Duke Diversity in STEM (DiSTEM) Conference Award


Duke Diversity in STEM (DiSTEM) Conference Award 

Participation in undergraduate research allows a student to engage more deeply in their chosen field of interest, helping them to develop a sense of belonging within a university setting.  It is also important for student trainees to develop a sense of researcher identity, where they believe they are researchers and have confidence in their skill set.  This is particularly significant for students from backgrounds who have historically been excluded from scientific spaces.   

One of the ways that URS is working to promote a sense of researcher identity is by providing an opportunity for students to attend and present their research at a conference aimed towards supporting the scientific development of students from marginalized groups.   

The DiSTEM Conference Award will cover registration, travel, meals and accommodations for the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Scientists, a meeting founded “to encourage minority, first-generation, veteran, and disabled students to pursue higher education in STEM.” 

This year’s ABRCMS event will take place November 15th – 18th in Phoenix, AZ and the DiSTEM Conference Award aims to provide support for up to 20 Duke undergraduate students to attend this conference.   

Please note that the DiSTEM application is independent of submitting your abstract to ABRCMS, and the DiSTEM award is not contingent on your abstract being accepted to present.  It is not necessary that you have submitted your abstract to ABRCMS when applying for the DiSTEM award.  You can submit your abstract to ABRCMS if you are planning to attend regardless of whether you receive the DiSTEM award.  Please also note that we are planning to help students that receive the DiSTEM award with the abstract submission process.

What Disciplines are Appropriate for Presenting at ABRCMS? 

The following disciplines are represented at ABRCMS:

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computational and Systems Biology
  • Developmental Biology and Genetics
  • Engineering, Physics and Mathematics
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Health

URS DiSTEM Conference Award Overview 

Duke Internal Deadlines: 
  • Application DiSTEM Conference Award Opens: July 16th 
  • Application Deadline: August 16th 
  • Notifications by August 21st with waitlist 
  • Accept or Decline by August 30th  
  • Abstract Workshop August 31st  

NOTE: Travel to this conference will not be an officially excused absence from classes or assignments!  


DiSTEM Conference Award Review Criteria: 
  • Motivation for attending ABRCMS 
  • Letter of Recommendation from Mentor 
  • Prioritize students who want to present 
  • Prioritize students who are doing research 

**Note: A student is eligible to receive this grant only once; therefore, consider when would be the best time in your Duke career to attend! 

ABRCMS Deadlines: 
  • Travel Award Deadline: August 28th 
  • Abstract Deadline: September 8th 
  • Abstract and Travel Award Dispositions: Sept 29th 


URS DiSTEM Conference Award Application Link