FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

I received my doctoral degree years ago, so why am I just being contacted about being a Sloan Scholar?

The Sloan Scholars Mentoring Network is a relatively new initiative of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The foundation determined that such a network would further their goals of diversifying the STEM fields by supporting the careers of Sloan Scholar PhDs.  While the Sloan Minority PhD Program and the Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership Programs continue to support the graduate education of underrepresented scholars in STEM, the Network is designed to assist these Sloan Scholars upon their doctoral graduation in advancing their careers, thus further fulfilling the Sloan Foundation’s commitment to diversify STEM beyond increasing PhD graduation rates amongst these populations.

Due to Sloan-supported departments receiving fellowship monies from other external sources, some Sloan Scholars were not notified of their Sloan Scholar status or, alternatively, some Scholars’ Sloan-affiliation was not emphasized. Understandably, this has caused some confusion about who is and who is not a Sloan Scholar. If you would like to verify your status, please continue reading to learn how.

 

How do I know if I am a Sloan Scholar?

If you are uncertain whether you received funding directly from the Sloan Foundation for your doctoral degree, email us at ssmn@ssrc.org, and we will search our Sloan Scholar PhD database to verify your status. Please note that there is a brief delay between the time Scholars graduate and when we receive PhD graduates’ information. Further, our database also only includes information on Sloan Scholars who completed their PhDs.

If you have received communication stating that you are a Sloan Scholar from our staff in the past, this means that you are a Sloan Scholar.

 

What is the connection between the Sloan Minority PhD Program, the Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership (SIGP), and the Sloan Scholars Mentoring Network?

In 1995, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation established the Sloan Minority PhD Program to support underrepresented groups in STEM pursuing PhDs. The Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership (SIGP) was established in 2003. The SIGP serves American Indian and Alaskan Native masters and doctoral candidates in mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering at select universities. All PhD graduates of the MPHD Program are considered Sloan Scholar PhDs and members of the SSMN. SIGP PhD graduates will be integrated into the SSMN at a later date.

PhD students indirectly associated with the Sloan Foundation by way of a Program of Exemplary Mentoring do not receive funding directly from the foundation for their graduate studies and are not considered Sloan Scholar PhDs. The Sloan Foundation provides Programs of Exemplary Mentoring with funding to support their mentoring and professional development efforts with their underrepresented students in STEM.

 

I belong to so many professional organizations already, why participate in another?

In addition to leadership training, professional development, networking, mentoring, and grant opportunities, being an active Sloan Scholar comes with the prestige of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation name. The Sloan Foundation is well-known for supporting STEM and STEM education in broader service of the public good. Being a Sloan Scholar is a great accomplishment and one that should be publicly celebrated (and noted on your CV/résumé).

Sloan’s Minority PhD Program, Indigenous Graduate Partnership, and Scholars Mentoring Network are extensions of this mission with their common goal being to increase the numbers of underrepresented minorities in STEM. Sloan Scholars were thus selected as graduate students for their contributions to STEM diversity but also for their potential to be leaders in STEM. With the Sloan MPhD Program dating back to 1995, the SSMN provides Sloan Scholar PhDs with opportunities to interact with established Scholars in higher education, industry, and government. While those in academia have reached the ranks of full professor and upper-level academic administration or won prestigious awards such as the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, those in industry have illustrious careers with Google, ExxonMobil, Intel, Raytheon, Genentech, IBM, and Johnson & Johnson. We are pleased to mobilize the expertise of such an accomplished group of PhDs to help support other Sloans in Sloan Scholar-exclusive settings as they move forward post-PhD all without requiring the dues typically associated with membership in a professional organization.

 

What can I do to get involved?

First, provide us with your contact information and create a profile in our online database. You will receive our programming schedule via our listserv and social media, and access to the database allows you to search for other Sloan Scholars as well as view other resources like our webinar series.

Second, keep us regularly updated on any career moves and promotions, awards, and publications, and conferences you plan to attend. Sloan Scholar PhDs are changing the face of STEM; we want to broadcast this to the science community! Further, the more we know about Sloan Scholar PhDs, the better we can tailor programming to fit the Sloan community’s needs.

Third, let us know if you are interested in actively participating in the network. Do you have suggestions for webinar topics, or would you like to share your expertise in a webinar, at our Leaders Institute, and/or at a conference meet-and-greet? Let us know!

 

How do I find out if the SSMN will be at a conference I am attending?

We organize conference meet-and-greets based on where we think a significant group of Sloan Scholars will amass, so let us know which conferences you will be attending to help with our planning.

 

What does the Advisory Board do?

The Advisory Board meets at least once a year with program staff to provide guidance and recommendations for the implementation of program components. Board seats are renewable annually for three years.

Learn more about our Advisory Board here.

 

What is the Social Science Research Council?

The SSRC is an international non-profit organization based in Brooklyn, New York. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation approached the SSRC to administer the SSMN because the SSRC manages the Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program (MMGIP), which has similar goals of increasing diversity in higher education and the SSRC provides professional development to grantees in other programs. The MMGIP and the SSMN are two programs in a more extensive portfolio that spans topics, disciplines, and geographic areas of interest.

 

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