Community Scientist Fellowship Program F.A.Q.

Become a mentor who launches a thousand science careers and creates equity in the scientific community

Learn new skills, develop your professional network, and gain hands-on experience from scientists with years of experience at BioBus, an internationally recognized leader in creating equity in science

See the main fellowship page here, or proceed for answers to frequently asked questions

What is BioBus?
BioBus helps minority, female, and low-income K-12 and college students in New York City discover, explore, and pursue science. We envision a world where all people have the opportunity to reach their full scientific potential. Since 2008, 300,000 students at more than 800 schools have discovered the thrill of scientific discovery, with many embarking on a path of scientific exploration and sustained pursuit. Join our vibrant community of scientists by applying for this fellowship. You will become a cornerstone of BioBus young scientists’ professional networks and their conduit to joining the scientific community.

What is the Community Scientist Fellowship?
In BioBus’s Community Scientist Fellowship Program, you will join a community that is changing the face of science. You will learn to help as few as five or as many as five thousand young scientist pursue a science career. With training and feedback from seasoned BioBus scientists and students from public schools in Harlem, the Lower East Side, and across New York City, you will measurably improve your science communication and mentorship powers. Combining theory with the hard work needed to create equity in science careers, fellows complete 62 hours of training during this one year program. However, the fellowship is designed to accommodate your demanding research schedule. Academic and industry scientists will connect throughout the program, strengthening professional networks. In addition to connecting to like-minded professional scientists, you will broaden your network to include young scientists with great potential but few science opportunities. Read on for more details.

Who can apply?
Graduate students, post docs, and scientists working in industry are all encouraged to apply. For academic scientists, your love for science will inspire and guide students along the path to higher education. For industry scientists, you will inspire students to stick with science and achieve your company’s DEI goals.

What is the fellowship schedule?
The program begins with 3 half-day training sessions (12 hours total). Subsequently, you will schedule 50 hours of program and professional development activity over approximately one year, for an average of one hour per week. Being scientists ourselves, we understand the rigors of a research schedule. We will work with you to match you to the BioBus activities that will both reach your goals for the fellowship while fitting with the rest of your schedule. Academic participants are anticipated to be able to schedule experiments to allow for school day or after school availability. Industry scientists are often able to use company volunteer days during the week or volunteer on weekends.

What are the activities of the fellowship?

Every Fellow will participate in an initial series of three half-day trainings (12 hours total). Topics will include:

  • Science education literature review, understanding barriers to equity in science
  • Understanding and exploring BioBus’s inquiry-based, lab-centric theory of change and program logic for introductory, in-depth, and career programs.
  • Overview and practice with various BioBus platforms, including mobile labs, community labs, and online labs.
  • Learn how to monitor program and student success by entering and reporting data with BioBus’s Salesforce-based CRM.
  • Developing your personalized goal for your fellowship. Prepare to track progress towards those goals via observations and self-observations using Harvard PEAR’s Dimensions of Success rubric.
  • Cultural competency training to match your approach to the unique needs of Black and Latinx young scientists

In addition, every fellow will participate in 50 hours of program and professional development activity over approximately one year, for an average of one hour per week. Activities will consist of:

  • Produce or appear in Student Science Town Hall live public events
  • Teach live Introductory Discover at Home classes – one hour online lab programs
  • Produce, appear in, and teach Explore synchronous and asynchronous in-depth science programs
  • Mentor high school and college BioBus Junior Scientists. Mentorship includes helping interns perform their own research projects.
  • Ongoing, customized professional development, guided by your goals and self and external observations
  • Use data to measure impact of programs on students.
  • Matching young BioBus scientists to your lab or company’s internship or entry-level job program.

Programs are expected to be online through June 2021 and then shift to their in-person equivalent.

How do I apply?

Who will lead the fellowship?
This program is directed by BioBus Lead Community Scientist Robert Frawley, who joined BioBus after completing his Ph.D. at Weill Cornell Medical College and has been a leader at BioBus for over four years. In addition, BioBus Community Scientist Sedef Tinaztepe, who joined BioBus after receiving her Ph.D. from Columbia University, will be making significant contributions to the program.

In addition to Rob and Sedef, you will train and teach BioBus programs along-side many members of BioBus’s twenty full-time staff, including:
Chief Scientific Officer Latasha Wright, Ph.D.
Lead Community Scientist Devon Collins, Ph.D.
Director of Evaluation Roya Heydari, Ph.D.
Executive Director Ben Dubin-Thaler, Ph.D.

How much does it cost?
The fellowship costs BioBus $3820 plus a $1,180 materials fee for BioBus for approximately 62 hours per fellow (12 hours of classroom training + 50 hours of practical training). This covers cost of staff to train, supervise, coordinate, observe, and provide feedback to fellows. BioBus works with academics and industry scientists like yourself to support these costs. While fellows may pay the cost themselves, most academics work with their PI to identify supplemental, broader impact, or professional development money in your grants. For industry scientists, many companies offer money for continuing education and professional development, have corporate social responsibility grants, or will donate to a non-profit for hours or days you volunteer or make matching donations that can reduce the cost to you.

Who has done this program in the past?
BioBus has trained hundreds of scientists over the past ten years. From graduate students at Columbia to post-doctoral fellows at Rockefeller to senior scientists at Regeneron, scientists come from academia and industry across NYC and beyond to make a difference and learn new skills. Industry partners include Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Olympus of America, while academic partners include City College, NYU, Columbia, Pace, Fordham, SUNY Stonybrook, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.

BioBus’s mission is to build inclusive and accessible scientific communities where every New York City student can fulfill their academic, financial, and personal potential in science. Founded in 2008, we create pathways for minority, female, and low-income students to discover, explore, and pursue science. Our two research-grade mobile laboratories, brick-and-mortar BioBase Harlem @ Columbia University, field sites, and online labs bring excitement, expertise, and state-of-the-art microscopes directly to underserved students. BioBus Community Scientists lead the hands-on research projects that transform students into scientists, and prepare low-income New Yorkers for a life in science. Join us by becoming a BioBus Community Science Fellow.

As a volunteer, I help students explore marine biology with microscopes on the bus. I also bring mutant nematode worms, the same organism I study for my PhD research, to the BioBase to show students the fundamentals of genetics. I value my experience as a volunteer because it allows me to take the subject I love and share it hands on with the a new generation of excited scientists.

Max Kramer