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Research Council Mentoring Program: A Success Story

In 2011, the American Society for Nondestructive Testing initiated a new award in the form of the Student Travel Reimbursement, based on a request from the Research Council. The purpose of the grant was to provide incentive and encourage full time university students to attend and participate in the ASNT Research Symposium. The grant reimbursed up to$1000 of travel associated expenses for up to 10 students who attended the Research Symposium. Due to the large number of applicants, the number of grants was soon after increased by five to support a total of 15 students each year. The increase took effect in 2013. The selection process for the travel grant is based on a very specific point system. Students are given points for each presentation they give at the symposium. Their level of education and the essays they write also contribute to the score. Therefore, repeat recipients are likely to occur, with preference toward presenters and doctoral students, which is consistent with the spirit of the Research Symposium. While the travel grant was deemed successful in attracting students, it was noticed during the 2012 symposium that the students remained withdrawn and failed to maximize their conference experience. In response to this observation, a well-defined one-on-one mentoring program was initiated in 2013.

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