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Global Change Scholars (GCS) Program

Applications for 2022-23 are closed.

Program Info and Benefits

The MAOP Global Change Scholars Program (GCS) is a collaboration between MAOP and the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech. GCS provides financial assistance to undergraduate students from the U.S. who demonstrate a commitment to academics, research, and community stewardship.  Undergraduate Scholars supported by the GCS conduct research with Global Change Center faculty.

In exchange for financial support, Global Change Scholars must join other Undergraduate Scholars and MAOP participants in "family" meetings to share ideas and experiences with each other Global Change Scholars and attend personal and academic growth seminars designed to help students understand their role in the greater community, expand their appreciation for multiculturalism, and to achieve their academic goals. Students are also encouraged to consider advanced study options such as graduate school.

The GC Scholars Program offers awards ranging from $750.00 to $1,500.00 for eligible U.S. citizens with unmet financial need.

The Global Change Scholarship is renewable if participating students:

  • maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA
  • receive a satisfactory review by the faculty mentor for research-relevant performance in the lab and/or field environment.
  • continue to conduct research with a Global Change Center faculty affiliate (students may continue working with the same faculty members, or switch among Global Change Center faculty members in subsequent years).
  • meet all of the requirements, which includes having unmet financial need.

The amount of the scholarship may vary due to the calculations of finanicial need.


Students interested in applying should first establish a relationship with a Global Change Center (GCC) faculty mentor and identify appropriate research opportunities in the mentor's research program. Scholars selected for the program are expected to participate in the following activities:

  • Attend two 1:1 meetings with MAOP staff per semester.
  • Attend two MAOP sponsored workshops focused on academic, professional, and personal wellness per semester.
  • Participate in events (workshops, seminars, public lectures) hosted by the Global Change Center and its Interdisciplinary Ph.D Program.
  • Complete weekly research under the guidance of a Gloal Change Faculty affiliate and their lab members.

We are commited to:

  • Connecting students to resources as needed. We serve as an advocate and referral for students.
  • Listening to students' needs and adjusting programming as needed.
  • Connnecting students in faculty for research opportunities.
  • Supporting the transition into graduate programs.
  • Providing a space for a community of scholars to connect and receive support form MAOP.

Application Process

  1. To be considered as an Undergraduate Scholar, for 2022-23, you will need to submit a completed application.
  2. Please be sure to have the names and contact information of two references available before applying, each will be asked to provide a reference letter by the April 30 deadline. One of the two references should be the Global Change Center faculty member with whom you will be working with. The reference letter from the GCC mentor should specify:
    • Why the student is a good fit for their program.
    • The research the student will be doing
    • The nature of the student's position
      (e.g. paid, for credit, volunteer, etc.)
  3. Have your unofficial high school or previous college transcript available before applying.
  4. Once the completed application is received, it is shared with the Global Change Center and they will make the final deicision.

The awards are finalized upon the review of financial aid in late Spring.

Please make sure to log in using your VT email or otherwise you will not be able to fill out the application.