Awards and Scholarships for Students

  • Charlotte Mangum Student Support Program
  • Broadening Participation Committee Travel Award
  • Grants in Aid of Research
  • Fellowship of Graduate Student Travel
  • Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship
  • Dorothy M. Skinner Award
  • Best Student Presentation Program


  • Charlotte Mangum Student Support Program
    The Charlotte Mangum Student Support Program, named in honor of SICB President Charlotte Preston Mangum, awards financial support in the form of housing or waived registration fees at the annual meetings. Those applicants granted housing support will receive housing (with a co-pay of presently $75/meeting) for up to five (5) nights during the Annual Meeting. For guidelines and application, refer to the webpages for the upcoming meeting. As a condition to receive this award, each student must agree to donate time as an assistant during some of the sessions. Normally, student may receive support to attend the annual meeting for up to three years. Only graduate student and undergraduate SICB student members are eligible.

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    Broadening Participation Committee Travel Award
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    Information & Application

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    Grants In Aid Of Research Program (GIAR)
    If you are interested in the Grants in Aid of Research program and need either more information or an application form, please visit our online Guidelines and Application Form.

        - Previous Awards

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    Fellowship of Graduate Student Travel (FGST)
    The Fellowship of Graduate Student Travel (FGST) provides funds for travel and other expenses for students to work at distant research laboratories, museums, or field sites. The primary purpose is for travel to "distant" research sites to learn specialized techniques or to use unique equipment or collections. The SSC expects to grant 2-3 fellowships of up to $2000 this year. Click here for Guidelines and Application Form. If you are interested in the Grants in Aid of Research program and need either more information or an application form, please visit our online Guidelines.

        - Previous Awards

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    Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship
    This scholarship, in memory of Libbie H. Hyman, one of America's foremost invertebrate zoologists, provides assistance to students to take courses or to pursue research on invertebrates at a marine, freshwater, or terrestrial field station. The Hyman Grant is intended to help support a first meaningful field-station experience for a first- or second-year graduate student, or an advanced undergraduate.

    For guidelines and online application go to http://sicb.org/grants/hyman/

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    Dorothy M. Skinner Award Fund
     Dorothy Skinner, a long-time member of the Society for Integrative Biology and The Crustacean Society, died on February 12, 2005 from complications of Parkinson's disease. We have not only lost a prominent member of our community, but also an influential mentor and advocate for women in science. As a memorial, a fund has been established for the "Dorothy M. Skinner Award." The award recognizes women in the early stages of their careers who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship and show high potential for continued excellence in research. It provides travel support to awardees to present their research at annual meetings of the SICB. To make a donation, go to our secure Online Contribution Form.

    Dorothy M. Skinner Award Application Form

    Past Dorothy M. Skinner Awardees
    • 2014: Connie O'Connor
    • 2013: Brooke Flammang
    • 2012: Molly Dickens
    • 2011: Rebecca Calisi
    • 2010: Maren Vitousek
    • 2009: Jessica E. Garb, University of Arizona
    • 2008: Deborah I. Lutterschmidt, Georgia State University


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    Best Student Presentation (BSP) Program

    2014 BSP Award Winners

    2013 BSP Award Winners

    2012 BSP Award Winners

    2011 BSP Award Winners

    2010 BSP Award Winners

    2009 BSP Award Winners

    2008 BSP Award Winners

    2007 BSP Award Winners

    If you wish to compete in the Best Student Presentation (BSP) Program for the division to which you are submitting your abstract, please check the Best Student Presentation box on the Abstract/Transmittal Form. The SICB Business Office will forward a copy of your Abstract/ Transmittal Form to the appropriate division for review. Following are the BSP Divisional Guidelines for your review and consideration. If you have questions about specific division rules and/or need further clarification, please contact the SICB Business Office.

