Icon for: Cassie Xu


Columbia Lamont Doherty, Columbia University

Early Engagement in Research: Key to STEM retention

NSF Awards: 1649310

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)


LDEO’s multi-leveled SSFRP serves students from non-competitive-entry public schools; over 80% are from groups under-represented in STEM careers, about 60% are female. 100% of our alumni have attended college; approximately 50% declare STEM majors. 100% of participating teachers have remained in public schools. Participating undergraduates are returning alums for whom this is a first in-specialty employment, and one with a social service component, often a strong motivator for under-served students. The program is adapted to the logistical and financial constraints of a research organization and is institutionalized in the mainstream of educational work at LDEO.  It has broad support among PIs, early career scientists and the Directorate. We are seeking to build an Alliance would assist an additional 12 research departments in implementing immersive mentoring programs adapted to their specific situations. The impacted populations of students and educators in the New York/New Jersey area would quadruple. Based on Lamont’s experience and research on outcomes, this model may well scale up nationally and have a major impact on diversity in the STEM professions as quickly as a decade in the future.

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