Undergraduate Diversity at Evolution

About the Program
Application Instructions
Undergraduate Events at the Evolution meeting
Be a Mentor

Award Program Details

The Undergraduate Diversity at Evolution (UDE) program sends undergraduate students to the annual Evolution meeting, the joint meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB), and the American Society of Naturalists (ASN). At the meeting, students will (i) present a poster, (ii) receive mentoring from graduate students, postdocs, and faculty, and (iii) participate in a career-oriented 'Undergraduate Futures in Evolutionary Biology' panel and discussion. The program is funded by SSE and the BEACON Center for Evolution in Action. Each selected awardee receives:

  • Conference registration
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Dorm accommodations (double occupancy)
  • A $200 meal stipend*
  • Ticket to the Super Social

For more information on previous years' Undergraduate Diversity programs, please see Dr. Scott Edwards' Community page. The 2017 program page can be found here.
*Note: The meal stipend will be provided as a reimbursement after the meeting.

Application Details

The application deadline is Sunday , March 31st, and decisions will be announced by Sunday, April 7th. Applications are welcomed from all undergraduates, and the admissions goal is to create a diverse pool of students.

Applications consist of:

  • Title, author line, and abstract of the poster to be presented by the undergraduate.
  • A one page statement of academic interests and career goals, including how attending the Evolution meetings will help meet these goals.
  • A letter of recommendation from the undergraduate's research advisor. The letter should indicate how inclusion of the student will increase diversity of the group participants and whether or not the student plans to attend graduate school, medical school, or has other plans.

The full application form can be found at the bottom of this page. The letter of recommendation must be submitted in PDF format via email to Dr. Louise Mead (lsmead@msu.edu) .

Selection criteria:

  • Applicants can be domestic OR international students
  • As a group, attending students must increase diversity among undergraduates at Evolution 2019.
  • Students demonstrating a need for funds to attend will be given preference. Those students without access to travel funds from their institutions or their research advisor's research budget will be chosen over those who have significant support.
  • Students must be registered undergraduates or very recent graduates (i.e., having finished classes during the winter or spring quarter/semester before the meeting).
  • Students preparing to attend graduate school in ecology, evolutionary biology, or related fields will be given priority over students planning to attend medical school.
  • All awardees will be required to attend the entire meeting to maximize their participation.
  • Previous award recipients are not eligible to receive the award again.
  • Students selected for the award will make travel arrangements through Louise Mead and Darcie Zubek at the BEACON Center , and they will be expected to attend the pre-conference workshop on Friday morning (June 21) and the super social on Tuesday night (June 25).

Application Form

Complete and submit the application form below to apply for the award. The form CANNOT be saved to complete later; therefore, we recommend you prepare the application in a text file (word doc) and then copy/paste your answers here. NOTE: On some browsers the form may have a scroll bar that is separate from the webpage.

APPLY HERE: https://goo.gl/T8vJdi

Undergraduate Events at Evolution 2019

The Undergraduate Diversity at Evolution program will host two conference events (also detailed on the conference website):

  • Undergraduate Professional Development Workshop: Friday, June 21, 8:30AM-12:30PM (Room to be announced) - Sign up through conference registration. This workshop will cover topics such as networking at conferences and applying to graduate school (8:30-11:30 am).
  • Undergraduate Social (details to come): Come to meet and mingle with other undergrads, their advisors/mentors, and alumni of the Undergrad Diversity Program. This social is a great opportunity to discuss your research, career plans, etc. and expand your network in an informal setting while enjoying free continental breakfast!

These two events are open to ANY attending undergraduates or post-baccalaureates, regardless of award status/eligibility, but we kindly request you sign up in advance.


We are also looking for graduate students, postdocs and faculty members who would like to serve as mentors to the undergraduate awardees during the meeting. Mentors meet with pairs of students and attend talks with them, introduce them to colleagues, network and generally make the meeting a welcoming place for them. Mentoring is available to non-awardee students as well, depending on how many mentors sign up. Although costs are not covered for mentors, it is an unusually rewarding experience. Contact Dr. Richard Kliman (rmkliman@cedarcrest.edu) if you are interested in serving as a mentor. You can also indicate your interest in mentoring via the conference registration form. NOTE: Mentors need to be available on Friday, June 21st at 6:30PM in order to be introduced to their mentees.


For inquiries please contact one of the organizers:

Louise Mead - lsmead@msu.edu
Richard Kliman - rmkliman@cedarcrest.edu
Scott Edwards - sedwards@fas.harvard.edu

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