Broadening Participation in the Biological Sciences: A Workshop for Undergraduate Students

Space for this workshop  is limited. To register, complete the online registration form.

Please visit the workshop agenda for more information on the day's activities.

Workshop Dates: October 2-3, 2015.

Download Saturday agenda.

Download a pdf of this page here.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and iDigBio are pleased to announce a free workshop and career shadowing opportunity for undergraduate students focusing on career and graduate study opportunities in biology, biodiversity, ecology, museum studies, and evolution. This is a two day event, with Friday devoted to shadowing scientists in the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science's scientific collections and labs and Saturday focused on a series of short talks, interspersed with firsthand collections tours. Participants may attend one or both days. One of the primary goals is increasing minority participation in the biological sciences within such groups as African and Black Americans, Native Americans, and individuals of Hispanic ethnicity. However, the workshop and shadowing events are open to any college freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, or recent graduate who is interested in learning about graduate study or a career in biology.

The workshop will be held at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh on Friday and Saturday, October 2-3, 2015. Friday's shadowing opportunity will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday's workshop will begin at 9:30 a.m. We have space to accommodate approximately 100 participants at the Saturday workshop, first come, first served.

Friday's shadowing day will provide opportunities to interact with museum scientists and get hands-on experiences inside the scientific collections and labs. Participants will be able to select areas of interest they wish to shadow, including fishes, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, fossils (both vertebrate and invertebrate), birds, and mammals as well as genomics and microbiology, biodiversity, paleontology, and geology. We have space to accommodate approximately 20 participants in these shadowing opportunities. Selections will be on a first come, first served basis and we will do our best to honor first choices. Collections tours will also be provided as part of the Saturday workshop.

Saturday's presentations will offer advice on undergraduate curriculum decisions, information about scholarships and financial aid, opportunities for on- and off-campus research for undergraduate students, opportunities for international travel, and the attraction of contemporary methods in biological research. Speakers will include an array of academic and field biologists, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students.

Click here to complete the online application and here for the Saturday agenda.

A light breakfast will be provided each day, beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Friday and 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Lunch will also be provided both days and on Saturday will include a special opportunity to interact with undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, workshop speakers, museum professionals, and biology faculty from several universities. We will end the day on Saturday with a reception and mixer with heavy hors d'oeuvres and the opportunity to win one of ten $25.00 Amazon gift cards as well as allow further opportunities for individualized conversation, personal attention, and networking.


Participation is limited and acceptance is on a first-come, first-served basis. Register soon to reserve your place.

To register, complete the online registration form.  

For more information, e-mail: Gil Nelson (



This workshop is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, award #1358501. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.