The American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP) is one of the leading societies in the world devoted to the field of “natural products”, and encompasses a broad array of topics (chemistry, biology, microbiology, ecology, drug discovery) that are used as tools to study living systems in the natural world. We are working to address inequities that face marginalized communities in the pursuit of graduate school and professional careers in the natural product sciences.
Towards this goal the ASP offers a 2.5-month summer research fellowship to support students in lab-based research under the supervision of an ASP faculty mentor. ASP summer research fellows will receive a total stipend of $5,000 for the summer period, and will participate not only in lab research, but also in a series of weekly training and professional development workshops led by a team of ASP faculty leaders. The program also sponsors students to optionally attend the annual ASP meeting in July to provide them with opportunities to expand their professional networks and present their work. We expect to support up to six summer research fellows each year. Application instructions are provided below.
Eligibility. ASP summer research fellowships are open to students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or Latinx (BIL). Students should be enrolled in an undergraduate program (full-time status preferred) at a college or university in the United States (including Puerto Rico and other US territories), and be majoring in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, botany, or a biomedical science field. The student must agree to devote 40 hours per week to research for at least 2.5 months. We recognize the interconnectedness of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender, and will seek particularly to support applicants who may be disadvantaged as a result of intersectionality; for example BIL students who are also women, economically disadvantaged, or LGBTQIA+.
Step 1. Choose a Mentor
The mentor/mentee pairing is absolutely crucial to the success of the application and the 2.5 month summer research fellowship. Mentors must be current ASP members (note: free membership is offered to all students, faculty, and alumni of minority-serving institutions, including historically Black colleges and universities, tribal colleges and universities, and Hispanic-serving institutions, for example. New and returning ASP members are eligible to be mentors if they are current at the time of application). A non-comprehensive list of potential mentors and their research areas has been assembled by the ASP, though applicants are not required to select their mentor from this list: (http://www.pharmacognosy.us/natural-product-programs-and-research/). The fellowship does not include additional funds for travel and accommodation beyond the total stipend, so please consider this when selecting a mentor; it is highly recommended to pick a local mentor to the extent possible. The prospective mentor must agree to host you in their lab for the entire summer if the application is successful. The mentor is responsible for providing a statement of support as part of your application (see below).
We encourage the student to reach out to the mentor and communicate early and often in advance of the application submission. We suggest you use a clear but concise message title in your communication if emailing a prospective mentor, such as “Seeking your mentorship for my ASP DEI fellowship funding application.” Part of your initial message to the potential mentor could read as follows:
“The American Society of Pharmacognosy is sponsoring a summer research fellowship program for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx students to engage in research in the natural product sciences (the ASP would provide my full summer salary). A link to program details is here. [State why you are interested in their potential research program]. Would you consider sponsoring my application for a position in your laboratory this summer? If so, I will need a brief mentor statement from you to submit to the ASP SRF program. Additionally, I would like to meet with you prior to your commitment to sponsor my application to discuss your research and my potential fit in your program.”
Developing a clear line of communication and a mutually agreed upon summer research and mentorship plan with your mentor will greatly improve the likelihood of being awarded the fellowship.
If you do not feel comfortable initiating contact with a potential mentor, or if you would like to apply to the program but are unable to identify a potential mentor, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to assist you in identifying a potential mentor.
Step 2. Complete ASP SRF Application
Answer all questions on the form.
Step 3. Upload Transcripts and Résumé
Include your undergraduate transcripts. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. The transcript(s) must be provided from any and all institutions of higher learning that you have attended since graduating from high school. In addition to transcripts, please include a copy of your résumé. Upload these with the application form.
Step 4. Mentor Completes Mentor Statement Form
Please ask your mentor to follow the link and fill out their relevant section of the form including the mentor statement. The mentor statement should describe the mentor’s agreement to host the mentee in their lab for the summer, the mentor’s availability and commitment to mentoring the mentee during this time, and the specific project that the mentor and mentee agree to work on together based on mutual interests and capabilities. Since the ASP DEI fellowship is designed to offer STEM laboratory research experiences, professional and scientific development, and professional networking to the awardees, all mentors are encouraged to incorporate meaningful aspects into their statements and a description of the summer research and training plans for the mentees. Mentors are especially encouraged to describe the envisioned interaction of the mentee with the mentor and other members of the mentor’s lab members and/or departments, expected group meetings or other presentation/interaction opportunities, along with measurable goals for the professional and scientific development of the mentee that are reasonably achievable in the 2.5 months of sponsored funding time frame. Here is a checklist summarizing the information mentors should include in their mentoring plans.
Step 5. Ask for Letter(s) of Recommendation
We require two letters of recommendation written by a current and/or former professor/instructor or advisor/mentor. Each letter should describe your working relationship and experience with the letter writer, as well as your academic potential and convey your interest in sciences and research. The letters must be written on official college/university letterhead and contain a signature. The person recommending you will need to submit the recommendation via a link that will be provided to you by email during your application process.
Step 6. Submit by March 1st, 2023
Only complete applications will be considered.
If you have any questions, please reach out to email@example.com.