Wednesday, December 29, 2021
  Around Campus

By Victoria Brito Morales

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The National Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education has awarded UTRGV a $1.5 million grant to support a growing need for well-educated scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technicians.

Dr. Timothy Huber
Dr. Timothy Huber, professor and director of the UTRGV School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences. (UTRGV Photo by David Pike)

The UTRGV grant is now active and goes to a five-year project that will fund scholarships for 60 full-time, first-generation college graduates who are pursuing a graduate degree in mathematics or physics.

Incoming graduate students can receive up to two years of financial support.  

The cohort-based academic support and mentoring is designed to provide a model for best practices that can cultivate advanced degrees and solid scientific identities among first-gen graduates.

Dr. Timothy Huber, professor and director of the UTRGV School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, is principal investigator on the grant. He said the goal is to increase STEM degree completion among low-income, high-achieving undergraduates with a demonstrated financial need.

“The program’s financial and mentoring support will provide a foundation for graduate success in mathematics and physics, the first two units in the College of Sciences starting doctoral programs this year,” Huber said.

Dr. Janna Arney, UTRGV executive vice president and provost, said the grant provides important support for the many students at UTRGV who are the first in their families to graduate from college and who opt to further their education in STEM fields.

“This NSF grant will greatly affect the future of education in the region,” Arney said. “When students want to pursue a higher degree in mathematics and physics, they can look to UTRGV to accomplish those goals close to home.”


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.