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The HBCU/MSI Research Summit at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech collaborates with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to explore research partnerships

About the Summit

The summit offers the opportunity for faculty from Virginia Tech to identify partner faculty and students at HBCUs/MSIs to engage in summer research opportunities and grant proposals.  

The 2020 annual research summit will be held October 29-30 virtually for faculty and student guests of programs across the university's colleges. The faculty focus day will be October 29, 1-5 p.m. The student event will be October 30, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Summit will be hosted on the Brazen platform. Here's a list of links to topics and helpufl tips for getting the most out of the platform. 

HBCU/MSI Research Summit Research Study

In 2018, we initiated a research study on inter-institutional partnership between HBCUs/MSIs and Virginia Tech to better understand participants’ experiences at the research summit, evaluate the effectiveness of the program, and explore factors influencing the creation and persistence of inter-institutional ties.

The results of this project will provide the organizers with key findings and recommendations that can help improving the program and also inform the development of similar programs at other institutions. The data gathered in this study also provides faculty and administrators with insight and guidance for fostering successful, productive inter-institutional partnerships.

In addition, it will contribute to literature where there is a lack of studies that focus on partnership between different institutions, more importantly HBCUs/MSIs and PWIs. Building on our past experiences, we hope to follow up with the participants and better track the outcomes of the summit both for students and faculty. 

This study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board at Virginia Tech (IRB#18-746).

We will invite all participants to complete an online survey after the summit ends. For faculty, we request their participation in a pre-summit survey (as part of the registration) and a follow-up survey (within 1 year after the summit ends). The surveys will take about 5-10 minutes to complete. We appreciate your time. 

This study is conducted by Dr. Shernita Lee, Dr. Justin Grimes, and Ph.D. student Yousef Jalali. 

Should you have any questions or concerns about the study's conduct or your rights as a research subject, or need to report a research-related injury or event, you may contact the Virginia Tech Institutional Review Board at or (540) 231-3732.

Important Note: If you are a minor, under the age of 18, you are requested not to participate in this study.

For more information about this study, please contact Dr. Shernita Lee (

A panel of Virginia Tech graduate students who graduated from HBCUs
A panel of Virginia Tech graduate students who graduated from HBCUs. The 2020 Summit will feature a virtual student panel discussion.