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Welcome to a Dynamic Year of Research…and a Year of Exciting Professional Development!


The American Society for Microbiology is delighted that have you been selected to participate in the Biology Scholars Program. We hope that you will find it a career-transforming experience. 


This information is provided to help you better understand your role, benefits, and responsibilities as an Biology Scholar. On this page you will find your assignments, lists of participants, and information about all aspects of the program.


Research Scholars Requirements and Expectations

Upon applying for the program, you confirmed you are available to participate in all aspects of the year-long Research Residency, including:


  • SoTL Institute, July 15-18, 2009, Washington, DC
  • Biology Scholars Capstone Institute, May 20, 2010, TBA, San Diego, CA
  • ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators, May 20-23, 2010, TBA, San Diego, CA
  • Research Residency Listserv Community
  • Presentations of your findings at local and/or national meetings
  • Five-year tracking of your professional development by ASM


Besides meeting these requirements, there are several other important expectations of you as an Research Scholar, including:

  • Formulate a hypothesis about student learning and develop a plan to test this hypothesis.
  • Conduct research according to the highest scientific and ethical standards and in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and policies regarding protection of human research subjects, human care and use of laboratory animals, and laboratory safety.
  • Publish results of your studies or works-in-progress in the peer-reviewed literature and share your expertise locally and/or nationally.
  • Report periodically to ASM regarding your current position, affiliation, and continued professional development for a minimum of five years after completion of the one-year Research Residency. This arrangement will ensure proper follow-up studies regarding the effectiveness of such programs.
  • Lead biology education reform locally in your institutions, within ASM, in the broader scientific community and in training the next generation of undergraduate biology educators.
  • Complete all assignments and projects and respond to all evaluative surveys during the residency and the four additional years of ASM's tracking of your professional development.


SoTL and Leadership Institutes


The first event Research Scholars are expected to attend is the SoTL Institute held in mid-July. This four-day, intensive institute will help you prepare for the year-long residency. Upon being accepted to the program, you will receive several pre-institute assignments providing background information in the field and helping participants focus on the goals of the institute. Upon completing the institute, participants will:

  • Develop a hypothesis to explore student learning in microbiology
  • Design an experiment using their classes to test the hypothesis
  • Identify existing resources regularly used to assess student learning
  • Understand methods of collecting and interpreting data used to measure student learning
  • Understand IRB requirements for conducting research on students
  • Identify appropriate venues for publishing their research
  • Biology Scholars are also expected to attend the Biology Scholars Capstone Institute held in May. This one-day institute is held just prior the the annual ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators. Upon completing the institute participants will:  
    1. Continue discussions on data collection and analysis
    2. Develop leadership skills for influencing biology education reform
    3. Identify opportunities to extend the educational community through publication of their research and findings
    4. Identify opportunities to grow a community of practice through their campus, regional and national mentoring and leadership efforts


Timelines, Assignments & Projects

The goal of the assignments and projects are meant to help you and your colleagues move through the residency thoughtfully and effectively. You are expected to complete all assignments in a timely manner and lend your experience and expertise to the cohort. Successfully completed assignments and a commitment to the program will result in you receiving a Certificate of Completion and a press release to share with administrators and colleagues at your institution.


Using the Research Scholars Listserv


As a Scholar, you are part of the Research Scholars listserv community of your cohort, facilitators and ASM staff. ASM staff and facilitators will contact you via this listserv with reminders and other items of interest. Feel free to post questions or items you believe others would find interesting. Past cohorts have found the list to be valuable when they have hit roadblocks or needed advice about “how you do XYZ…?” at your institution. For example, previous comments posted include:

"I am trying to submit my IRB proposal... and now realize that I have to submit a long list of stuff with
my proposal. It includes the forms required, written answers to a set of questions, consent forms, the tools (surveys and tests) that I will use...I also have to go online and complete NSF training and obtain a certificate. BUT the last thing they ask for is that my Department Chair also complete the training and have certificate on file. Is this required at other institutions?"


 "The May 18, 2007 issue of Science, vol. 316, pp 996-997, has an article titled, "Childhood Origins of Adult Resistance to Science". It is a review in a special section on behavioral science. Well worth taking the time to get it and read it."




Throughout the residency you will be asked to help support one another and keep in contact with your critical friend, team facilitator and team members. Please use these contacts, as well as the rest of the cohort, as resources throughout your residency. The role of the critical friend is as I) sounding board; II) provider of oral and written feedback; and III) anchor and point of reference. Several of your assignments require sharing your work and helping to review the work of other Scholars in the cohort.




Plan on a great reunion with your fellow Scholars and ASM Staff at the ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators ( May 20-23, 2010 location TBA. As a Scholar, you are required to attend the Capstone Institute the day prior to ASMCUE and to present your research at the conference. Please plan for your attendance now and apply early for any travel funding you may need to attend. More details will be posted on this website in the spring.



After the Residency

What happens when it’s over? It is our hope that your experience as an Biology Scholar will never be “over.” One goal of the Biology Scholars Program is to promote ongoing relationships between Scholar cohorts and promote you as a leader within the biological education community. As mentioned, we want to track your successes for at least five years. We want you to continue to develop professionally. We want you to publicly present your findings to develop a community of practice. Past Scholars have been invited to serve as mentors and to speak at education meetings about their involvement in the program.


To continue our work together it is vital for us to keep in touch. Please drop us an email whenever you are recognized for your work, lead a workshop on campus or within the community, have an itemed published, etc. Your success will serve as a model to others.

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