APS News

APS Helps Form the Inclusive Graduate Education Network

Five scientific societies seek to increase participation of underrepresented students in science with the help of a $10M grant.

September 6, 2018 | Leah Poffenberger

APS has joined forces with four other scientific societies—the American Chemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Astronomical Society, and the Materials Research Society—to increase participation of underrepresented students in graduate physical science programs. The five societies make up the Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN) that will be funded with a five-year $10M grant from the National Science Foundation.

By supporting more underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities in graduate school, IGEN will build on foundations laid by the APS Bridge Program. For the past six years, the APS Bridge Program has been testing and implementing ways to eliminate a participation gap between undergraduate and graduate students in physics from underrepresented groups. The lessons learned through APS Bridge Program will now be more broadly applied to other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields through IGEN.

IGEN logo

“When we started the APS Bridge Program six years ago, we had no idea how much community support would materialize,” said Theodore Hodapp, IGEN Project Lead and Director of Project Development at APS. “Propagating this throughout physical science disciplines, and simultaneously confronting how admissions and retention issues are addressed in graduate education was an obvious next step to both expand the impact of this strategy and sustain it for the long run.” Catherine Mader, professor of physics at Hope College, will be co-principal investigator and the alliance program director.

IGEN will concentrate on improving mentoring of undergraduates; modifying graduate admissions practices; and recruiting large numbers of students from underrepresented groups who would otherwise not enter graduate studies. For those students who are already in graduate programs, IGEN will improve retention by helping them acquire multiple mentors, ensuring that students benefit from monitoring and intervention early in their academic careers. In addition, IGEN will work to enhance professional development of students to prepare them for the professional world.

“The APS Bridge Program far exceeded its original goals, thanks to the leadership of Ted Hodapp and the support of physics departments across the country,” said APS Chief Executive Officer Kate Kirby. “Having seen that the program can be successful in physics, we are confident that the approach can yield similar results across the spectrum of STEM fields, as represented by our partners in IGEN.”

For more on the APS Bridge Program, visit the Bridge Program website.

News Update Archive

View Archive

APS News

Read Current Issue

Recent News Update
APS Board Approves New Statements on Racism, New START Treaty, and Nuclear Testing
At its virtual meeting near the end of July, the APS Board of Directors approved three new Board Statements.
2020 APS Fall Prize & Award Recipients
APS announces its 2020 Fall Prizes and Awards in fluid dynamics, nuclear physics, and plasma physics.
ICE Reverses Directive on International Student Visas
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has rescinded its July 6 Directive that would have forced international students to leave the country if their campus offered online-only classes this fall due to the ongoing pandemic.
APS Files Amicus Brief Opposing ICE’s July 6 Directive on International Student Visas
APS and 16 other scientific societies, including AIP, AAAS, and The Optical Society, have formally pledged their support for the lawsuit brought by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to block US Immigration and Customs Enforcement from canceling visas of international students unable to take in-person classes because of the pandemic.
APS and Max Planck Society Partner on “Read and Publish” Open Access Pilot
On July 7, APS announced a new aspect of its partnership with the Max Planck Society (MPG) in Germany allowing open access publication of research papers in APS journals at no direct cost to MPG researchers.
APS Condemns Recent Rule Change by ICE
The APS leadership expresses its outrage at the recent rule change by ICE to cancel F-1 and M-1 visas for students studying off-campus because of the pandemic emergency.