Travel Awards for Plant Biology 2021 for Faculty from the Primarily Undergraduate Institutions Section

The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) is a leader in developing and supporting professional development opportunities for members at all career stages and who are at different types of institutions. In an effort to boost inclusivity in research at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs), ASPB is offering a PUI workshop on the morning of July 18, 2021, just prior to start of the Plant Biology 2021 conference in Pittsburgh, PA. The workshop’s theme is Inclusivity in Undergraduate Research, and will focus on recruiting and mentoring practices that faculty can employ in building a more inclusive research program. The proposed schedule for the workshop includes a discussion with a panel of PUI faculty who have successfully developed diverse and inclusive research teams, and small-group discussions on different aspects of recruitment and mentoring of underrepresented students.

To promote participation in this workshop and attendance at Plant Biology 2021, the PUI section has applied for funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for conference awards for PUI faculty to help defray some costs of travel and registration. Individuals are invited to apply for one of these $800 awards by completing the application.

While we do not yet have a funding decision from NSF, we are accepting applications now so that, in the event the grant is funded, award decisions can be made quickly and awardees informed in time to make plans for travel to the conference. Deadline for submission of the application is Monday, February 22, 2021. Award decisions will be made by early February. Should our grant application be denied, we will inform all applicants as soon as possible.

Applications will be ranked and awards preferentially given to applicants who are PUI faculty members. Working at a PUI is not an absolute requirement, though, if the application suggests that the individual is interested or involved in PUI-related research activities and lacks other funding sources to attend the meeting. We also strongly encourage applications from mid-career PUI scientists who demonstrate a need and desire to reconnect with their scientific community. This year we will give a few awards to applicants that we call faculty/mentee pairs. These are pairs of applicants that consist of a PUI faculty research advisor and one of their not yet graduated undergraduate research students. Faculty/mentee pairs will be awarded $1600 for the pair with the expectation that the award covers conference costs for faculty member and mentee equally.

ASPB reserves the right to adjust these parameters for awardees who do not travel to Pittsburgh and instead participate in Plant Biology 2021 virtually.

Should unforeseen events prevent an award recipient from attending the meeting, the recipient must notify ASPB immediately and return the award so that a waitlisted applicant can use the funds to attend the meeting.

If you have any questions, please email Russell Johnson at


Workshop Organizing Committee Chairs

Maryann Herman, St. John Fisher College

Leeann Thornton, The College of New Jersey

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