The innovation engine for new materials

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The UC Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory and the NSF MRSEC program are committed to providing access to a diverse group of students, researchers and faculty and to providing an equitable and inclusive environment for all. Below we list MRL diversity programs and partnerships and encourage all students, researchers and faculty to get involved.

For Questions Regarding DEI, please contact the MRL Diversity Officer:
Assistant Professor Angela Pitenis (apitenis [at] ucsb [dot] edu)

Undergraduate Initiatives and Resources

MRL undergraduate research opportunities
The MRL offers a variety of research opportunities for undergraduates from UCSB and other universities.
Learn more:

California Alliance for Minority Participation
California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) is part of a UC system-wide alliance to provide support and opportunities for underrepresented UCSB students in science, engineering and math. Learn more:

MRL undergraduate resources
The MRL offers additional support for undergraduates, including study halls and regular professional development workshops on topics such as graduate school application, applying to industry, applying for internships, and others. Please subscribe to the MRL ugrad list to stay in contact:

UCSB undergraduate resources
UCSB has numerous other DEI resources for undergraduates. Learn more:

Opportunities for Graduate Students and Researchers to get Involved

Graduate Students for Diversity in Science (GSDS)
The group aims to promote underrepresented group participation in the sciences and foster an inclusive atmosphere that celebrates diversity. Organizes the Dow Foundation Lecture Series and visits to CSU campuses to speak with undergraduates about career opportunities in science.

Mentoring opportunities
Graduate students and other researchers mentor undergraduates in research experiences, including students from our diversity-focused internship programs such as the California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) and Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM). For more information please contact Dr. Julie Standish (standish [at] ucsb [dot] edu) or Dr. Dotti Pak (pak [at] ucsb [dot] edu).

Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) research and travel
The MRL has research and education partnerships with Jackson State University (an Historically Black College in Jackson, MS) and the University of Texas at El Paso (an Hispanic Serving Institution in El Paso). Graduate students and researchers are encouraged to participate by visiting JSU and UTEP as seminar speakers, workshop participants, and by mentoring visiting PREM undergrads. Please contact Dr Dotti Pak (pak [at] ucsb [dot] edu) if you are interested.

Outreach to local schools and the community
The MRL has an active Education and Outreach program for the public, teachers and local schools, including Title 1 schools in our area. Graduate students and researchers help present workshops, seminars and activities. Learn more:
Are you interested in developing or sharing your own activity? Please talk to Dr Dotti Pak (pak [at] ucsb [dot] edu) .

Materials Mondays
Virtual presentations of materials research, aimed at all audience levels, and presented by current and past researchers from the Materials Research Laboratory.
Are you interested in receiving Materials Mondays announcements? Please subscribe to the MRL listserv to stay connected:

Working with local teachers
The MRL has active partnerships with local teachers, many of whom work in Title 1 schools in our area. Graduate students and researchers participate as research mentors, content experts and classroom volunteers. For more information contact Dr. Frank Kinnaman (kinnaman [at] ucsb [dot] edu)

UCSB DEI resources
UCSB has numerous other resources for graduate students and postdocs. Learn more:

Awards and Positions

Materials Science Ambassador
Experienced graduate student outreach volunteers receive hourly payment to lead classroom visits and evening study halls. For more information please contact Dr. Dotti Pak (pak [at] ucsb [dot] edu)

MRL-Dow Travel Awards
These awards are intended to support activities outside the scope of our existing programs, such as travel by researchers to industrial laboratories and conferences, including the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and other diversity focused conferences.

Summer Supermentors
Experienced graduate student research mentors are hired to assist with summer research experiences for undergraduates programs. Our supermentors lead workshops and seminars, assist students with preparing oral and poster presentations, and advise other mentors. Interested? Please contact Dr. Dotti Pak (pak [at] ucsb [dot] edu)

Education Programs Awards
The MRL Education and Outreach program acknowledges outstanding graduate student volunteers with annual awards for Excellence in Education Outreach, Outstanding Research Mentor, ScienceLine Responder and K-12 Volunteer.