Developing future STEM leaders

Chancellor's Science Scholars

When you think of a scientist, what do you see? It’s likely not a person who reflects the country’s demographics.

The Chancellor’s Science Scholars program at Carolina is tackling that stereotype head-on by creating a more inclusive scientific community.

Designed to prepare students to pursue graduate degrees in STEM disciplines, the program offers merit-based scholarships, opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research, professional development, leadership training and mentorship. Scholars are committed to excellence and to challenging preconceptions of who can be a scientist.

Since launching in 2013, the Chancellor’s Science Scholars program has trained 241 Tar Heels in nine cohorts, with more than 80% of the program’s alumni going on to pursue STEM graduate programs or enter the STEM workforce.

  • 100%of scholars are tackling today’s toughest challenges in Carolina’s research labs
  • 90%retention rate in STEM bachelors degree programs
  • 15+hours every scholar dedicates to serving the Chapel Hill community each semester
  • 9cohorts since 2013
  • 135alumni
  • 106current scholars

We are meant to serve the public and serve the people of North Carolina. Our student population should reflect the state that we serve. Access to opportunities in STEM and trying to help students who want to do STEM is a big part of our mission as a university.

Thomas Freeman, the director of the Chancellor’s Science Scholars and an associate professor of chemistry.

Read more about Thomas’ vision for the program

Thomas Freeman

Despite having many strong women of color to look to for mentorship in other areas, I never saw someone who looked like me in a STEM field, which made it so much harder for me to commit to pursuing that in college. I had to become the representation I wished to see.

Yolanda Simpson, a Carolina senior and Chancellor’s Science Scholar

Learn more about Yolanda

Yolanda Simpson in a lab.

A lot of students of color and minorities in STEM can slip through the cracks. More than anything, I think the Chancellor’s Science Scholars shows students like me that we belong in science and we deserve to be here.

Paloma Ruiz, a Carolina senior and Chancellor’s Science Scholar

Learn more about Paloma

paloma Ruiz standing outside

Meet Current Scholars and Program Alumni