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Graduate Outreach

Graduate Outreach

MRSEC Outreach Project Proposal Call

Download the proposal form and budget Excel template .

The NU-MRSEC invites submission of Outreach Project Proposals from graduate students and postdocs that amplifies the Center’s mission of expanding interest in science and engineering by implementing innovative outreach infrastructure and programs designed to inform the public about current research trends and inspire talented and diverse students as future scientists. In collaboration with the MRSEC Student/Postdoc Leadership Council, members of the Council’s Outreach and Diversity Committee advises on the selection of Center-sponsored outreach initiatives. All proposal submission requires sponsorship of a Committee member, and interested applicants are invited to contact Committee members directly for questions and/or ideas.

For questions and/or additional information, contact, 847-491-4961.

MRSEC Student/Postdoc Travel Grants

Click HERE to download.

Traveling to conferences is an important part of your professional and academic development — and is a fun experience! To encourage student participation in conferences, especially when travel funds are sometimes in short supply, we have established a fund to help with professional travel. The funds are available to all graduate students in good standing within the MRSEC. We hope that students from labs with sufficient travel support will not apply to allow us to provide more funds to those whose travel hinges on receiving additional support.

MRSEC Student/Postdoc Travel Grants are used to help graduate students and postdoctoral researchers defray registration, travel, food, and/or lodging costs associated with conferences. The award is given as a reimbursement after the conference.

Awards and Eligibility
Awards may be given for presenting research papers or posters at meetings organized by professional societies, universities, institutes, or other academic organizations. Students attending conferences but not presenting posters or talks are not eligible to apply.

Reimbursements will be processed through the MRC Office. In all cases, documentation of your actual expense incurred (e.g., e-ticket or credit card bill) must be provided. If you have questions please contact

For questions and/or additional information, contact, 847-491-4961.

MRSEC Student/Postdoc Leadership Council

The MRSEC Student/Postdoc Leadership Council serves multiple purposes within the Center: 1) It provides MRSEC-supported students and postdoctoral researchers with a clear voice within the Center and regular opportunities to provide feedback to the MRSEC leadership; 2) It provides leadership opportunities for graduate students and postdocs; 3) it enables MRSEC graduate students and postdocs to develop and execute new initiatives in professional development, seminars, and education/outreach. Council membership is nominated by IRG faculty leaders, and monthly lunch meetings are convened between council members, Center staff, and the MRSEC Director.

SWE – Society of Women Engineers at Northwestern University

SWE is a multidisciplinary organization aimed at uniting women working in STEM, particularly engineering disciplines, at the undergraduate and graduate levels to pursue professional development, mentorship and outreach with the goal of increasing representation of women in STEM careers. NU-MRSEC sponsored outreach initiatives include (1) professional development for current graduate women in engineering, (2) career readiness for current graduate women in engineering, (3) mentorship of current undergraduate women in engineering, and (4) community engagement with K-12 females in science. More info>

MORE – Mentorship Opportunities for Research Engagement

The Northwestern University Mentorship Opportunities for Research Engagement exists to provide graduate students and post-docs opportunities to mentor high school students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). This organization grew out of a partnership with Niles West High School where students participate in high level STEM research under the mentorship of NU graduate students. We aim to expand our connections with local high schools to engage students in real science.

NPEP – Northwestern Prison Education Program

The Northwestern Prison Education Program (NPEP) is an initiative of Northwestern University to provide a high-quality liberal arts education to incarcerated students in Illinois in partnership with Oakton Community College and the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). NPEP fills a vital need in Illinois by being the only degree-granting program in the state providing a full liberal arts curriculum—humanities, fine arts, social sciences, and STEM courses—to incarcerated students. NPEP is also the only postsecondary prison education program in Illinois that accepts applications from facilities throughout the state, including from medium- and maximum-security prisons. This enables NPEP to have statewide impact and to reach students at various stages of their incarceration, allowing the liberal arts degrees that are conferred to prepare students for success across a broad range of future pursuits.

In addition to expanding access to college-level courses for a systematically disadvantaged population, this initiative strives to enhance Northwestern University’s academic mission by fostering a dynamic and diverse intellectual community extending beyond Northwestern’s campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Qatar. By providing undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and faculty at Northwestern and Oakton with opportunities to teach and learn alongside incarcerated students, NPEP is giving the next generation of citizens, lawyers, and scholars the tools to confront the grave problems that plague our nation’s criminal justice system. More info>

RSSI – Research Safety Student Initiative

The mission of RSSI is to develop and promote a stronger culture of safety across research laboratories at Northwestern University through an increased awareness of safety hazards and a more positive mindset towards safe laboratory practices. In conjunction with ORS, we aim to encourage university-wide commitment to safety by providing education, resources and training. More info>

SITC – Science In The Classroom

Science in the Classroom (SITC) is flagship service program for the Alpha Gamma Chapter of Phi Lambda Upsilon (PLU), a chemistry honor society.  SITC works with Hayt Elementary school to supplement their third and fourth grade science curriculum with lessons focusing on single topics such as “Pressure and Gases”, “Electricity” and “Simple Machines”.  Our main goal is to help the students see themselves as future scientists, while volunteers guide small groups of 4-5 students through a series of hands on experiments over an hour period. More info>

SPOT – Science Policy Outreach Task Force

Science Policy Outreach Task Force (SPOT) is a non-partisan organization of Northwestern University researchers focused on advocating for science, evidence-based reasoning, and scientifically-sound policy to the voting-aged public and policymakers. Members have the opportunity to learn and put effective science advocacy into political action through events to educate voters, meetings to educate and collaborate with policymakers, educational seminars to learn about the interface of science and policy, and activities with external science policy entities. More info>

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