The Materials Research Society Foundation advances the MRS Mission to "promote communication for the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research and technology to improve the quality of life." To that end, the Foundation benefits a wide range of innovative grassroots, member-driven initiatives—from student chapter proposals, to local or regional education/outreach projects, to those with the potential to impact the materials enterprise worldwide. Through hundreds of individual donors, program sponsors and MRS Corporate Partners, the Foundation financially supports the following core MRS programs.
Student Activities and Opportunities
The MRS University Chapter Program is a passionate and talented network of students from over 100 universities around the world, 20 percent outside the United States. The goal is to provide our next-generation scientists with a global network of people, programs and events that will help prepare them for future professional and leadership roles in the materials community. Supported by the Materials Research Society Foundation, the program offers travel support to help student members attend MRS Spring and Fall Meetings, distinguished speaker support, chapter rebates and Special Project Grants—where funding is dedicated to support projects proposed by our University Chapters. Visit Grant Awards to see the latest University Chapter Special Project Award Recipients.
For students without a Chapter presence, the Foundation is still involved—funding free memberships for students in developing countries; supporting programs such as SciBridge, which connects African and U.S. students; and offering virtual engagement opportunities, including live streaming events and educational resources via MRS OnDemand.
Broadening Participation in Materials
The Foundation supports various programs designed to broaden participation of individuals traditionally underrepresented in materials science and STEM. These programs include:
Education & Outreach
MRS is committed to promoting the study of, as well as furthering an understanding of, materials science to students and society at large. Among the current MRS efforts supporting that commitment are Impact of Materials on Society, a college-level course teaching students how engineering forms and is formed by social and cultural variables; and Strange Matter Green Earth, an international traveling materials science exhibition that will enable millions of people across the globe to explore ways in which advances in materials can lead to a more sustainable future.
Since its inception in 2012, 49 MRS University Chapter Special Project Awards and member-proposed grassroots initiatives have been funded by the Foundation. All were outreach projects geared to successfully bring the excitement of science out if the laboratory and to the general public.
Learn more about the impact two of our education/outreach grant recipients are making:
Professional Development Opportunities
MRS offers a strong professional development program at its annual Spring and Fall Meetings to help MRS Members gain the fundamental skills and knowledge for professional development and career enhancement in materials science and engineering. In addition to these workshops and seminars, the MRS Mentoring Program was recently launched to match seasoned materials scientists with graduate students seeking guidance and support in building a future career path in materials research.
MRS Career Fairs continue to grow and expand. The staple career placement program at the MRS Meetings has increased in both size and depth—bringing job seekers from around the globe together with companies hiring applicants from a wide array of backgrounds. Enhanced capabilities allow for electronic job postings and confidential resume uploads, benefiting on-site and remote MRS Members both during and after MRS Meetings.
MRS Awards Program
The Foundation funds all efforts of the MRS Awards Program, acknowledging outstanding contributors to the progress of materials research and recognizing exciting and profound accomplishments. With two new awards added in 2016, the program now offers 14 prestigious awards annually, with over 90 MRS Members honored each year.