MRS is committed to building a diverse community of materials scientists, from students to faculty, industry and government professionals. We believe that diverse talent can be developed with effective mentoring, interaction with role models, opportunities to present and discuss research projects in a professional setting, and network-building through positive involvement in organizations that promote materials research such as MRS.
The Broadening Participation in Materials Subcommittee has established an Undergraduate Mentoring Program with the goal of bringing more students from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM to the MRS Meetings in order to expose them to materials science and engineering (MSE), build their professional network and provide career-focused professional development skills and opportunities. The program has typically included topics such as poster design, science communication, publishing in professional journals, proposal writing, building collaborative research teams, applying to graduate school and more.
This program is open to all undergraduate students pursuing degrees in materials science and engineering or related disciplines. Female and underrepresented minority students including African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans are strongly encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to rising junior and senior level students. Accepted students will be expected to design and bring a scientific research poster to present.
MRS will provide a full meeting registration to accepted undergraduate students, which includes a one-year MRS student membership.
Why Get Involved?
The MRS Undergraduate Mentoring Program provides value to underrepresented minority and female students by:
- Broadening their interest in materials research, developing their non-technical skills and building their professional network
- Providing high-quality professional development sessions on a broad range of topics related to a professional career in MSE
- Offering opportunities for students to practice their poster presentations and gain recognition among members of the materials community during the Tuesday evening poster session
- Nurturing a network of diverse materials researchers to enhance career opportunities and experience sharing
Apply to be a Mentor or Mentee!
The MRS Undergraduate Student Mentoring Program matches undergraduate students with graduate student or postdoc mentors who help them navigate the next steps in their education and career. Mentee and mentor pairs meet in person during a networking breakfast at the MRS Meeting. Mentees are provided with professional development opportunities via webinar prior to the Meeting and in-person at the Meeting. They then apply what they have learned during an undergraduate poster competition in the main poster hall where poster session attendees vote for their favorite posters and presentations. Prizes are awarded for the “best technical poster design” and “best poster presentation.”
Throughout the Meeting, mentors support their mentee by attending programs, mixers 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. This is a volunteer opportunity with no compensation offered. MRS will be happy to issue a letter of participation or certificate to mentors upon request.
Ready to Apply?
Download and complete the appropriate application form below and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered. Space is limited to 25 mentee/mentor pairs. Mentees and mentors will be notified of acceptance decision by November 12.
To learn more or to get involved, please contact Natalie Larocco, Volunteer Affairs Assistant, 724-779-2744, or email Mentoring@mrs.org.