    Some awards require that your advisor submit a letter stating the independent nature of your work (Refer to the BSP Division Guidelines.). If your Division requires such a letter, the letter must accompany the Abstract/Transmittal Form on the date the abstract is due for the next year's annual meeting.


    Summary of BSP Divisional Guidelines

    Division of Animal Behavior

    At each Annual Meeting of the Division of Animal Behavior there may be three student presentation awards. There will be two Division of Animal Behavior Best Student Presentation Awards presented, one for the outstanding oral presentation and one for the outstanding poster presentation. Additionally, there may be an Adrian M. Wenner Award presented for the oral or poster presentation that exemplifies the strong inference approach in experimental design and execution. Students who have not yet been awarded a Ph.D. are eligible to compete, as are those who have received a Ph.D. no more than 12 months prior to the meeting. The work presented must be original and must have been carried out principally by the student. A student who applies must be a member of the Division of Animal Behavior.


    Application Guidelines

    The DAB has Best Student Presentation competitions for both Oral and Poster presentations. Starting with the 2014 meeting, DAB is implementing major changes to its Oral presentation competition. The Poster presentation competition remains unchanged.

    Poster Competition. Students interested in entering the Poster Competition should check the Best Student Presentation box on the Abstract/Transmittal Form and select Poster as the presentation type elsewhere on the form. Poster entrants will be scheduled as part of the regular poster sessions at the meeting. Each poster presentation will be judged by DAB members, as assigned by the divisional secretary. The winner will be notified after the meeting.

    Oral Competition. Students interested in entering the Oral Competition should email a one-page pdf version of an Oral Competition extended abstract to the divisional secretary (Secretary.DAB@sicb.org). The deadline for the extended abstract is the same as the deadline for the SICB meeting abstract submission. In addition, entrants should check the Best Student Presentation box on the Abstract/Transmittal Form and select Oral as the presentation type elsewhere on the form. The 1-page DAB Oral Competition extended abstract is in addition to the normal abstract that SICB requests and must be submitted via the SICB website.

    Guidelines for the 1-page Oral Competition abstract:

    1. Must have a title, your name, and your affiliation.

    1. Use 12-point font, single-spaced, and 1-inch margins.

    1. One small figure may be embedded in the 1-page abstract.

    This extended abstract should be pitched more broadly than an abstract for a typical journal article. Besides including key details of the project, it should articulate the significance of the work in plain language. We are especially interested in empirical research with statistically strong and biologically interesting results, or modeling work with significant theoretical impact.

    When the SICB Program Committee convenes to determine the meeting schedule, a DAB committee of five judges will have picked eight finalists for the DAB oral competition. The committee will consist of the current officers of DAB (chair, program officer, secretary), a DAB member chosen at large, and a DAB member who has received their PhD within the past three years.

    The eight finalists for the oral competition will be scheduled to present during a session on the first day of the meeting. Each finalist will give a 15-minute talk in the same session. The five-judge panel will attend all presentations and decide on a winner. The winner will be announced at the DAB social.



    Division of Comparative Endocrinology

    Two awards will be given in the Best Student Presentation competition at the Annual Meeting: one for the best oral presentation and one for the best poster presentation. The award for the best oral presentation will be named the Aubrey Gorbman Award. In addition to a certificate, the prize will carry with it an award of $100. Students who have not yet been awarded a Ph.D. are eligible for the prize, as are new Ph.D.’s who have received the degree no more than 12 months prior to the meeting and are presenting a paper on their graduate research. The work must be original and must have been carried out principally by the student presenting the paper. The prize can be awarded to any one student.

    Guidelines for applying for the Aubrey Gorbman competition for Best Student Oral Presentations.

    For the 2014 conference, DCE will implement a major change to its Best Student Oral Presentation competition that includes submission of an extended abstract. The Lynn Riddiford competition for Best Student Poster Presentation will remain open to all applicants and an extended abstract is not required.

