THIBODAUX, La. (AP) — First-generation college students entering Nicholls State University's biology program will get a shot at doing hands-on research thanks to a $50,000 grant from oil giant BP.

The donation, announced Monday, will beef up the biology department's Undergraduate Research Training and Education Program, which pays undergraduate students to work as research assistants for the department's professors.

John Doucet, dean of the college of arts and sciences, told The Daily Comet BP's donation will pay for eight to 10 students to join the program. The money will pay a $4,000 stipend to each student and cover supplies, lab equipment and travel costs.