TRAVEL awards For underrepresented professionals


The National Academy of Sciences will host the Sackler Colloquium, Advancing the Science and Practice of Science Communication: Misinformation About Science in the Public Sphere, on April 3-4, 2019 at UC Irvine.


  • Modesta Nnedinso Abugu is a masters student at Florida Gainesville. She was a Cornell Alliance for Science fellow, consulted on the Biosafety Policy of Nigeria, and worked with the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa.

  • Kevin Alicea-Torres is a biomedical PhD candidate at Penn. He is a Yale Ciencia Academy Fellow and founded his local SACNAS chapter. He is also a founder and host of the podcast Caminos en Ciencia.

  • Tamara Marcus is a PhD student at UNH, NCAR visiting graduate fellow, an AGU Voices for Science fellow, a board member of NAACP, and developer for Black Girls Code. She spent her Fulbright fellowship working on Himalayan lake chemistry.

  • Dr. Fanuel Muindi is the Assistant Director of Grad Studies in the Dept of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard. He is the co-founder and Director of Stem Advocacy Institute (SAI), and Editor in Chief of Stories in Science.

  • Ana Claudia Nepote is PhD candidate in Sustainability Science with a focus on narratives and communication at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM). She sits on the editorial board of Saber Más pop science magazine, and hosts the Paralelo 19 weekly radio program at the Sistema Michoacano de Radio y Television.

  • Pah-tu Pitt is a Community Engagement Specialist for the Na’ah Illahee Fund, where she is working to advance sustainable Indigenous cultures and collective resilience to climate change. She was an artist in residence working on water issues at the Seattle Public Library.

  • Evelyn Valdez-Ward is an NAS Ford Foundation Fellow, a PhD student, co-founder of #reclaimingSTEM, and associate director of Turn of The Tide, a podcast highlighting women at the intersect between climate change and social justice. 

Selection Criteria:

These awards will be granted to confirmed meeting participants who represent historically underrepresented people and perspectives. We are looking for:

  • a record of strong interest in science communication and/or misinformation about science as demonstrated by your publications, activities, and/or coursework; and

  • the potential to contribute to the field in developing innovative theories, methods, or real-world applications of science communication scholarship.

These travel grants are for people of racial or ethnic identities historically underrepresented in American academia. We are happy to accept applications from people of any nationality. We especially welcome individuals from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Native American Tribal Colleges, Hispanic Serving Institutions/Hispanic Area Colleges and Institutions, and Minority Serving Institutions. We welcome graduate students, postdocs, early-career faculty, and science communication professionals at non-profit organizations. If the specifics of your employment do not fit those categories, please do not be discouraged from applying.

To ApplY:

Please prepare the following:

  • a statement of interest (400 words maximum) that describes how attending the Colloquium supports your learning and professional development goals; and

  • a brief résumé or full CV - no need to reformat what you are currently using.

NEW UPDATE: We have secured additional funding to cover registration, hotel, and travel! We initially promised five $500 awards. We are now able to offer seven $1400 awards. These funds may be used to cover any meeting-related costs, at the recipients’ discretion. Our goal for these travel awards is to reduce barriers within the science communication field, and to better represent historically minoritized perspectives in our methodologies, research, and practice.

Please submit your application by midnight PT on Monday, February 25, 2019. The selection committee is comprised of members of the Colloquium organizing committee and The Story Collider Board of Directors. We will notify applicants of selection by March 5, 2019.

We are so grateful to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative for their contribution to these awards.



Please visit the official Colloquium website for the agenda, travel details, FAQs, registration, and more.



This is the 4th Sackler Colloquium focused on the Science of Science Communication. Since 1991, there have been some 100 Sackler colloquia across a wide variety of topics. They are made possible by a gift of The Dame Jillian and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler Foundation for the Arts, Sciences & Humanities to the National Academies. Proceedings are often published in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences,

The Sackler family has recently been the subject of news coverage and lawsuits connected to Purdue Pharma and the marketing of Oxycontin. Dame Jillian Sackler has issued the following statement: “None of the charitable donations made by Arthur prior to his death, nor that I made on his behalf after his death, were funded by the production, distribution or sale of OxyContin or other revenue from Purdue Pharma.“

The Story Collider takes this issue extremely seriously. We are proud to feature stories about addiction and the opioid crisis on our stages and our podcast. We stand with everyone coping with the consequences of addiction.