    Students interested in entering the Best Student Oral Competition should email a 1-page pdf version of their DCE Competition Abstract to the student award head judge, Mark Haussmann (mfh008@bucknell.edu). This 1-page DCE Competition Abstract is in addition to the normal abstract that SICB requests, which must be submitted via the SICB website by August 26, 2013.

    Guidelines for the 1-page abstract:

    • Must have a title and your name and affiliation.

    • Use 12-point fonts with 1-inch margins.

    • One small figure may be embedded in the 1-page abstract.

    • Must be attached as a pdf file.

    Abstract should be pitched more broadly than a typical journal abstract. In other words, it should rise above the details of the project to point out the broad significance of the work in plain language. We are especially interested in key tests of big ideas. Applicants for this competition should have complete studies ready to present, not preliminary data.

    By the time the SICB Program Officers convene to lay out the meeting schedule (September 28, 2013), a committee of 5 judges will have selected 14 abstracts for the oral competition. The committee will consist of judges chosen by the head judge.

    The 14 finalists will be scheduled to present during a single session. For the oral competition, each student will give a 15-min talk. The 5-judge panel will attend all presentations and decide on a winner during the meeting. The winner will be announced at the DCE social.

    Applicants not selected for the final oral competition should indicate, with a single sentence at the end of the extended abstract, whether they want to enter the Best Student Poster Competition or give their oral presentation during a regular session.

    Our current guidelines about eligibility, content, and criteria used for judging still apply (see first paragraph)

    Other details on SICB administrative procedures for best student presentation awards: http://www.sicb.org/resources/Administrative%20Procedures%20BSP.pdf




    Division of Comparative Physiology & Biochemistry

    Two awards will be given in the Best Student Presentation competition at the Annual Meeting, one for the best oral presentation and one for the best poster presentation. Each year the award will be titled in honor of a distinguished comparative physiologist or biochemist. The name of the honored person will be selected by the DCPB Executive Committee. Each award will include a certificate and monetary prize. Undergraduate students and graduate students who have not yet been awarded the PhD are eligible for the award, as are new PhD's who have received the degree no more than 12 months prior to the meeting. The work must be original and must be carried out principally by the student presenting the paper or poster. In any one year, a student can enter either the oral or poster competition. A student awarded either the top DCPB poster or talk prize is not eligible for future DCPB student presentation contests. The DCPB Chair will appoint a DCPB member to chair the student competition and, in consultation with that member, will select the other judges.


    Division of Ecology & Evolution

    Guidelines for applying for the Raymond B. Huey competition for Best Student Presentations (oral and poster).

    Students interested in entering the Competition should email a 1-page PDF version of their DEE Competition Abstracts to the divisional secretary (Secretary.DEE@sicb.org). This 1-page DEE Competition abstract is in addition to the normal abstract that SICB requests, which must be submitted via the SICB website by August 26, 2013.

    Submit your 1-page abstract before midnight on the closing day for submitting SICB-wide abstracts. Your submission should be attached to your email as a PDF file.

    Guidelines for the 1-page abstract:

    • Must have a title and your name and affiliation.

    • Use 12-point fonts with 1-inch margins.

    • One small figure may be embedded in the 1-page abstract.

    • Must be attached as a pdf file.

    Abstract should be pitched more broadly than a typical journal abstract, rising above the mere details of the project to point out the significance of the work in plain language. We are especially interested in key tests of big ideas, new syntheses of formerly separate areas, and applications of ecology and evolution to global problems.

    By the time the SICB Program Officers convene to lay out the meeting schedule, a single committee of five judges will have picked up to 8 students for the oral competition and up to 8 students for the poster competition. The committee will consist of the current officers of DEE (chair, PO, secretary), a member chosen at large, and last year’s student winner (or another student member of DEE if the former winner is unavailable).

    The finalists for each competition will be scheduled to present during a single session on the first day of the meeting. For the oral competition, each student will give a 15-min talk in the same session. For the poster competition, the posters will be lined up side-by-side. The 5-judge panel will attend all presentations and decide on a winner late that afternoon. The winner will be announced at the DEE social in the evening.

