Call for Mentors: 2024 IEEE SPS ME-UYR Program - Mentoring Experiences for Underrepresented Young Researchers

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News and Resources for Members of the IEEE Signal Processing Society

Call for Mentors: 2024 IEEE SPS ME-UYR Program - Mentoring Experiences for Underrepresented Young Researchers

Lucas Thomaz

Call for Mentors

The IEEE SPS ME-UYR (Mentoring Experiences for Underrepresented Young Researchers) steering committee will soon launch the third installment of its mentoring program for young IEEE SPS researchers and would like to invite you to join as research mentors. The program addresses a critical diversity issue in SPS, as well as IEEE: the low percentage of non-male individuals and members of underrepresented minorities. The number of non-male researchers in signal processing within the IEEE community is around 10%. The numbers for other underrepresented minorities and other technical areas within signal processing are similar or even worse.

To address this imbalance, the ME-UYR program connects young researchers from underrepresented groups with established researchers in signal processing to support a student research project coordinated with the mentor which is of significant interest to both.  Each project will last for about 9 months. The young researchers will be supported with travel funds  to attend ICASSP 2026 and, optionally, to also visit the mentor’s laboratory. The project will culminate in a joint research paper to be submitted to a special session at ICASSP 2026, as well as an event to bring students and mentors from current and previous editions of the program together to share their experiences.

The second edition of the program is currently supporting a group of 12 students paired with mentors from several countries developing innovative research. The feedback gathered from the current participants and those from the first edition is very exciting. Participants have said that the program impacted their future by changing their view on research and the academy and opening a path to pursue a PhD.

To build upon this past success, the ME-UYR steering committee is first recruiting potential mentors interested in increasing diversity within IEEE SPS and identifying their areas of research interest.  We will send out a call to potential student participants soon and ask them to sign up for an online connecting event which we will also invite you to.  This online event will be designed to match students with mentors in their field. This online connecting event will be held on September 23rd, 2024 (date to be confirmed). Once you have accepted one of the students as your mentee, the two of you will write a proposal of up to two pages together describing a research plan of interest to you both and submit it to our committee for review. The project proposal deadline is 10 November 2024. 

Please note that each mentor and mentee can only submit one project proposal, and in each project both parties should be from different institutions and preferably from different countries.

To join the program as a potential mentor, please complete the registration form, as soon as possible and no later than 15 September 2024.

Information about the mentors will be made available to the young researcher candidates on the ME-UYR Website so they can contact you to discuss the possibility of jointly writing a project proposal.

After mentors and students have been connected, the 9-month research mentoring projects will begin between December 2024 and January 2025.  The ME-UYR program will support up to 24 projects in this third edition.

A more detailed description of the program including the timeline can be found here.

As a highly respected researcher in IEEE SPS organizations, we would very much like you to participate with us in this program. Your mentorship can provide lasting benefits to underrepresented young researchers and to a broader signal processing community. 

Please complete the registration form by 15 September 2024.

If you have questions, please contact the ME-UYR steering committee!:

IEEE SPS ME-UYR Committee:

  • Lucas Thomaz
  • Ruchy Pandey
  • Ryan M. Corey
  • Odette Scharenborg
  • Tirza Routtenberg
  • Mark Hasegawa-Johnson


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