Graduate programs still have a long way to go before they reflect the diversity of society more generally. This is a problem both because it is inherently unjust, and because science is done better when people from diverse backgrounds contribute their ideas and talents. To try to help address this problem, Terry McGlynn and I are once again organizing EEB Mentor Match to pair students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences with mentors who can provide feedback on graduate school and fellowship applications.
We are seeking students from underrepresented groups (including but not limited to racial/ethnic minorities, first generation college students, those who have experienced significant financial hardships, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ folks, and military veterans) who are interested in ecology, evolutionary biology, conservation biology, natural resources, marine science, or aligned fields and who are planning on applying to:
- graduate school (masters or PhD programs),
- the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and/or
- the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship.
Last year, we restricted our call to students from minority serving institutions, in part because we were concerned about whether we would have enough mentoring capacity to open the call more broadly. Fortunately, our wonderful EEB community stepped up and we had a lot more mentors than students! So, this year, we’re excited to broaden the call and to invite students from underrepresented groups to sign up for mentoring, regardless of whether they attended a minority serving institution.
We encourage you to keep reading, but here’s the link for students seeking mentors.
We are also seeking mentors who can provide feedback on graduate school and fellowship applications! We are looking for graduate students, postdocs, research scientists, faculty, and others with experience with the graduate school application process and/or NSF’s GRFP and/or Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships who are interested in working with students from underrepresented groups.
One change from last year’s mentor application is that this year we have optional questions asking whether the potential mentor is a member of an underrepresented groups. We are asking because, to quote from Michigan’s guide for mentoring graduate students:
Students from historically underrepresented or marginalized groups have a harder time finding faculty role models who might have had experiences similar to their own.… At the same time, never forget that you can provide excellent mentoring to students whose backgrounds are different from your own.
Again, we encourage you to keep reading, but here’s the link for people interested in serving as mentors.