    Our current guidelines about eligibility, content, and criteria used for judging still apply and can be found below.

    Other details on SICB administrative procedures for best student presentation awards: http://www.sicb.org/resources/Administrative%20Procedures%20BSP.pdf

    Eligibility, Content, and Criteria

    A certificate and monetary prize will be awarded for the Best Contributed Paper, and the Best Poster presented by a student at the Annual Meeting. Students who have not yet taken the Ph.D. degree, as well as new Ph.D's who have received the degree not more than 12 months prior to the meeting, are eligible to compete for the awards. The work presented must be original and must be carried out principally by the student presenting the paper or poster. Students submitting abstracts of work to be presented at the Annual Meeting may apply to compete for the awards. A student who applies must be a member of the Division of Ecology & Evolution, and a prize can be awarded only once to any student. If in the opinion of the judges, none of the papers or posters presented is deserving of an award, the awards may not be presented that year. In the case of a tie, duplicate awards may be presented. The Chair of the Division will appoint annually a three-person Awards Committee who will act as judges. All papers identified as competing for the prize must be attended by at least one judge, and preferably by all three. No member who has a student competing for a prize shall be eligible to serve as a judge.

    Criteria for judging papers and posters are modeled after those used in the judging for the 1989 Best Student Presentation Competition. Each judge receives, in advance, an evaluation form that has the name of the student, the paper or poster number, and a copy of the abstract. The form is provided to aid the judge in evaluating the paper or poster for content and presentation. The content and presentation of the paper or poster will be judged upon:

    Content (60%)

    1. Originality of the research
    2. Efficacy of approach and methods used
    3. Freedom from statistical or analytical flaws
    4. Logical connection between conclusions and data
    5. Importance of research

    Presentation (40%)

    1. Clarity of the objectives
    2. How well the presenter helped the audience follow the various parts of the presentation and recognize the parts as integrating into a whole
    3. How well the presenter integrated the presentation into the fabric of science represented by the work and showed the importance of the contribution to the field
    4. Ability of the presenter to answer questions
    5. Quality of graphics
    6. Lack of annoying distractions from the research presented



    Division of Invertebrate Zoology

    Section 1.

    At each Annual Meeting of the Division of Invertebrate Zoology, there may be two graduate student monetary awards for best contributed papers or posters. Each award will also be accompanied by a certificate of achievement. Among those graduate student papers and posters selected by the judging committee to receive the "Best Student Paper Award," one paper or poster may be designated to receive the "Adrian M. Wenner Strong Inference Award," as specified in Section 2. A student who applies to be considered must be a registered graduate student or have received the Ph.D. within 12 months prior to the meeting, and be a member of the Division of Invertebrate Zoology. He or she must be sole author of the paper/poster or, if co-authored with an advisor as junior author, a letter from the advisor must accompany the application. That letter must state that the student alone conceived of and executed a substantial share of the reported research.

    Section 2.

    The selection of the paper or poster to receive the "Adrian M. Wenner Strong Inference Award" shall be on the basis of how well and explicitly it meets the standards of the strong inference or multiple working hypothesis approach, as described in any one of the following papers:

    Chamberline, T.C. 1890 (reprinted in 1965). "The method of multiple working hypotheses," Science 148: 754-759.

    Platt, J.R. 1964. "Strong Inference," Science 146: 347-353.

    Wenner, A.M. 1989. "Concept-centered versus organism-centered biology," American Zoologist 29: 1179-1199.

    To be considered for the strong inference award, the paper or poster must explicitly apply the following steps:

    1. Clearly state an initial hypothesis
    2. Explicitly designate alternate hypothesis(es)
    3. Devise crucial experiment(s) with alternative possible outcomes that will as nearly as possible exclude one or more of the alternative hypotheses
    4. Execute the experiment cleanly Section 3.

