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 research engagement at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs) for current and prospective faculty, ASPB is offering a PUI workshop on the morning of July 25, 2020, just prior to start of the Plant Biology 2020 conference in Washington, D.C. The workshop’s theme is research collaboration, and will focus on what a successful research collaboration looks like with a goal of each attendee generating a tool to identify, advocate for, manage, or plan/design successful research collaborations. The proposed schedule for the workshop offers a discussion with a panel composed of PUI faculty who have engaged in successful collaborative research, and small-group discussions for the development of a tool to enhance research collaborations, depending on the stage of the participant.
 
In order to promote participation in this workshop and attendance at Plant Biology 2020, the PUI section is applying for funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for travel awards for PUI faculty to help defray some costs of travel. 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, March 9, 2020. Award decisions will be made by end of March. This still allows applicants to register for Plant Biology 2020 before the early bird registration deadline (April 17, 2020). 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 travel for faculty member and mentee equally.
 
If you have any questions, please email Maryann Herman.