What is the Community of Scholars Program?

COSP is a welcoming and inclusive community for Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE)  Fellows and domestic graduate students of color and Native American graduate students in research-based programs.

We provide year-round programming including social events, community networks, writing support, a lounge space, personal guidance, funding opportunities, and more for COSP Scholars to build connections and gain support along their graduate school journeys. 

COSP focuses on the unique needs and experiences of domestic BIPOC graduate students, inclusive of their intersectional identities, in relation to their historical and present-day exclusion and marginalization in U.S. institutions of higher education. Students who meet the bolded criteria above and self-identify to the university as BIPOC will automatically be added to our list and will receive emails from us the semester they start taking classes. Do you qualify but are not receiving our emails? Let us know at cosp@umn.edu

COSP is a signature program of the Graduate School Diversity Office (GSDO).

Frequently Asked Questions about COSP

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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 on a biannual basis to aid in Research Travel for conducting a study or Conference Travel when invited to present at major conferences in their field of study.

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

Contact us at cosp@umn.edu to request the application for a COSP Travel Grant.

More UMN resources for graduate student research travel funding:

Thesis Research & Judd Research Travel Grants  

Council of Graduate Students (COGS) Travel Grants  

School of Public Health Student Senate (for SPH students)  

Check with your College, Department, and your Professional Associations/Conferences for other funding opportunities.

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. Our large, open space hosts comfortable couches, tables and chairs, and a kitchenette - so bring your lunch! Most COSP events take place here in our space, located in room 375 in the 10 Church building (10 Church St SE, East Bank).


COSP may offer workshops and panels throughout the academic year that focus on academic, professional, and personal development topics that are specific to BIPOC graduate students.

These may focus on topics such as:    

  • conversations with faculty of color on diversity in higher education
  • managing impostor syndrome 
  • acclimating to predominantly white environments
  • first-generation student tips 
  • conducting research with communities of color
  • wellness in the writing process
  • publishing as BIPOC writers and researchers
  • networking

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.

Social Gatherings

To build community, COSP hosts social gatherings throughout the year for our Scholars. Events may include Movie & Game Nights, Identity-Based Community lunches, and collaborations with the COSP-Affiliated Student Organizations (graduate student orgs that are BIPOC-serving).

Identity-Based Community Listservs

COSP Scholars may sign up for COSP Identity-Based Community (IBC) Listservs. The listservs were created by graduate student requests for social identity groups who do not currently have a means to connect and/or for whom COSP Scholars request connections be made. The IBC Listservs offer COSP Scholars the opportunity to connect with each other to share experiences, resources, and events. 

Sign up here to join one or more of our current listservs. While any COSP Scholar may join, the IBC Listservs are ideally not a place for allies or non-identifying 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 additional graduate identity groups that you are a member of and for which you see a need for an IBC Listserv to be created.

Personal Support

COSP Scholars are welcome to request individual consultation on academic, professional, and personal matters. Please contact us for a personal one-on-one appointment with one of our staff members, Dr. Cori Bazemore-James or Dr. Maija Brown.

Diversity Predoctoral Teaching Fellowships

COSP Scholars in doctoral programs who are at the ABD stage (all but dissertation) can apply for a fellowship to teach at the University of Minnesota-Morris, University of Minnesota-Duluth, or Augustana College for one academic year 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.

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: GSDO Graduation Celebration

Achieve & Uplift is the Graduate School Diversity Office’s newest signature program! We invite all GSDO & 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 GSDO & COSP Scholars will receive a stole on stage, introduce themselves and the degree they are receiving, and give brief remarks of encouragement to continuing Scholars and/or give words of thanks to those who’ve helped them along the way.

Any GSDO or COSP Scholar who anticipates graduating in the current year (i.e. any semester in year 2022) 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.

COSP Calendar of Events

View in Google Calendar

Questions? Contact Us!

Email: cosp@umn.edu 
Maija Brown, Ph.D. (brow0723@umn.edu
Assistant Director, Transition and Retention; COSP Writing Initiative

Cori Bazemore-James, Ph.D. (cbazemor@umn.edu
Assistant Vice Provost, Graduate School Diversity Office

View GSDO Statement of Nondiscrimination