20 U.S. Code § 1161g - Patsy T. Mink fellowship program

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(a) Purpose; designation
(1) In general
It is the purpose of this section to provide, through eligible institutions, a program of fellowship awards to assist highly qualified minorities and women to acquire the doctoral degree, or highest possible degree available, in academic areas in which such individuals are underrepresented for the purpose of enabling such individuals to enter the higher education professoriate.
(2) Designation
Each recipient of a fellowship award from an eligible institution receiving a grant under this section shall be known as a “Patsy T. Mink Graduate Fellow”.
(b) Eligible institution
In this section, the term “eligible institution” means an institution of higher education, or a consortium of such institutions, that offers a program of postbaccalaureate study leading to a graduate degree.
(c) Program authorized
(1) Grants by Secretary
(A) In general
From the amounts appropriated under subsection (f), the Secretary shall award grants to eligible institutions to enable such institutions to make fellowship awards to individuals in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(B) Priority consideration
In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall consider the eligible institution’s prior experience in producing doctoral degree, or highest possible degree available, holders who are minorities and women, and shall give priority consideration in making grants under this section to those eligible institutions with a demonstrated record of producing minorities and women who have earned such degrees.
(2) Applications
(A) In general
An eligible institution that desires a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.
(B) Applications made on behalf
The following entities may submit an application on behalf of an eligible institution:
(i) A graduate school or department of such institution.
(ii) A graduate school or department of such institution in collaboration with an undergraduate college or school of such institution.
(iii) An organizational unit within such institution that offers a program of postbaccalaureate study leading to a graduate degree, including an interdisciplinary or an interdepartmental program.
(C) Partnership
In developing a grant application and carrying out the grant activities authorized under this section, an eligible institution may partner with a nonprofit organization with a demonstrated record of helping minorities and women earn postbaccalaureate degrees.
(3) Selection of applications
In awarding grants under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall—
(A) take into account—
(i) the number and distribution of minority and female faculty nationally;
(ii) the current and projected need for highly trained individuals in all areas of the higher education professoriate; and
(iii) the present and projected need for highly trained individuals in academic career fields in which minorities and women are underrepresented in the higher education professoriate; and
(B) consider the need to prepare a large number of minorities and women generally in academic career fields of high national priority, especially in areas in which such individuals are traditionally underrepresented in college and university faculty.
(4) Distribution and amounts of grants
(A) Equitable distribution
In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent feasible, ensure an equitable geographic distribution of awards and an equitable distribution among public and private eligible institutions that apply for grants under this section and that demonstrate an ability to achieve the purpose of this section.
(B) Special rule
To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall use not less than 30 percent of the amount appropriated pursuant to subsection (f) to award grants to eligible institutions that are eligible for assistance under subchapter III or subchapter V, or to consortia of eligible institutions that include at least one eligible institution that is eligible for assistance under subchapter III or subchapter V.
(C) Allocation
In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall allocate appropriate funds to those eligible institutions whose applications indicate an ability to significantly increase the numbers of minorities and women entering the higher education professoriate and that commit institutional resources to the attainment of the purpose of this section.
(D) Number of fellowship awards
An eligible institution that receives a grant under this section shall make not less than ten fellowship awards.
(E) Insufficient funds
If the amount appropriated is not sufficient to permit all grantees under this section to provide the minimum number of fellowships required by subparagraph (D), the Secretary may, after awarding as many grants to support the minimum number of fellowships as such amount appropriated permits, award grants that do not require the grantee to award the minimum number of fellowships required by such subparagraph.
(5) Institutional allowance
(A) In general
(i) Number of allowances In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall pay to each eligible institution awarded a grant, for each individual awarded a fellowship by such institution under this section, an institutional allowance.
(ii) Amount Except as provided in subparagraph (C), for academic year 2009–2010 and succeeding academic years, an institutional allowance under this paragraph shall be in an amount equal to the amount of institutional allowance made to an institution of higher education under section 1135d of this title for such academic year.
(B) Use of funds
Institutional allowances may be expended at the discretion of the eligible institution and may be used to provide, except as prohibited under subparagraph (D), academic support and career transition services for individuals awarded fellowships by such institution.
(C) Reduction
The institutional allowance paid under subparagraph (A) shall be reduced by the amount the eligible institution charges and collects from a fellowship recipient for tuition and other expenses as part of the recipient’s instructional program.
(D) Use for overhead prohibited
Funds made available under this section may not be used for general operational overhead of the academic department or institution receiving funds under this section.
(d) Fellowship recipients
(1) Authorization
An eligible institution that receives a grant under this section shall use the grant funds to make fellowship awards to minorities and women who are enrolled at such institution in a doctoral degree program, or program for the highest possible degree available, and—
(A) intend to pursue a career in instruction at—
(i) an institution of higher education (as the term is defined in section 1001 of this title);
(ii) an institution of higher education (as the term is defined in section 1002 (a)(1) of this title); and
(iii) a proprietary institution of higher education (as the term is defined in section 1002 (b) of this title); and
(B) sign an agreement with the Secretary agreeing—
(i) to begin employment at an institution described in subparagraph (A) not later than three years after receiving the doctoral degree or highest possible degree available, which three-year period may be extended by the Secretary for extraordinary circumstances; and
(ii) to be employed by such institution for one year for each year of fellowship assistance received under this section.
(2) Repayment for failure to comply
In the event that any recipient of a fellowship under this section fails or refuses to comply with the agreement signed pursuant to paragraph (1)(B), the sum of the amounts of any fellowship received by such recipient shall, upon a determination of such a failure or refusal to comply, be treated as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan under part C of subchapter IV, and shall be subject to repayment, together with interest thereon accruing from the date of the grant award, in accordance with terms and conditions specified by the Secretary in regulations under this section.
(3) Waiver and modification
(A) Regulations
The Secretary shall promulgate regulations setting forth criteria to be considered in granting a waiver for the service requirement under paragraph (1)(B).
(B) Content
The criteria under subparagraph (A) shall include whether compliance with the service requirement by the fellowship recipient would be—
(i) inequitable and represent an extraordinary hardship; or
(ii) deemed impossible because the individual is permanently and totally disabled at the time of the waiver request.
(4) Amount of fellowship awards
Fellowship awards under this section shall consist of a stipend in an amount equal to the level of support provided to fellows under the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, except that such stipend shall be adjusted as necessary so as not to exceed the fellow’s tuition and fees or demonstrated need (as determined by the institution of higher education where the graduate student is enrolled), whichever is greater.
(5) Academic progress required
An individual student shall not be eligible to receive a fellowship award—
(A) except during periods in which such student is enrolled, and such student is maintaining satisfactory academic progress in, and devoting essentially full time to, study or research in the pursuit of the degree for which the fellowship support was awarded; and
(B) if the student is engaged in gainful employment, other than part-time employment in teaching, research, or similar activity determined by the eligible institution to be consistent with and supportive of the student’s progress toward the appropriate degree.
(e) Rule of construction
Nothing in this section shall be construed to require an eligible institution that receives a grant under this section—
(1) to grant a preference to or to differentially treat any applicant for a faculty position as a result of the institution’s participation in the program under this section; or
(2) to hire a Patsy T. Mink Fellow who completes this program and seeks employment at such institution.
(f) Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2009 and each of the five succeeding fiscal years.

Source

(Pub. L. 89–329, title VIII, § 807, as added Pub. L. 110–315, title VIII, § 801,Aug. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 3392.)

 

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