Grant to Fund Research on Poverty, Education and Health Care

Hearin Foundation provides support for McLean Institute efforts in rural communities

OXFORD, Miss. – A $1.6 million grant from the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation for the University of Mississippi’s McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement will fund research aimed at increasing economic development in Mississippi communities.

The grant was awarded to the McLean Institute for four years to support UM student and faculty research on poverty, education, asset building and health care within these communities.

Albert Nylander, director of the McLean Institute, will serve as principal investigator for the Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development program.

“We are thankful for the Hearin Foundation’s support,” he said. “The wonderful folks at the Hearin Foundation have a remarkable record of supporting university students through fellowships.”

Through this grant, the McLean Institute will sponsor four graduate students and 10 undergraduate students each year for up to two years. These will be exemplary undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in entrepreneurship and economic development in Mississippi’s rural communities. The two-year period for each project will be used to research a community and economic development problem and to develop solutions for social problems including poverty, education, asset building and health care.

“This grant gives us the opportunity to support approximately 30 UM students through fellowships,” Nylander said. “In turn, UM students will partner with Mississippi communities to develop entrepreneurship and economic development projects that will improve the quality of life for its citizens.”

The first cohort of students will work in Calhoun, Coahoma, Lee and Tallahatchie counties. Summer grants also will be provided to UM faculty members seeking to conduct research in Mississippi, with projects that focus on entrepreneurship and economic development. Preference will be given to research aimed at finding innovative solutions for some of the state’s critical concerns.

“UM faculty members already lead important research throughout the state, so this grant will provide summer funding for faculty to focus even more on some of our pressing challenges,” Nylander said.

Applications for these scholarships are being accepted. Review of applications will begin July 18, with additional requests accepted on a rolling basis. Read more about the program at the McLean Institute website,

For more information about the McLean Institute Scholars/Fellows, contact Albert Nylander, director, at McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement, 311 Howry Hall, University, MS 38677; by phone at 662-915-2052; or email