Increasing the diversity of graduate students and postdocs and supporting their professional development is an important goal of UMass and the College of Natural Sciences.

Graduate students and postdocs have self-organized to form informal networks of young scientists and engineers who come from various departments across the natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, and computer science. These self-run groups (described below) provide mutual support, learning, enhance collegiality, and career advancement through a variety of programs.

UMass Amherst Graduate Women In STEM (GWIS)

The UMass Amherst Graduate Women In STEM (GWIS) is an organization is committed to the professional and personal advancement of women pursuing careers in STEM and related fields. GWIS seeks to advance the standing of women in the science and engineering fields through outreach, mentoring and professional development initiatives. If you are interested in joining GWIS or asking general questions, email The GWIS blog includes events, activities of interest, and summaries of GWIS initiatives, or you can join the GWIS Facebook Group.

Graduate Students for Diversity in Science and Engineering (GSDSE)

The Graduate Students for Diversity in Science and Engineering (GSDSE) promote diversity in science and engineering, creates a nation-wide support network, facilitates a pipeline of talent for careers in academia, industry, and beyond for GSDSE students at UMass Amherst.

UMass Postdoc Association

The UMass Postdoc Association aims to improve the postdoctoral experience at UMass Amherst by welcoming new postdocs, encouraging social and scientific interactions, and supporting career development. To be connected with upcoming events and/or join our listserv, email the Graduate School Office of Professional Development (OPD).

STEM Diversity Institute (SDI)

The STEM Diversity Institute (SDI) facilitates the diversification of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce. Several of its programs serve graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in all STEM departments by promoting synergy among a number of academic programs, sharing best practices and expertise, facilitating mutual mentoring, and working to develop new strategies for increasing diversity in STEM disciplines. The SDI houses the following federally funded programs which provide graduate student mentoring and fellowship and travel support:

Diversity Travel Grant Program

CNS launched a Diversity Travel Grant program that provides awards to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for attendance at conferences devoted to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.