Mapping Sloan Scholar PhDs: History and Context


Sloan Minority PhD Program: Since 1995, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has been providing support for underrepresented minorities through its Minority PhD and Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership programs, programs that aim to increase the diversity of higher education in STEM fields. While the Minority PhD program in particular has shifted its methods of operation over the years, the central goals of both of these programs have remained the same, and almost 1200 Sloan Scholars in the MPhD program have graduated with their doctorates to date.

During the first 15 years, the Sloan Foundation supported 145 individual STEM departments in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering. With an increasing focus on diversifying engineering programs, where there was a stark disparity in minority representation, more than 40 percent of MPhD Scholars were in engineering programs by 2010.

The MPhD Program now focuses its efforts on supporting University Centers of Exemplary Mentoring (see below), which were selected through a competitive process. While the majority of the Sloan Foundation’s funding to these UCEMs goes directly to students, this support is supplemented by the universities which must demonstrate a significant institutional commitment to minority graduate education.

In 2014, Programs of Exemplary Mentoring were established at ten universities. The Sloan Foundation provides programmatic support to assist these universities in support of their efforts to recruit and retain underrepresented doctoral students in STEM.

Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership: The Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership is a more directed initiative to increase the participation and success of indigenous graduate students in STEM. Programming at these university centers are designed to create a supportive inclusive community in which student learning could be embedded and where students of indigenous heritage could learn together, share and compare ideas, address common problems, and help one another rise to the challenges of graduate study. It was determined that the presence of a “critical mass” of indigenous students at each partner university would be crucial to combat feelings of isolation.

Sloan Scholars Mentoring Network: In 2015, the Sloan Foundation approached the Social Science Research Council to develop the SSMN due to the SSRC’s experience running another program with similar goals of increasing diversity in academia in the US.


Facts & Figures:

8 University Centers of Exemplary Mentoring:
Cornell University (2013), Georgia Institute of Technology (2013), The Pennsylvania State University (2013),
University of South Florida (2014), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2015),
University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign (2015),  University of California, San Diego (2015), and Duke University (2017)

4 Sloan Graduate Indigenous Partnership institutions:
University of Arizona (2003), the Montana University System (University of Montana and Montana Tech–2005; Montana State University–2012),
Purdue University (2007), and the University of Alaska (Fairbanks and Anchorage campuses–both 2008)

Sloan Minority PhD Scholars supported between 1996-2011

Sloan Minority PhD graduates


Sloan MPhD Graduates by University


Click on pins to see the university, number of PhD graduates, and Sloan affiliation.

SIGP graduates are not included in this map

Some of the text on this page has been quoted or adapted from the Sloan Foundation’s 2015 President’s Letter on Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives with permission from the Sloan Foundation. 



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