Minority Institution Research Collaborative (MIRC)

Empowering Individuals from Historically Underrepresented Groups in STEM (IHUGS) since 2008

The Minority Institution Research Collaborative (MIRC) is a virtual collaboration of more than 20 minority-serving institutions (MSIs), non-MSIs, and companies dedicated to significantly increasing the representation and participation of Individuals from Historically Underrepresented Groups in STEM (IHUGS) in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics within academia institutions, government agencies, and private corporations.


MIRC is primarily focused on providing research opportunities for IHUGS, including: faculty exchanges (e.g., from teaching-oriented MSIs to “Research 1” institutions); student exchanges between MIRC-affiliated universities; faculty-student team exchanges; and, international research opportunities for students.  Mechanisms such as the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs, NSF Research Coordination Network (RCN) grants, NSF International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) projects; NSF Research Opportunity Awards (ROA); and other core NSF, NIH, NASA funding mechanisms are used to support research exchange.

MIRC Directorship and Steering Committee

Dr. Ruben Michael Ceballos
University of Arkansas
MIRC Co-Director
(Grants and Network Funding)
Dr. Benita Bell
Morgan State University
MIRC Co-Director
(HBCU  Engagement)
Dr. Meredith Hecker
University of Providence
MIRC Co-Director
(TCU/NASNTI  Engagement)
Dr. Elizabeth Padilla Crespo
Univ Interamericana Puerto Rico
MIRC Co-Director
(HSI  Engagement)

Dr. Harold Kihega
Mid-America Christian University
MIRC Co-Director
(PUI  Engagement)
Dr. Tameka Bailey
University of Arkansas
MIRC Co-Director
(Non-Tenure/Postdoc Engagement)

MIRC Membership (Liaisons and Institutions)


New Journal Article Published

In collaboration with colleagues at the University of Bergen in Norway, a new article has been accepted to Frontiers in Microbiology: Global Biogeographic Distribution Patterns of Thermoacidophilic Verrucomicrobia Methanotrophs Suggest Allopatric Evolution by...

Welcome Dr. Elizabeth Padilla Crespo…!

The Ceballos Lab welcomes Dra. Elizabeth Padilla-Crespo from La Universidad InterAmericana de Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.  Dr. Padilla is an accomplished scientist whose research focuses on microbiology and the use of microbes in biotechnology. She is visiting the...

Welcome Jorge Bueno Prieto !

The Ceballos Lab welcomes Mr. Jorge Bueno Prieto from Colombia, who is pursuing a PhD at La Universidad Alcala de Henares (Spain).  Dr. Ceballos serves on Jorge's PhD committee. Jorge will be visiting the lab periodically over the next two years.  Jorge also...

Congratulations Jennie Finch…!

Ms. Jennie Finch, an undergraduate Biology Honors student in the lab has recently been awarded the 2019-2020 Guerdon D. Nichols Scholarship from the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.  As part of the Ceballos Lab, Jennie is engaged in a research...


Applications for the 2019 NSF REU International summer internship program in Thailand are now open.  Please click on the Application link on the top menu bar and fill out our "Quick App".