The SOT Committee on Diversity Initiatives (CDI) encourages SOT undergraduate and graduate students who are members of groups underrepresented in the sciences to apply for the Diversity Initiatives Career Development Award.
The Diversity Initiatives Career Development Award enables undergraduate and graduate students to engage in additional education and career development opportunities to enhance their personal development. The SOT Diversity Initiatives Endowment Fund supports this award, which is administered by the CDI. Created in 2009, the goal of this fund is to increase and retain individuals from groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences.
Awards of up to $1,000 per recipient may be given. Recipients are chosen based on criteria that include quality of proposed experience, relevance of the proposed professional activity to a career involving the science of toxicology, academic achievement, and recommendation by an academic advisor.
In 2022, three students received a Diversity Initiatives Career Development Award and shared their experiences:
- Catalina Cobos-Uribe, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, used the award to take the online, two-day “Exposome Boot Camp: Measuring Exposures on an ’Omic Scale” course hosted annually by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Following the course, Catalina shared, “This experience provided valuable resources and knowledge for my current and future research and has already impacted my current projects, including the focus of a review I am currently working on that is about the respiratory microbiome and metabolome in asthma.”
- Rakeysha Pinkston, a graduate student at Southern University and A&M College, used the award to attend the American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference in San Francisco, California, May 15–18. Rakeysha was selected to deliver a poster discussion presentation session at the meeting. After the meeting, she reported, “Overall, the ATS meeting was a fantastic experience that was indispensable to my training and professional goals. In the upcoming year, I would like to pay this experience forward by participating in mentoring events that would aid undergraduate or graduate students in finding the right career path, as well as how to effectively network with professionals.”
- Krystal Taylor, a graduate student at the East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine, used the award to participate in the Scientist Mentoring & Diversity Program (SMDP) and attend the SMDP conference in San Diego, California, June 11–15. The SMDP is a one-year career mentoring program organized by the International Center for Professional Development that pairs ethnically diverse graduate students with industry mentors. Krystal shared, “I am grateful for these growth opportunities and my increased network within the pharma industry. Thank you, SOT, for selecting me as an SOT Diversity Initiatives Career Development Award recipient so that I can receive valuable training to pursue my chosen career in consumer health toxicology.”
Visit the “Diversity Initiatives Career Development Award” web page for more information on the award, eligibility criteria, and application materials. The deadline for award applications is April 15, 2023.