NAASC Inclusivity Scholars Program (ISP) – A Travel Award and So Much More

ISS dinner at ICAR 2018-Finland

ISS dinner at ICAR 2018-Finland.

Since 2004 the NAASC has fully funded ~100 students and PDs from groups underrepresented in STEM, particularly plant sciences, and faculty from PUIs and MSIs to participate in the annual International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR) thru the ICAR Inclusivity Scholars Program (ISP, formerly the Under Represented Minority (URM) Travel Award Program).

The Inclusivity Scholars Subcommittee recognizes that international conferences are great opportunities for opening doors to new career opportunities and collaboration, yet they can also be isolating and intimidating. Therefore, we assist with and pre-arrange group travel for ISP participants to attend international ICARs, organize shared meals and safe spaces, and facilitate research discussions in smaller group settings at the conference to engage and deepen relationships among the cohort and between newer and established leaders in the field of Arabidopsis research. The ISS Subcommittee currently includes Joanna Friesner, Siobhan Brady and Terri Long, but each year we rely heavily on the support of our colleagues and former participants to assist with travel, programming, and mentorship during the conference and to build communities beyond ICAR. Our long term goal is that the relationships and networks established during ICAR will deepen and extend throughout the careers of ISP participants and beyond.


Activities include

  • Assistance with or pre-arranging group travel
  • Engagement with NSF program Officers
  • Professional development opportunists
  • Shared meals and safe spaces
  • One-on-one mentoring with NAASC PIs


“Having a cohort to navigate the meeting was very useful to me. It allowed me to expand my network and interact with other underrepresented plant biologists.”

“The conversation was rich and helpful in helping the group self-reflect on the conference. By going around the table during the dinner to provide an opportunity for everyone to speak about their careers, it allowed everyone to share their thoughts and provided insights into their experiences. This facilitated other conversations later in the meeting which were more targeted, focused and personal between individuals.”


Deadline: 28 February, 2021: Learn more, apply and join us next year at ICAR 2021! Note that for 2021 NAASC is raising (non-federal) funds to enable participation by DACA-status students, postdocs, or faculty in the new NAASC DACA Program. Awards programs are announced! Deadline to apply: Sign up for email notifications (“Join Email List”) and/or go to:

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