Materials Research Society
Materials Research Society
The Materials Research Society (MRS) chapter at UNC is a graduate student organization that is committed to fostering a community of collaboration, outreach and professional development. We organize seminars and a local poster competition to encourage sharing research. We are passionate about hosting and volunteering at a variety of new and annual outreach events to spread knowledge about materials science. For graduate student professional development, we coordinate panels and seminars to connect graduate students to industry and academic professionals. If you are interested in learning more or getting involved, please contact Maggie Daly!
Professional Development Events
MRS offers several events for graduate students to develop key skills and network with scientific professionals. Here are a few of the annual events that we host.
Triangle Student Research Competition (TSRC)
In October, MRS hosts the TSRC, a poster session and networking event for students in the Triangle to showcase their research, practice for national conferences, and compete for great prizes. Industry representatives from various companies attend and judge the poster session. Participants receive a door gift, dinner, drinks, the chance to win prizes based on judging, and the opportunity to network with industry sponsors from the surrounding area.
NSF GRFP Writing workshop
MRS also coordinates the NSF GRFP Peer Review Workshop for senior undergraduates and first/second year graduate students. During this event, NSF GRFP fellows meet 1-on-1 with applicants to provide feedback on their personal and research statements. In the past, approximately 20% of the applicants who attended this event were awarded NSF GRFP fellowships.
MRS is committed to promoting science education in our community, and our members take an active role in designing and coordinating outreach events. Here we highlight a few examples of the outreach opportunities (past and present) that we have developed.
Material Science High School Days – For this event, we hosted over 50 high school students and their parents on campus to give them insight into what it is like to do research in materials science and how to get involved in research during high school and college. This has been one of our most popular events, and helped introduce students from diverse backgrounds to research opportunities and the importance of materials science.
UNC Science Expo – Each year, our chapter participates in the Science Expo, where over 10,000 people from the Triangle area come to UNC’s campus to learn about science. This event gives members the opportunity to interact with the broader community, introducing them to scientific concepts through fun demos.
Middle School Materials Science Days – This year, we are coordinating visits with middle schools in NC that have underfunded science programs. During these visits, we hope to build relationships with schools and teachers and help introduce students to new areas of science.
Letters to a Pre-Scientist – This pen pal program cultivates one on one relationships between students and real STEM professionals. We aim to humanize STEM professionals, demystify STEM career pathways, and inspire all students to explore a future in STEM by engaging middle school students in reading and writing during science class.
2020-2021 MRS Officers
Mitchell Maw, Polymer/Materials Liaison
Sarah Sutton, PChem Liaison