DEI Graduate Resources

These opportunities are designed to support and celebrate graduate students from diverse backgrounds. These programs are a few ways to help ensure our students are successful in academia — from funding to mentoring and hands-on training opportunities.   

Academic Research Leadership Network (ARL)

As a member of the Academic Research Leadership Network, we have access to a wide network of resources dedicated to creating opportunities in government, industry, and academia for people typically underrepresented in these fields. The network creates collaborative opportunities, prepares underrepresented minorities for leadership and success in the engineering field, and increases participation in these fields. Membership in the ARL Network is open to all PhD engineering and science researchers and academics who actively support the ARL Network goals of broadening the participation and professional excellence of underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, e.g., Alaska Natives, Native Americans, Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, in engineering and science.

Join the ARL Network

Accelerating Women And underRepresented Entrepreneurs (AWARE)

Accelerating Women And underRepresented Entrepreneurs (AWARE) is programmed through the EnterpriseWorks incubator at the University of Illinois Research Park. The program exists to support entrepreneurship training, counseling, and networking. The AWARE program hosts a four-part workshop series to introduce researchers to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Participants explore the commercialization process, engage with investment experts, and discover local resources for entrepreneurs. AWARE offers resources and an enhanced infrastructure that make the current entrepreneurial ecosystem more accessible to all. Those resources include a dedicated entrepreneur-in-residence familiar with the needs of those from underrepresented groups; small proof-of-concept grants for teams; targeted mentorship, training, and networking opportunities; and AWARE events found on the Research Park calendar.

Learn more about AWARE

Colman Inclusive Leadership (CILP) 

The Colman Inclusive Leadership Program (CILP) invites graduate students to participate in an immersive, three-day program that provides the skills and knowledge to support their development as leaders in graduate school and beyond. CILP introduces students to a range of practical skills, leadership theory, and special topics through readings, interactive group activities, case studies, and discussions.

Read more about our CILP fellows

Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC)

The Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) is a nonprofit consortium of colleges, universities, and related groups committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the higher education workforce.  We serve over 700 higher education institutions, hospitals, labs, and affiliated employers united by a shared vision of cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive higher education workplace where people from all backgrounds and perspectives can thrive. You can search for higher education jobs through HERC. 

Mavis Future Faculty Fellows 

The Mavis Academy was developed to train the next generation of great engineering faculty. Fellows participate in a series of workshops, seminars, and activities that cover various aspects of an academic career. Workshop themes include describing life as a faculty member, writing cover letters and CVs, preparing for campus interviews, and defining and achieving success as a faculty member.

Read more about our Mavis Fellows

Sloan University Center of Exemplary Mentoring at Illinois

The Sloan University Center of Exemplary Mentoring broadens participation in advanced engineering, physical and mathematical science careers, and strengthens the talent pool in these fields while increasing equitable opportunities in the U.S. The grant supports doctoral students underrepresented in STEM. In addition to financial support, Sloan Scholars receive guidance from a team of mentors.

Find Sloan Fellowship Recipients

Summer Predoctoral Institute

The Summer Predoctoral Institute (SPI) provides incoming graduate students from underrepresented populations with an early introduction to graduate study and an opportunity to work with an advisor in their department. 

Read more about an SPI participant

SURGE Fellowship 

This award recognizes outstanding incoming graduate students in The Grainger College of Engineering, who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, plan to obtain a doctoral degree on a full-time basis, and come from communities that are underrepresented in engineering. The SURGE Fellowship is a 5-year fellowship program that combines financial support with opportunities for networking and community building.

Find Sloan Fellowship Recipients

If you notice any opportunities missing from this list, contact