Applications for SOT Undergraduate Research Award Due October 16

By Jaime Mirowsky posted 09-28-2023 12:51


SOT support for undergraduate students changes lives. The SOT Undergraduate Research Award not only recognizes an outstanding student with an accepted abstract but supports travel and lodging to attend the 2024 SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo. One experience that can have a huge impact on a student considering graduate school is attending an SOT meeting: being immersed in the latest and greatest toxicology, having the opportunity to present your work, and networking with esteemed toxicologists.

The SOT Faculty United for Toxicology Undergraduate Recruitment and Education (FUTURE) Committee encourages undergraduates with research to present at this year’s Annual Meeting to apply for the SOT Undergraduate Research Award. The application deadline is October 16, and applicants must submit an abstract by this same date to be eligible—this is earlier than the November 13 abstract deadline. The application requires a nomination form to be submitted by the student’s research supervisor by October 18. We encourage any undergraduate student interested in applying for this award to work closely with their research advisor in completing their application.

SOT members who mentor undergraduate research or know undergraduate researchers can help these students and SOT by encouraging them to apply.


Testimonials from Previous SOT Undergraduate Research Award Recipients

Kathy De La Torre

Kathy De La Torre, a recipient of the 2021 SOT Undergraduate Research Award, underscores the value of the experience when she says, “Participating in the Society of Toxicology as an undergraduate has allowed me to learn about the different career paths, explore research areas, and find amazing mentors in toxicology. Receiving the SOT Undergraduate Research Award helped fund my trip to the SOT meeting in San Diego, California! At the meeting, I met many like-minded students through attending sessions specifically for undergrads and met my mentor, Dr. Pallavi, in person! To this day, I have stayed connected with my mentor, and she has been a tremendous help with graduate applications and thinking about future internships and career options. Currently, I am a first-year medical student in my MD/PhD program at University of Illinois at Chicago. I highly recommend that students apply for the different SOT awards!”


Christopher Clark

SOT Student member Christopher Clark received the SOT Pfizer Undergraduate Award in 2020 and is currently applying to PhD programs in environmental health or molecular toxicology. “My toxicology career began at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Timme-Laragy lab as an undergraduate research assistant studying the impact of PFAS exposure on developing zebrafish. As a past recipient of the Undergraduate Research Award, I remember how impactful the feeling was to finally be recognized as a scientist who was seen for his skills in the laboratory. In the years after receiving the travel award, I have continued to pursue scientific topics in the field of environmental health. I graduated with my master of science in environmental health sciences from the University of Michigan and work in their School of Public Health as a Research Laboratory Specialist, studying molecular and physiological changes in the heart that are induced by toxic chemical exposure. I make an effort to attend the annual Society of Toxicology meeting because SOT has become my scientific home, the place where I can be among friends and like-minded scientists. Every year of attendance is a renewal of a commitment I make to myself, my friends, and the scientific community that as a toxicologist I will bear witness to the widespread contamination of our bodies and the earth. To the undergraduate students reading this, I implore you to take a leap of faith and apply for this award. An undergraduate student who has done science that relates to the field of toxicology should speak with their supervisor about applying for the SOT Undergraduate Research Award. It might just be the first step into a fulfilling and exciting career in toxicology!”


Kevin Ozkuyumcu

Another SOT Student member, Kevin Ozkuyumcu, says “I was awarded the 2022 SOT Undergraduate Research Award for my research on the underlying mechanisms of sulfur mustard–induced injury and subsequent wound repair over 60 days in swine skin. Attending the 2022 SOT Annual Meeting was an excellent experience that I will always cherish. The SOT Annual Meeting is a great opportunity to both learn about the field of toxicology and to network with experts and contemporaries. Going to the SOT conference really opened my eyes to how vast toxicology really is and has even inspired me to continue with my education as a toxicology PhD student at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. My favorite memory from the 2022 SOT meeting was getting to spend the day with the other awardees. Even though I attended the conference a year and a half ago and most of them live in different parts of the country, I still keep in touch with many of them. I am very thankful for all the opportunities and unique experiences that the Undergraduate Research Award has given me and recommend any undergraduates who are interested to apply!“


Another travel award available for students is the Undergraduate Diversity Program Student Travel Award. That program also has an October 16 deadline. In addition, SOT Component Groups offer recognition of undergraduates, and these awards can be identified by selecting the “Undergraduate Students” career designation on the “SOT Awards” web page.