Supporting 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
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.
The goal of the MRS Undergraduate Student Mentoring Program to increase the enthusiasm of underrepresented ethnic minority (UREM) and female students to pursue advanced degrees and careers in materials science and engineering. MRS pairs these students with graduate student or postdoc mentors who help them navigate the next steps in their education and career.
Prior to the start of the meeting, mentee students are matched with a mentor and connected virtually so that they can begin communicating in advance of the Meeting. At the start of the MRS Meeting, mentee and mentor pairs attend a breakfast or lunch program to network and explore establish mentoring guidelines as well as participate in a fun mentoring activity.
Throughout the week, 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 have learned during a poster competition where they have a chance to win the title of best mentee poster presentation. Mentees also have the opportunity to visit the MRS Career Fair and participate in mock interviews and resume critiques. Their mentor introduces them to professional contacts throughout the meeting, and they connect with graduate students and University Chapter leaders during the student mixer.
Past mentees have been 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 Minority Serving Organizations and Minority Serving Institutions that support UREM 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, UREM students enrolled as mentees in this program may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MRS University Chapters include joint chapters with Sociedad Mexicana de Materiales (SMM) and the European Materials Research Society (E-MRS).
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.
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 membership. Visit the Membership page for full details.
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. 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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