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Underrepresented Racial, Ethnic, and Historically Marginalized Groups (UREM) Student Science Writing Program

Thank you for your interest in applying to the MRS UREM Student Science Writing Program.

The application deadline was October 31, 2023 at 11:59 pm ET.

Contact Judy Meiksin with questions »

Are you interested in advancing your communication skills while building professional connections? Join the MRS UREM (Underrepresented Racial, Ethnic, and Historically Marginalized Groups) Student Science Writing Program!

Applicant Criteria

  • Current graduate student with an understanding of materials science and engineering
  • Identify as part of an underrepresented racial, ethnic, or historically marginalized group
  • Willingness to commit up to 15 hours per month to writing activities and adhere to completion deadlines
  • Willingness to complete 2 short surveys related to their experience in the program (1 mid-way through and 1 at program conclusion)

Accepted students will receive a student membership in MRS for the duration of the program and will work with MRS Bulletin staff and volunteers who will support their professional growth as materials scientists. The program will run from November 2023 through December 31, 2024 during which time students will develop communication skills and write MRS news articles, blogs, social media posts, or other communications.

Examples of the types of science writing projects students may be assigned follow:

News articles written for the broad materials research community

Materials News
Length: Typically 400-650 words, with figure
Hours per article (est.): 12

Topics will cross the range of materials research, including bio, energy, and nano-focused topics. The science writer’s task will involve transforming research results written for specialists into a 400-650 word news article understandable to the non-specialist. The level of writing will include technical information that the audience of materials researchers will understand, whereas the science-interested public, most likely, will not. The science writer will interview the researchers as well as specialists who can comment who were not involved in the research project, obtain a relevant image, revise in response to editors’ queries, and proofread the page proofs, all within the deadline. The news will be published in MRS Bulletin.

Profiles of materials researchers for society outreach

Example: Profiles
Length: Typically 1000 words
Hours per article (est.): 6

These articles cover the experiences of materials researchers involved in educational outreach and/or volunteer services for the Materials Research Society. The science writer will be responsible for conducting an in-depth interview with a scientist, then writing the article. The level of writing is for a science-interested public, with content being of interest for the broad materials research community.

Feature articles focused on materials research activities beyond the lab

Beyond the Lab
Length: Typically 1500 words, with photos

Hours per article (est.): 16

These feature articles spotlight activities that take basic materials research from the laboratory to the real world. They include educational outreach, career opportunities, and opportunities beyond the lab.

Blog posts written for the broad materials research community

Example: Materials Connect
Length: Various
Hours per post (est.): 6

Social media: Possibly including Facebook; Instagram; LinkedIn; and Twitter

Examples: MRS Bulletin on Twitter and MRS on Twitter
Length: Various

Hours: Student responsible for reporting back on their activities

Professional networking

Example: Council of Science Editors
Length: Various

Hours: Student responsible for reporting back on their activities

    • Networking with local science writers organizations
    • Participating in monthly MRS volunteers’ Zoom Write & Chat