School of Biological Sciences

Diversity Fellows Program


Scientific progress advances through the collaborative efforts of individuals with unique and diverse viewpoints, ideas, experiences and approaches. The University of Utah School of Biological Sciences is committed to enhancing the diversity of students in its PhD program. To this end, the School will host a one day workshop specifically designed to assist students to apply, and gain acceptance, to graduate school.

The workshop is intended for current undergraduates, recent college graduates, and students who are working towards or have recently obtained M.S. degrees. Students who are accepted into this workshop will be designated as School of Biological Sciences Diversity Fellows, and will have transportation, housing and meal expenses covered.

The 2019 Diversity Fellows Program will be held November 22-24, 2019. Attendees will arrive on November 22 and depart on November 24, with programming scheduled for November 23. Attendees will tour the School of Biological Sciences and participate in an intimate workshop on the graduate school application and interview process. Topics covered in the workshop include successful preparation for graduate school, creating a CV/Resume, crafting a personal statement, and putting your best foot forward during the interview process.

Fellows will also have the opportunity to attend a poster session presented by current PhD students, tour the University of Utah campus and meet with faculty and graduate students. This program is an excellent way to preview the University of Utah/School of Biological Sciences and gain insights into the process of applying to graduate school.


This program is designed for students with a strong interest in research in all areas of biology who wish to enter graduate school within the next 1-3 years. We especially encourage students from underrepresented minorities and developing nations to apply, as well as those inhabiting other axes of diversity. Students attending Minority Serving Institutions (such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities), first-generation students, and undocumented students are particularly invited to apply.


  • Application due date:  September 30, 2019 (11:59 pm MST)
  • Applicants Notified:  October 14, 2019
  • Campus Visit:  November 22—24, 2019

Application Requirements

Applications should include the following:

  • Application Form
  • Biological interests and research statement (250 words max)
  • Diversity/Inclusion Statement: Please include a statement describing your commitment and contributions to fostering diversity and inclusion, broadly defined (250 words max)

  • Unofficial transcript (minimum GPA of 3.0 required)

  • One letter of recommendation. Letter writer should email the letter directly to (

There is no requirement for applicants to express a commitment in applying to graduate school at the University of Utah. Applicants who are interested in applying to graduate school in general may apply.


Please email the above application materials (excluding recommendation letter) to Shannon Nielsen in a **single pdf document** on or before September 30, 2019. 

Questions: please contact or (801) 581-5636.