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What is the Community of Scholars Program?

Based in the Graduate School Diversity Office, the Community of Scholars Program (COSP) works towards creating an institutional environment that supports the academic and professional success of Native American graduate students and domestic graduate students of color who are underrepresented in academia. COSP assists students (U.S. citizens and permanent residents) to:

  • more fully participate in the University
  • develop supportive relationships with advisors and mentors
  • build a sense of community through academic seminars and professional development workshops
  • connect students to the Twin Cities and broader UMN system through teaching, research and community engagement opportunities

Frequently Asked Questions about COSP

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What the Community of Scholars Program Offers

Funding Opportunities

COSP keeps updated directories of internal and external funding opportunities. See these directories for potential scholarships, fellowships, and grants to apply for.

COSP Scholars may apply for a COSP Travel Grant of up to $1,000 to aid in Research Travel or Conference Travel when invited to present at major conferences in their field of study.

For a limited time, while travel is banned by UMN for the COVID-19 pandemic, COSP Scholars may apply for COSP Travel Grant funding to cover research-related expenses instead of travel.

Eligibility criteria for the COSP Travel Grant can be viewed here.

Contact Cori Bazemore-James at to request the application for a COSP Travel Grant.


COSP offers several workshops and panels throughout the academic year that focus on academic, professional, and personal development topics.

Topics may focus on topics such as:    

  • research or grant writing
  • managing impostor syndrome 
  • publishing
  • navigating the IRB process 
  • first-generation student tips 
  • dissertation writing
  • publishing
  • wellness in the writing process
  • job search processes
  • networking
  • financial management in graduate school
  • effective academic and professional interviewing
  • finding culturally-appropriate research methods

Lunch Forums

COSP holds lunch forums focusing on topics related to experiences of graduate students of color:

  • conversations with faculty of color on diversity in higher education
  • conducting research with communities of color
  • acclimating to a predominantly White environment
  • cross-cultural communication

Community Engagement

COSP provides programming that connects COSP Scholars to the local Twin Cities community. COSP also provides resources and connections to COSP Scholars seeking to get connected to community engagement opportunities of their own. Contact Maija Brown to get connected.

COSP Writing Inititative

The COSP Writing Initiative provides writing support for COSP Scholars through individual writing consultations, COSP Small Writing Groups, writing workshops and faculty panels, Show Up & Write, the COSP Annual Writing Retreat, and SPARK e-zine, a digital publication amplifying the research of COSP Scholars.

Individual Consultations

Individual consultation on academic, professional, and personal matters is available by appointment with the COSP Director.

COSP Lounge

COSP has a dedicated lounge for COSP Scholars who are in need of a quiet place to study and to connect with the COSP community. There are comfortable couches and chairs, as well a kitchenette. Most COSP events take place here in our space, located in room 375 in the 10 Church building (10 Church St SE, East Bank).

Diversity Predoctoral Teaching Fellowships

COSP doctoral Scholars who are ABD can apply to teach at the University of Minnesota-Morris, University of Minnesota-Duluth, or Augustana College while completing their dissertation. Fellows teach one course per semester, are mentored by senior faculty, participate in department and campus activities, and meet regularly with the COSP Director to discuss dissertation progress and overall professional development.

Twin Cities Multicultural Directory

Developed by the Graduate School Diversity Office (GSDO), this directory serves to inform new and current students, staff, and faculty about resources and services within the Twin Cities area. You can view the directory by major category or the primary community served. The descriptions and contact information provided are from the original organization's website.

Social Gatherings

To build community, COSP hosts social gatherings throughout the year for students and their families. Events may include Movie & Game Nights, Identity-Based Lunches, and Achieve & Uplift: A Community of Scholars Program Graduation Celebration.

Job Opportunities

Many institutions are frequently seeking COSP Scholars as ideal applicants to their faculty, adjunct, and administrative openings. Click here to see position openings from those institutions.

Achieve & Uplift: A Community of Scholars Program Graduation Celebration

Achieve & Uplift is COSP's newest signature program! We invite all COSP Scholars to attend our end of the school year bash to celebrate our graduates.

This multicultural celebration includes cultural performances, appetizers, and a family-friendly atmosphere. We encourage all in attendance to wear traditional clothing from your culture or whatever makes you feel celebratory in this multicultural space.

Graduating COSP Scholars will receive a COSP stole on stage, introduce themselves and the degree they are receiving, and give brief remarks of encouragement to continuing COSP Scholars and/or give words of thanks to those who’ve helped them along the way.

Any COSP Scholar who anticipates graduating in the current year (i.e. any semester in year 2021) is considered a graduate at this event. Graduates are encouraged to invite family, friends, and a Mentor (could be a faculty, staff, or community member) who they would like to also receive recognition at this event for supporting their graduate journey.

Identity-Based Community Listservs

In 2018, COSP began developing Identity-Based Community (IBC) Listservs for graduate students of social identity groups who do not currently have a means to connect and/or for whom COSP Scholars are requesting connections be made.

Sign up here to join one or more of our current listservs. Please only sign up to join if you, yourself, are a member of that identity group. The listservs are NOT a place for allies or people seeking to perform research on these groups. 

  • Asian American Grads
  • Black Grads
  • First Gen Grads
  • Islander Grads
  • Latinx Grads
  • Native Grads
  • Parent Grads
  • QTPOC Grads

In the sign-up form, you may also indicate other graduate identity groups that you are a member of and for which you see a need for an IBC Listserv to be created.

COSP Calendar of Events

View in Google Calendar

Cori Bazemore-James, Headshot

Questions? Contact Us!

Cori Bazemore-James, Ph.D.

Director of Retention & Success