New Scholars Symposium on Fostering Diversity in Microbiology: Call for applicants

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Bacteria in a root nodule, freeze fracture, x13,000

New Scholars Symposium on Fostering Diversity in Microbiology: Research, Pedagogy, and Climate in STEM

January 14-16, 2018

Bates College, Lewiston, Maine

Application deadline 10 November, 2017


Founded in 1855, Bates is one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, with a long history of commitments to principles of human dignity and diversity.  Since its inception, Bates has been a coeducational, nonsectarian, residential college with special commitments to academic rigor and to programs and opportunities for learners of all backgrounds.

Bates’ mission and history create an imperative for equity in education and an accompanying obligation to support the intellectual aspirations of every student.  Driven by institutional research, current literature, and conversations among our faculty and students, Bates has committed to increasing the educational and opportunity outcomes for students from underrepresented groups in STEM and has made this effort a key part of its current capital fundraising campaign.

Related to this endeavor, the Biology department has committed itself to not only robustly engaging with internal issues related to curriculum, climate, and culture, but also engaging external scholars and thought-leaders. The symposium, “Fostering Diversity in Microbiology”, is part of this effort.


The Bates College Biology Department seeks applications from microbiology postdoctoral scholars and advanced PhD students from groups underrepresented in the sciences to participate in an expenses-paid panel on microbiology and on STEM education.  We especially welcome applications from individuals of Black/African American, Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Native Pacific Islander descent.

The Fostering Diversity in Microbiology New Scholars Symposium will take place January 14-16, 2018 as part of our annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day program.


We have four main aims for this New Scholars Symposium:

  • highlight current topics in microbiology, featuring the research and/or pedagogies of the panelists;
  • discuss issues surrounding undergraduate and graduate STEM education for scholars from underrepresented groups;
  • engage with curious undergraduates on topics related to diversity, inclusivity, education and research in STEM; and
  • foster mutually-supportive connections between the panelists and Bates faculty and students.

Successful applicants will give short presentations on their own microbiology research, participate in a panel discussion about undergraduate and graduate STEM education, meet with enthusiastic students, engage with our faculty working group on the success of URM STEM students, and join the audience for our MLK Day events on this year’s theme of race, equity, and education.  See for an example of a previous year’s MLK Day program.



The application process is competitive, as Bates will provide travel and a small stipend for the panelists.  To apply, please submit a CV and a cover letter that describes your background and career aspirations.  Please submit applications via Interfolio by 10 November 2017, at

For more information, please contact Prof. Don Dearborn at