To diversify the U.S. Ph.D. degree-holding workforce through the support of university-based efforts to improve the recruitment, retention, and graduation of Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o/x doctoral students in STEM fields.
The University Centers for Exemplary Mentoring (UCEM) theory of change posits that through financial support, strong mentoring, supportive community, and institutional commitment, doctoral students in STEM can thrive and institutions can change the way they attract, receive, and educate Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o/x students.
Selected through a competitive review process, UCEM institutions must meet a number of criteria, including: historical success in recruiting and mentoring Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o/x doctoral students; quality of the departments and programs constituting the UCEM; quality, breadth, and creativity of planned activities; and institutional commitment to furthering education for Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o/x doctoral students in the natural and physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering. By agreeing to be a UCEM campus, institutions commit to seamlessly collaborate across participating STEM departments, and commit to institutionalizing key program elements. Almost all funds provided through the UCEM program go directly to students in the form of scholarships or stipends.
Day-to-day operations of the program are administered by the Foundation's longtime partner, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME).
The Foundation is not seeking to create new University Centers of Exemplary Mentoring at this time. It is, however, awarding grants for the next phase of this program—the Sloan Centers for Systemic Change. Read our open call here.
This program does not award scholarships or fellowships directly to students. Graduate students interested in acquiring funding through the program should inquire with one of our UCEM partners about relevant processes, eligibility, etc.