Researchers Awarded Grants to Build Educational Programs and Encourage Diversity in Research

May 15, 2018

Media Contact:
Heather Thorstensen
Manager of Communications
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society or (919) 549-4691 ext. 216

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC—In communities around the world, scientists and engineers who have been inducted into a century-old society gather to learn from one another, to reach out to the public to help them learn about research, and to support students who are pursuing research careers. They gather in their local chapters of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society.

Three Sigma Xi chapters have been selected to receive grants to improve their programming. These chapters were selected by Sigma Xi’s Committee on Qualifications and Membership.

Diversity Grant

The Diversity Grant provides up to $1,000 in seed money for chapters to create innovative diversity programs that encourage participation by individuals from underrepresented groups within the science and engineering communities. Diversity may reflect gender, race, ethnicity, disability (mental or physical), and/or socioeconomic status.

Fiscal Year 2018 Recipient

1) The Rush University Chapter in Chicago, Illinois, will receive $500 to provide awards that will encourage research doctoral minority students to participate in an annual research presentation event. This is the second consecutive year that the Rush University Chapter received a Diversity Grant.

Science, Math, and Engineering  Education (SMEE) Grant

SMEE Grants provide up to $2,000 for chapters to fund innovative educational programs. 

Fiscal Year 2018 Recipients

1) The Southern Illinois University–Carbondale Chapter in Carbondale, Illinois, will receive $2,000 for its proposal titled, “Building Big Data Research & Teaching Synergy at SIUC.” Funding will be used to develop a two-semester program that brings big data experts to the SIU campus to deliver public talks, roundtable discussions, and research workshops for in depth training in big data applications.

2) The State University College at Plattsburgh Chapter in Plattsburgh, New York, will receive $2,000 for its proposal titled, “Real Time DNA Barcoding within the Adirondack State Park.” This project aims to use DNA barcoding and portable biotechnology to identify species within the Adirondack Park. Participants, including bioinformatics students and grades sixth through twelfth science teachers, will get hands-on field experience in sample collection and DNA analysis.

“We, the committee, were very impressed with all the proposals,” said Emma Perry, chair of the Committee on Qualifications and Membership, which selected the chapter grant recipients. “The ones selected were particularly impressive, each bringing their research to a broader audience with a clear objective and a mapped out strategy for achieving that goal.”

Sigma Xi chapters are invited to apply for grants by March 1 annually. Details for chapter officers may be found in the Officer Resource Center

More About Sigma Xi: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society is the world’s largest multidisciplinary honor society for scientists and engineers. Its mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers around the world. More than 200 Nobel Prize winners have been members. The Society is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. On Twitter: @SigmaXiSociety