Are you thinking about attending grad school? Then you should consider applying for the Undergraduate Diversity program for the Evolution 2011 conference. I was part of this program in 2009, and it was amazing for a number of reasons:

  • Evolution is a huge conference, with over a thousand people attending. It’s a great place to learn about cutting edge research, scope out potential graduate schools, and network with other scientists.
  • Presenting your research at a conference as an undergrad is an amazing experience. Not only is it great practice, but it’s excellent resume fodder. Not many undergrads get the opportunity, and it’ll definitely make you stand out on grad school applications.
  • The Undergrad Diversity program will pay all of your expenses (plane, housing, food) to attend the conference. If you have lab mates going, you get the bonus of rubbing it in.

You don’t have to be a minority to reply, but don’t be afraid to mention that you’re an atheist if you do – I did on my application. I know that in the past they haven’t had enough people applying for this, so you have a pretty good chance of getting in. Doesn’t hurt to try! The application is here.

And if you get in, say hello to me! Well, assuming I can convince my advisor (whoever that’ll be) to let me go this year, even though I probably won’t have any research to present. I wouldn’t be motivated to go to any old conference in Norman, Oklahoma, so you know it has to be awesome. That and I want to see my former labmates and meet ERV.

So, go apply!