    A committee of three judges will be appointed by the Chair to organize the judging of papers and posters at each Annual Meeting.


    Division of Phylogenetics and Comparative Biology; Formerly: Systematic and Evolutionary Biology

    Wake Award for Best Student Presentations

    Section 1.

    At each Annual Meeting of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology, the Division of Phylogenetics and Comparative Biology (DPCB) may give an award of $150 and a certificate to the student(s) making the best presentation during the oral contributed paper and/or poster sessions. Certificates for honorary mention do not come with a financial award. Wiley-Blackwell also provides student winners with a one-year subscription to the journal Evolution.

    Section 2.

    The Rules governing participation in the Wake Award Competition shall be determined by the Division Executive Committee.

    The competition is open to high school students, undergraduates, Masters, and PhD graduates who apply within one year of receiving their degree. Exclusion from the competition does not preclude the option to present in a regular session.

    Students interested in entering the Competition must submit a 1-page summary on or before the SICB-wide deadline for abstracts. This 1-page summary is in addition to the normal abstract that SICB requests. Submit your 1-page summary as a pdf to the DPCB secretary via email (secretary.dpcb@sicb.org).

    Guidelines for 1-page abstract.

      -   Must have a title, your name, current* affiliation, and anticipated* graduation date.

    *If degree is completed, also list the date and institution where work was conducted.

      -   Use 12-point fonts with 1-inch margins.

      -   One small figure may be embedded in the 1-page summary.

      -   Must be attached as a pdf file.

    The summary should be written in plain language and include details about the significance of the research question, methods, and outcomes. We are especially interested in key tests of big ideas, new syntheses of formerly separate areas, and novel applications of phylogenetic and comparative methods. Summaries will be judged by a panel of at least three members of the Division of phylogenetic and comparative biology.

    Eight finalists for the oral competition will be scheduled to present during a single speakers session at the annual meeting. Each student will have 15-minutes which should be broken down into roughly 12 minutes of slides and 3 minutes for questions from the audience. Failure to leave time for questions will result in automatic disqualification.

    There will be no preset number of posters that can be accepted for the poster awards session. Poster semi-finalists will be scheduled for a single afternoon. All posters must include the SICB logo and the poster prize session logo for the Wake Award. All poster participants should prepare a five-minute presentation and be prepared to answer questions from a panel of judges who will identify themselves. A group of five finalists will be selected by the poster prize committee during the morning of the poster sessions based on poster layout and content presentation (without presenters in attendance). Judges will visit the finalists posters during the poster session to evaluate knowledge of the material covered in the poster.

    Section 3.

    The rules governing the competitions shall specify that a selection committee be appointed each year consisting of at least three members of the Division of Phylogenetic and Comparative Biology.

    Criteria for judging papers are based on our previous criteria for the former student oral presentation and poster competitions.


    Division of Vertebrate Morphology


    Two awards will be given from the Division of Vertebrate Morphology to recognize outstanding student presentations, one for outstanding oral presentation (D. Dwight Davis Award) and the other for outstanding poster presentation. Students or new Ph.D.s who received the degree no more than 12 months before the meeting at which the paper is presented are eligible for consideration. Winners of each award will receive:
    • $150 award from Wiley-Blackwell
    • a certificate from the Division of Vertebrate Morphology
    • a complimentary subscription to the Journal of Morphology (Wiley-Blackwell).
    The awards are made only on the unanimous decision of a committee appointed before the meeting by the Chair of the Division. For both the oral and poster competitions, the work must be original and must have been carried out by the student or students. The awards recognize significant conceptual, observational, and experimental contributions to the field of vertebrate morphology. Acceptable standards of visual aids and oral presentation shall be required for consideration. Spectacular presentation techniques will not by themselves qualify a paper. Additional information on the DVM student awards can be found at http://sicb.org/divisions/dvm.php3#studentpapers