This grant provides three years of continued support for the Sloan Scholars Mentoring Network (SSMN), a robust network for alumni of the Foundation’s Minority Ph.D. and UCEM programs (“Sloan Scholars”). The SSMN serves many important aims. First and foremost, it provides an opportunity for the Sloan Foundation to continue to invest in Sloan Scholars after they have completed graduate study and are transitioning into professional life, thus increasing the likelihood that scholars will stay in STEM careers. Second, the network fosters community amongst scholars, understanding that community connections are especially important to those underrepresented in STEM. Third, the SSMN nurtures mentoring connections between alumni and current scholars—a connection both groups have been eager to engage in.
Grants funds will support a strategic mix of workshops, grants, and networking opportunities during the grant period, including an Academic Job Market, a New Faculty Bootcamp, and an awards program that provides more research seed funding, mentoring grants, and travel awards to scholars. Additional activities supported under this grant include an expansion of target populations to include alumni beyond those in academe; strengthened efforts to connect current scholars and alumni; greater coordination and an initiative to expand network activities to include alumni of the Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership. All enhancements and adjustments to network activities are informed by feedback received from alumni, current scholars, and the SSMN advisory committee.