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" and the MRS DEI Aspiration to “embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by actively engaging our diverse global membership, supporting the careers of underrepresented researchers, and investing in community actions to address bias and end inequities.”
To that end, the Foundation supports a wide range of innovative, member-driven initiatives—including Diversifying Materials Special Interest Group (SIG) and MRS University Chapter Special Projects, professional development for students and early career professionals, prestigious MRS Awards at every career level, and Focus on Sustainability initiatives. Through hundreds of individual donors and program sponsors, the Foundation financially supports the following core MRS programs.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Foundation supports various programs designed to broaden participation of individuals traditionally underrepresented in materials science and engineering.. Individual donations to the MRS Diversity and Inclusion Fund are directed towards these and other DEI-related programs:
- Special Project funding for Diversifying Materials Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
- DEI-related Special Project funding for MRS University Chapters
- Professional development, mentoring and a science writing program for historically marginalized students
- Women in Materials Science and Engineering workshops and breakfast programs
- Inclusive practices workshops for faculty
- Bias awareness and mitigation training
- Discounted electronic memberships for those working or studying in developing countries
Career Advancement Opportunities for Students and Early Career Professionals
The MRS Strategic Aspiration is to “engage members across generations to advance their careers and promote materials research and innovation.” The Foundation commits funds annually to ensure that our next-gen members have access to high-quality professional development and career services that are meet their professional needs. Many of these programs are created and executed by student and early career volunteers. Individual donations to the Foundation can be earmarked to further support student and early career activities.
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. MRS Awards recognize accomplished scientists from the graduate student level to early and mid-career through those who have dedicated their life’s work to materials science and engineering. Many of the MRS Awards are funded through endowments or ongoing donations from individual donors. This generous support allows the Foundation to honor over 90 award recipients each year.
Focus on Sustainability
With a growing emphasis on materials for a sustainable world, MRS, through the Foundation, supports academia, government, industry and society in their efforts to advance sustainable sourcing, development, production, and reuse of materials. Efforts in this area include:
- Sustainability-focused publications
- Sustainability-related panel discussions, forums, and symposia