The University Centers for Exemplary Mentoring (UCEM) program is a series of three-year grants to eight universities around the country that are working to transform graduate education to better serve Black, LatinX, and Indigenous doctoral students in STEM fields. Grant funds primarily provide direct support to graduate students to be used in support of their studies. The remaining funds support a diverse but interrelated set of resources designed to create an inclusive, connected, and supportive educational environment conducive to successful doctoral completion and subsequent career success. These include faculty and peer mentoring, networking events, professional development seminars and resources, access to resilience counseling, a five-week research immersion program for incoming graduate students, and much more.
This grant provides three years of continued support to the UCEM housed at Duke University. In addition to continuing its prior activities, the Duke UCEM team plans to implement new initiatives over the three year grant term to bring more academic departments at Duke into the UCEM and to further institutionalize the center’s recruitment and support activities as core functions at the university.
The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering acts as the Foundation’s partner and fiscal steward for the program: verifying student eligibility, administering stipends, and collecting and tracking data on UCEM expenditures and outcomes.