Grant offers plant science, forensic science students up to $16,000 in scholarships

July 12, 2013 – The rising costs of college tuition may leave many students uncertain about affording an education. With the help of a grant, Fort Valley State University could ease the financial costs for many of those students through scholarships.
The National Science Foundation recently awarded FVSU’s Center of Biotechnology a grant totaling $627,240. The goal of the funding is to recruit and retain financially disadvantaged students with strong academic backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The grant also aims to help students graduate in four years.
Dr. Sarwan Dhir, director of FVSU’s Center for Biotechnology and professor of biotechnology, said many parents cannot afford to pay college tuition and expenses. As a result, he said many students begin college, but fail to complete a degree. “This scholarship will allow more students to stay in the classroom so they can graduate in four years,” Dhir said. He also said these scholarships will help with the recruitment and retention of students at FVSU.
To be eligible for the STEM scholarships, students must be a U.S. citizen, be enrolled atFVSU, declare plant science-biotechnology concentration or biology- forensic scienceconcentrationas their major, hold a 3.0 GPA and complete a Financial Student Aid (FASFA) application showing financial need. Students must also complete a scholarship application and submit a letter of recommendation to Dhir. Application deadline is August 10.
Dhir said he plans to award 33 scholarships annually worth $4,000 each. The grant can fund scholarships for up to four years, meaning a STEM Scholar may receive up to $16,000 in scholarship funds during his or her time at FVSU.
In addition to the $4,000, recipients of the scholarship will receive career counseling, graduate school tours, one-on-one mentoring and opportunities to attend conferences. They will also take a special research project and seminar course that aims to prepare them for doctoral programs, professional careers and work in federal labs.
The submission of this grant was a collaborative effort involving faculty and staff members in FVSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, and FVSU’s College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology.
For more information about the scholarship or to request a scholarship application contact Dhir at (478) 825- 6887 or
FVSU Agricultural Communications Department
(478) 825-6345