates and electro-chemical reactions due to different charge rates.
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.
Rhys' research focuses on organic partitioning and bio-accumulation using multiple components of optical spectroscopy.
James' research focuses on Native food preservation techniques in evaluating the sustainability, safety, and sensory aspects of such a unique process.
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.
- 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. See a recent article about Audrey's life-long focus on land conservation in NAU News where Audrey is pursuing a PhD.
- Anita Moore-Nall (Earth Sciences, Ph.D., 2017) is featured in the MSU College of Letters and Sciences publication, Confluence.
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. Click on the degree name to learn more about the program). A primary research advisor must be identified, and each MSU SIGP applicant must have a teaching assistantship (TA) or research assistantship (RA).
*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.
Please contact the Graduate School, [email protected] for more information.