Be a ToxScholar! Funds Available for Presentations to Undergraduates around the Globe

By B Paige Lawrence posted 08-11-2022 13:45

Antonio T. Baines, PhD (center, facing camera)
discusses toxicology with students
at Georgia Southern University during a ToxScholar visit.

An important priority for SOT is recruiting future toxicologists. You can help by sharing your perspectives on toxicology in undergraduate courses and informal education settings, and SOT will assist with expenses through ToxScholar Outreach Grants of up to $500 for travel within a country and up to $1,250 for travel from one country to a country included in the SOT Global Economy Support Program. Applications are considered three times per year; the next application deadline is September 1.

The Faculty United for Toxicology Undergraduate Recruitment and Education (FUTURE) Committee has updated and streamlined the application for the ToxScholar Outreach Grants program, which provides funding to SOT members (Note: Student members are eligible after they pass their qualifying exams) to increase toxicology dissemination to undergraduate audiences, wherever in the world they may be.

Students in associate’s and bachelor’s programs often do not have the opportunity to learn about toxicology and the diverse career opportunities related to the discipline. As an interdisciplinary field, toxicology concepts fit in numerous undergraduate courses that range from biology to chemistry to environmental studies to public health. Also, faculty who teach toxicology to undergraduate students may appreciate a guest lecture on a particular topic.

SOT member Erin Hines, PhD, DABT (center, front)
made a ToxScholar visit to several institutions in Peru.

If you are interested in being a ToxScholar but are unsure where to start, here are a few ideas:

  • Make an offer to your undergraduate alma mater. Trainees often find a receptive audience at their undergraduate institution.
  • Know a faculty member at a primarily undergraduate institution? Check to see if that person would include a guest lecture in their course planning.
  • Reach out to the colleges in the region where you live, such as by contacting a biology or chemistry faculty member or department chair. For instance:
    • Does the department have a career day during which you could be a panelist?
    • Is there a journal club or a seminar series?
    • Is there a student science club?

Once you have identified a host, work together to provide information for the application, and then, you, as the ToxScholar, should submit the final application. Remember that:

  • SOT members are eligible to serve as ToxScholars; Student members may apply after they have passed their qualifying exams.
  • You may request up to $500 for travel inside the country in which you live/work. A ToxScholar from one country who goes to a country included in the SOT Global Economy Support Program may request up to $1,250. SOT will reimburse expenses according to SOT expense reimbursement and ToxScholar guidelines. Allowable expenses include direct event expenses, such as food and beverages for the undergraduates who attend, and/or travel costs for the ToxScholar.
  • If travel is not feasible, the ToxScholar could make a virtual visit, including a presentation and interactions with students and faculty.
  • The program encourages visits to institutions with a high proportion of students from groups underrepresented in science, technology, engineering math and medicine (STEM) fields.
  • In addition to the September 1 deadline, there are two additional deadlines: January 15 and April 1.

Interested in being a ToxScholar but not ready to submit a formal application? Let SOT know that you are available to make a ToxScholar visit by sending a message to Betty Eidemiller. Sometimes, SOT receives requests and can try to match you.