GAINS Mentoring Program

The GAINS (Growing Alliances in STEM) Mentoring Program seeks to provide community, academic support, and professional development for students of color in STEM. 

Mentoring Model

Student participants in the program are matched with a faculty mentor in their discipline who meets one-on-one with the student to support their professional development. The students are also placed in a group with 3-4 other students under the guidance of a peer mentor. We expect faculty mentors to meet at least once a month with their mentees, and for peer mentors to meet once every two weeks for the duration of the academic year. We hold program meetings focused on professional development topics and regularly promote departmental seminars and off campus workshops and conferences with our students. 

Information for Mentees

Mentee eligibility

Students of color pursuing a STEM degree (primarily in the disciplines of biology, chemistry, engineering, kinesiology, math, and pharmaceutical sciences). Students at any level (freshman, sophomore, junior or senior) are welcome to participate. 


All STEM students will receive an email invitation to participate in the program at the beginning of the academic year. Interested students may also email expressing their interest or sign up using the form below. 

Register Now!


Duration of the Program

Students will be paired with a faculty mentor and peer mentor for the duration of one year based on academic discipline. You will be expected to meet with your faculty mentor at least once a month and with your peer mentor once every two weeks throughout the academic year. We will have additional programming throughout the year that is not required but highly recommended. These events will be an opportunity to get to know other students in the program and foster community. We also support student travel to professional development workshops and research conferences throughout the state and region.

At the end of each academic year, we give students the option to continue as mentees the following year or sign up to be peer mentors, provided they meet the eligibility requirements (see below).

GAINS Scholarship

We award four $600 scholarships to students in the GAINS program each year. More information about the scholarship application is sent to program participants in the spring.

Information for Peer Mentors

Peer Mentor Eligibility 

Peer mentors are junior or senior STEM students with a GPA of 3.0 or above and who identify as a person of color. Students who have previously participated in the GAINS program as mentees are highly encouraged to apply to be peer mentors. Interested students can email to inquire about becoming a peer mentor.

Peer Mentor Expectations

Peer mentors commit to leading a group of 3-5 student mentees who share a common academic interest for the duration of the academic year. They meet at least once every two weeks with their mentee group. Mentors will attend a one day training seminar on effective strategies for mentoring. Peer mentors are also expected to participate and assist with program events as needed. Peer mentors receive a stipend (approximately $200-$300) for their work over the academic year. 

Further Information 

We gratefully acknowledge funding from the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities which has allowed us to establish this program. 

For any further inquiries about the GAINS program, please email the program director, Dr. Evan Reynolds at