I was awarded an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology, which will provide support for me to investigate the roles of AOX in facultative sex and help me broaden participation of first-generation college students in scientific research.
This is my 4th award from NSF: EAPSI, ICORPS, DDIG, PRFB
An increasing number of universities are recognizing the poor predictive power and socio-economic biases associated with standardized test scores. As a result, some universities no longer require the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) test or use applicants' scores as a criterion for acceptance to graduate school. This is a great step forward, but brings about some potential problems; other metrics, such as research experience and related letters of recommendation will likely carry more weight (as I think they should). The problem is that access to research experience suffers from the same biases as standardized tests. Often, NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs and individual PIs use grade point averages (GPA) as a filter when selecting potential undergraduate trainees. Unfortunately, this criterion also is biased against certain populations, including first-generation college students.
My goal is help break down barriers to science education and research experience by recruiting students for research training by evaluating personal interest, curiosity, and creativity, and not GPA. One thing I've learned is that our past performance doesn't dictate our future or our capacity to learn.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.