The goal of the ASM Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship is to increase the number of underrepresented groups completing doctoral degrees in the microbiological sciences. It is aimed at highly competitive graduate students who are enrolled in a PhD program and who have completed their graduate course work in the microbiological sciences. Up to seven PhD candidates are awarded the three-year fellowship annually. The fellowship encourages students to continue and complete their research project in the microbiological sciences. Applicants are reviewed according to the following criteria:
- Academic achievement
- Evidence of a successful research plan developed in collaboration with research advisor/mentor
- Relevant career goals in the microbiological sciences
- Involvement in activities that serve the needs of underrepresented groups
The program provides a total stipend of $63,000 ($21,000/year).
See http://www.asm.org/index.php/grants/25-education/students/164-asm-robert-d-watkins-graduate-research-fellowship for more information on the Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship.
ASM offers students exposure to the professional world of science and develops academic and leadership skills to ensure success. The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 47,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications and educational opportunities.
A Little Historical Perspective
An ASM-sponsored national fellowship program for minority graduate students in the microbiological sciences, established in 1980, was renamed the Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship in 19
97. Watkins served as ASM’s Public Relations Director and was the first African-American to serve in a major staff position at ASM, and he was very active in promoting ASM’s minority programs.*
*Revisiting the Contributions of African-American Scientists to ASM, Though piecing the story together can be difficult, we need to remember and honor the contributions of African-Americans to ASM, Authored by: Marian Johnson-Thompson, PhD, Microbe/Volume 2, Number 2, 2007
This posting quotes extensively from the ASM website.