As a key component of the Duke UCEM’s effort to help Sloan Scholars succeed by facilitating their engagement and full integration into the research community at Duke, two faculty champions will be designated in each of the nine doctoral programs in the Duke UCEM in addition to the director of graduate studies. (List of faculty champions)

Upon completion of the Duke UCEM faculty orientation, each faculty champion will receive funds deposited into their individual research accounts ($1,000 per year) as compensation for their participation.

In years 1–2 of Sloan Scholars’ time at Duke, the focus of the faculty champions would be coaching them to be effective members of their various study groups while taking their core courses in the field. In years 2 through completion, the faculty champions would guide the Scholars to being effective members of a research group and the leaders on their research project.

Faculty champions’ responsibilities include:

Recruitment and Admissions

  • Assisting in recruiting Sloan Scholars
  • Identifying prospective students for the Duke Sloan Graduate Boot camp, which is designed to introduce students to program offerings, tour departments to meet faculty and graduate students, review the application process, and explain the funding process.
  • Participating in First Look and Second Look admissions processes, which are designed to ensure all URM applicants receive a holistic review
  • Helping to assess the effectiveness and outcomes of the Sloan recruitment efforts

Financial Support

  • Making sure that Sloan Scholars understand their graduate fellowship funding packages
  • Connecting Sloan Scholars to appropriate Graduate School and departmental staff for questions about their financial support

Academic Support

  • Guiding the students’ integration within the intellectual environment of the department and, more broadly, the Duke STEM community
  • Participating in monthly Sloan Scholars lunches


  • Serving as primary contacts for the Sloan Scholars in the departments
  • Acting as advisers and working with The Graduate School and other campus support services to provide targeted mentoring support for the Scholars in their departments
  • Serving on a team of mentors (peers, academic advisers, faculty, and staff) that would help the scholars fully integrate within the larger science community at Duke
  • Participating in mentoring workshop and orientation to learn best practices in supporting Scholars
  • Initiating twice-a-semester gatherings to bring together Sloan Scholars with other students and faculty from their departments with the objective of fostering greater faculty and peer mentoring (can be done as part of other departmental activities such as colloquia  and seminars)
  • Guiding Sloan Scholars’ integration into their research work groups to promote a strong culture of peer mentoring

Professional Development

  • Supporting Scholars in refining and achieving their professional development goals through regular conversations about professional development
  • Connecting Scholars with a network of support in the broader scientific and professional community

Student Wellbeing

  • Working with The Graduate School and departmental staff in connecting students to Duke’s comprehensive wellbeing resources (e.g., CAPS, DukeReach, Wellness Center)
  • Notifying The Graduate School and other campus services when students might be in need of wellbeing support services