Programs & Outreach

Broadening Participation in Materials Science

  Materials Research Society FoundationSupporting the MRS core value of being broadly inclusive and egalitarian, the Broadening Participation in Materials Subcommittee is committed to identifying strategies to promote diversity and inclusion within the broad professional community and sharing ideas and strategies that help support and encourage people who are currently underrepresented in materials science and engineering. Below are a variety of the Society's initiatives and activities which are designed to promote diversity and inclusion.

Programs & Activities

  • Diversity
    The Materials Research Society recognizes that diversity drives innovation, excellence and new discoveries. We charge our membership and leadership to engage all demographic groups worldwide in advancing science and technology to improve the quality of life.
  • Mentoring 
    The MRS Undergraduate Student Mentoring Program pairs undergraduate, underrepresented students (including women) with graduate student or postdoc mentors who help them navigate the next steps in their education and career.  Mentee and mentor pairs attend a breakfast or lunch program at the MRS Spring and Fall Meetings to network and explore some aspect of mentoring.  Mentors support their mentee throughout the MRS Meeting by attending programs and events along with their mentee, coaching the mentee on poster design and presentation, and introducing the mentee to their own contacts to assist with professional network-building.

    Mentees are selected through collaboration with programs such as NSF’s Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM), Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), Materials Research Science and Education Centers (MRSEC), Community Colleges, and other organizations and programs that support underrepresented students.  Graduate students and postdocs who would like to serve as a mentor and organizations who would like to learn more about how to get their undergraduate, underrepresented students enrolled as mentees in this program may email mentoring@mrs.org

  • Broadening Participation in Materials Undergraduate Student Program
    This program provides undergraduate students who are underrepresented in materials science and STEM fields an opportunity to attend an MRS Spring or Fall Meeting, where they are exposed to not only the technical symposia, but also professional development, career services, mentoring, and networking.  Since 2013, NSF has provided travel funding and program support to allow undergraduate students from their Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) program to participate in this experience to increase their enthusiasm to pursue advanced degrees and careers in materials science. In 2016, MRS began expanding this program to other undergraduate, underrepresented students outside of the PREM program.

    Early in the week, students are matched with a mentor who guides them through the MRS Meeting, and sometimes beyond. They attend professional development sessions on topics such as poster design, science communication, resume and interview preparation, career paths, entrepreneurship, and many others.  They then apply the skills they learn during a poster competition and through mock interviews and resume critiques in the Career Center.  Their mentor introduces them to professional contacts throughout the meeting and they have the opportunity to connect with graduate students and University Chapter leaders during the student mixer. 

    To learn more about how to get your undergraduate, underrepresented students involved in this program, please contact mentoring@mrs.org.

  • University Chapters
    MRS University Chapters include joint chapters with Sociedad Mexicana de Materiales (SMM) and the European Materials Research Society (E-MRS).

  • Women in Materials Science & Engineering
    The Broadening Participation in Materials Subcommittee showcases various speakers and topics at the MRS meetings to support women in MS&E. Breakfasts are held at each Spring and Fall Meeting, and professional development workshops are held annually at the MRS Fall Meeting.

  • Developing-Country Discounted Memberships
    To better serve students and professionals from all technical and economic sectors of the worldwide materials community, individuals working or studying in developing countries are eligible for discounted electronic membershipVisit the Membership page for full details.

  • Developing-Country Invited Speaker Support
    The Materials Research Society has a limited number of Developing-Country Invited Speaker funds available for those attending MRS Spring and Fall Meetings. Recipients will receive a reimbursement of $1,000 for travel support along with their Meeting registration, inclusive of one-year electronic MRS membership.

    Funding will be provided to researchers from a low income or lower-middle income country as per the World Bank list. Funds will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis within these parameters. Eligible candidates will be notified approximately 60 days prior to each Spring and Fall Meeting.

  • Postdoc Hardship Registration Grants
    The Materials Research Society Foundation has a limited number of Postdoc Hardship Registration Grants available for attendees of the MRS Spring and Fall Meetings.  Recipients of these grants receive a reimbursement of 50% of the early MRS Meeting registration fee.

    Priority will be given to postdocs who have an accepted abstract for the applicable Spring or Fall Meeting.  For each meeting, 20 grants are reserved for postdocs outside North America and 10 are reserved for postdocs inside North America. Grants will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis within these parameters.

    Postdocs with accepted abstracts will be notified of the availability of the grants via email approximately 60 days in advance of each Spring and Fall meeting, along with instructions and a link to apply.

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