ACM-BCB Undergraduate Travel Award

Click here to complete the Google Form application by June 27th for a chance to attend ACM-BCB '22 in Chicago Illinois Aug 7-10!

The ACM-BCB Undergraduate Travel Scholarship was established in 2018 to promote computational biology education for undergraduates through conference attendance. The travel award, supported by the NSF, aims to support students who want to learn more about computational biology. See a recent computational biology education talk for more details about undergraduate conference attendance.

The Association for Computing Machinery's Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, and Health Informatics is the association's main bioinformatics conference. ACM-BCB covers a broad range of topics and workshops (see the 2021 program for an example). ACM-BCB is ideal for undergraduates who wish to learn about cutting-edge research at the intersection of computer science, biology, and medicine. This experience may be especially useful for students at institutions without computational biology programs or institutions with limited research and travel funds for undergraduates.

Undergraduate travel awardees receive free conference registration and housing at the conference hotel, and will get a chance to meet with other undergraduates before the meeting begins. Students are responsible for transportation and meals that are not covered by the conference, and they are encouraged to seek funding from their home department or institution for these items.

This year, the award will support student attendance at ACM-BCB '22 in Chicago, IL from August 7 - August 10. Students will stay at the conference hotel, where the conference events will also be held (location coming soon).

Applicant Eligibility

Students must be enrolled in a U.S.-based college (including 4-year, 2-year, or community college), and have a faculty mentor who will confirm their enrollment and provide a brief recommendation. Relevant coursework (in biology, CS, statistics, etc.) is preferred. No research experience or minimum GPA is required. Students at all stages in their college career are eligible. Applicants from underrepresented groups in computer science (including women, historically underrepresented minority groups, and students with disabilities) are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply - Deadline is June 27

  • Complete the Google Form application. In addition to general information, you will be asked to answer the following (no more than 250 words each):
    1. List a faculty mentor's name and email who can confirm your enrollment at your institution.
    2. List relevant coursework that you have taken (biology, CS, math, chem, etc.)
    3. What research experience and/or conference experience have you had, if any?
    4. Why are you interested in learning about computational biology?
    5. What do you expect to gain from attending a scientific conference?
    6. Take a look at last year's website, including the program. What components/topics of ACM-BCB '21 do you find interesting and why?
  • Your faculty mentor will receive an email to confirm your enrollment at your institution shortly after you apply.
You will hear back by July 1.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the evaluation critera?

The evaluation critera are comprised of the following (in no particular order):
  • Relevant coursework or other demonstrated interest in computational biology
  • Specific examples in the essay questions
  • Lack of resources at current institution
  • Career stage of the applicant
  • Ability to attend the full conference

Who makes the final decisions?

Applications will be reviewed by an award committee, organized by Anna Ritz. The award committee members change every year.

What can get reimbursed?

Conference registration and hotel will be provided. The conference provides some meals (usually lunches). There will also be a gathering on one evening for everyone to meet, and a meal will be provided. The rest of conference (transportation and meals) will not be covered by this award.

What do award recipients do?

Award recipients are expected to attend the full ACM-BCB conference for all days and write a brief (1-page) summary of their conference experience. There may also be follow-up surveys to track student career choice (e.g. major, research, other activities). This (anonymized) information may be used as preliminary data in future grants or as data in education publications. Awardees and/or institutions will also be listed on this site.

What if I am not an undergraduate (e.g., I just graduated from college or I'm a graduate student?)

Unfortunately, this award is for current undergraduates only (students who will still be enrolled at their undergraduate institution in the fall of 2023). There are often other NSF travel awards to BCB that are open to graduate students and others who present research. Contact Anna for more information.

What if I have other questions?

Email Anna (aritz@reed.edu) and she will answer any questions.

Previous Awards

virtual logo

ACM-BCB '21 Virtual (47 students from 26 institutions)

  • Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
  • Carleton College, Northfield, MN (two students)
  • Central College, Pella, IA
  • Cornell University, Ithica, NY
  • Creighton University, Omaha, NE
  • Denison University, Granville, OH
  • Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA
  • Haverford College, Haverford, PA
  • Knox College, Galesburg, IL
  • Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
  • Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT (two students)
  • Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA
  • Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
  • Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA (two students)
  • Pomona College, Claremont, CA (four students)
  • Reed College, Portland, OR (two students)
  • Simmons University, Boston, MA (five students)
  • St. Edward's University, Austin, TX
  • Tufts University, Meford, MA
  • UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA (two students)
  • UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (two students)
  • University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
  • University of Washington, Seattle, WA (three students)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA (six students)
  • Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC

virtual logo

ACM-BCB '20 Virtual: Award Program Paused



ACM-BCB '19 in Niagara Falls (10 students)

  • Samuel Asamoah, Capital Community Colege, Hartford, CT
  • Rafe Batchelor, Bucknell University, Lewisberg, PA
  • Syed Arsalan Ghani, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
  • Julianna Locantore, Simmons University, Boston, MA
  • Nguyen Nguyen, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA
  • Michelle Pham, Bucknell University, Lewisberg, PA
  • Hanh Tran, Bucknell University, Lewisberg, PA
  • Nathaniel Tunningley, St. John Fisher College, East Rochester, NY
  • Michael Ventoso, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
  • Jakob Woerner, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Award Committee for 2019:

  • Peng Du (machine learning engineer at LinkedIn)
  • Nazeefa Fatima (bioinformatician at Uppsala University)
  • Yuan Gong (graduate student at University of Notre Dame)
  • Amy Rose Lazarte (software engineer at Puppet Labs)
  • Saleh Tamim (graduate student at University of Delaware)




ACM-BCB '18 in Washington, D.C. (pilot year, 3 students):

  • Miriam Bern, Reed College, Portland, OR
  • Sara Camilli, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
  • Alexander King, Reed College, Portland, OR

ritz portrait

Contact

Biology Department
Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202-8199

Email icon aritz-at-reed-dot-edu

CV icon Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

Google Scholar icon Google Scholar
LinkedIn icon LinkedIn
Research Gate icon Research Gate
orcid icon ORCID iD
GitHub icon GitHub
WordPress icon Ritz Bits
WordPress icon Compbio Blog
Twitter icon @anna_m_ritz