Current Initiatives

MRSEC Lego - March 2017

The Center is committed to broadening the composition of their participants at all levels by supporting the following initiatives:

Partnership with a Minority-Serving Institution

The Brandeis MRSEC and the Hampton University PREM aim to bring more candidates from under-represented minority (URM) backgrounds into university labs and offer pathways to advance their careers. See the Hampton-Brandeis PREM page for more about the partnership.

Diversity Training on Inclusive Mentoring and Academic Belonging

MRSEC graduate students and postdocs who mentor summer undergraduates participate in a 90-minute workshop on “Inclusive Mentoring and Academic Belonging” in which the goals of the workshop are for participants to be able to:

  1. Describe stereotype threat and growth mindset
  2. Encourage re-attributions of difficulty
  3. Encourage belonging based on effort and engagement.

Brandeis-Campus Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Programming

The MRSEC frequently partners with the Brandeis Chief Diversity Officer, Provost, and the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Heller, and IBS to offer institution-wide opportunities that aim to broaden participation within the sciences and increase the impact of selected programming. Past initiatives include:

  • The MRSEC and the Intercultural Center organized the program, Hacking your potential: Why your views on intelligence and talent matter for academic success. 

  • The MRSEC and the Dean of Students Office organized the program, Hidden Figures: Women at NASA Yesterday and Today.

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

Undergraduate student engagement in an independent research project has been shown to be a powerful tool for increasing diversity within the sciences so students from under-represented groups are encouraged to apply to the Brandeis REU program. To further support the scientific development of these students once on campus, the MRSEC partners with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to develop new programs that connect the MRSEC REU students with Division of Science grad student/postdoc "coaches." Such connections help students contextualize daily difficulties as normal parts of science and not reflective of their personal failing and encourage students to persist in science after graduation.

See REU Overview for more information about the REU program.

Field Trips for URM Students

K-12 students who are exposed to authentic research experiences in their classrooms will be much more likely to pursue science in college. That is why the MRSEC partners with 1) the Waltham Public School District and 2) the Lexington Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) program to provide introductions to materials research and laboratory tours of MRSEC facilities to future-STEM students. If your school or program is interested in meeting young scientists and visiting Brandeis laboratories, please contact Anique Olivier-Mason.

For more information about the Brandeis MRSEC Diversity and Inclusion programming, or to suggest a possible program or collaboration, please contact Dr. Anique Olivier-Mason,, Abelson 216.