The Education Sustainability Committee of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) is launching an initiative to mitigate the challenges threatening the long-term viability of US mining schools offering degrees in mining engineering, mineral processing or extractive metallurgy. The issue of immediate concern is the absence of a viable pipeline to replenish current faculty vacancies and the looming labour deficiencies associated with retirements over the next decade.“The challenges associated with faculty scarcity extend from the ability to successfully complete a Ph.D. degree, through the tenuous process of achieving tenure,” stated SME Executive Director David L. Kanagy. “To address this threat, SME and the SME Foundation are supporting a two-fold initiative: The Ph.D. Fellowship and Career Development Grant Program.”The two directives of the initiative are:Ph.D. Fellowship – focuses on providing financial support to encourage qualified candidates with industry experience, and a desire to pursue an academic career, with the means of acquiring a doctoral degree in the field of mining engineering, mineral processing or extractive metallurgy at a US accredited university. Beginning in Fall 2015, the Fellowship will initially support three graduate students at a rate of $60,000 per year for a maximum of four years. Three additional students will be added each subsequent year, until a maximum of 12 students are participating in the program after the fourth year.Academic Career Development Grant – provides tenure-track assistant or associate professors with the financial support needed to better participate in activities such as research, publication and professional service, which are necessary to achieve tenure and promotion. The program will support two junior faculty in the first year at a rate of $100,000 per year for a maximum of three years, and add two additional faculty each subsequent year, until a maximum of six faculty are participating in the program after the third year.When fully operational, the program will be disbursing $1.4 million in grants annually. The 2015 application period is April 1 through April 30. For more information on the academic grant program and to submit an application, visit http://www.smenet.org/AcademicGrants/.