The University Center of Exemplary Mentoring (UCEM) at Duke works to expand Duke’s capacity to attract, retain, and graduate STEM doctoral students from underrepresented minorities (URM). The Duke UCEM was established in fall 2017 with a three-year grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, as well as funding from the Office of the Provost at Duke.
As part of the Duke UCEM, we award 10 Sloan Scholarships each year to newly admitted URM students in 9 Ph.D. programs in engineering and physical sciences. To help them succeed, we tap existing resources and develop new ones to create an extensive support infrastructure aimed at helping the Scholars fully integrate into the Duke community. In addition to the standard Duke Ph.D. training and financial support, the Scholars receive significant supplemental funding for their development, as well as additional support in areas such as academics, mentoring, professional development, and student wellness.
Aside from overseeing the Sloan Scholars program, we also work to enhance Duke’s recruitment of URM graduate students in engineering and physical sciences, cultivate a robust culture of mentoring, and use the knowledge and resources we develop through our work with the Sloan Scholars to benefit all graduate students at Duke.
The Duke UCEM is administered by staff at the Duke Graduate School and select faculty members from participating departments, with guidance from an advisory committee of faculty and graduate students. Currently, the Duke UCEM is concentrating its efforts on nine Ph.D. programs: