Improving access to pre-graduate school field research experiences. Day/Time: Saturday, April 18, 2020, 12PM – 2PM. Description: Panelists and audience members will reflect and expand on recent discussions about barriers to, and potential solutions for, obtaining pre-graduate school field research experience in biological anthropology and related disciplines. Organizers: Rebecca Ferrell, National Science Foundation, ([email protected]); Roberto Delgado, ([email protected]); Siobhan Mattison, ([email protected]).

Description: ­­­Fieldwork is an important component of many scientific disciplines, and graduate students in those disciplines are often expected to participate in fieldwork as part of their training. Fieldwork can be challenging in ways that may not be appreciated or anticipated beforehand. Therefore, students who have demonstrated successful field experience, and perhaps even data collection, prior to applying for graduate school are likely to be at an implicit or explicit advantage compared to students who have not. However, not all students have equal access to pre-graduate field research experiences because of factors including, but not limited to: the cost of field school or volunteering in terms of dollars, time and opportunity costs; social and cultural barriers to participation; and safety and health concerns. Although there are efforts across a number of fieldwork-focused disciplines to foster equitable access and diverse communities of researchers, additional solutions may be needed to broaden participation in biological anthropological research.

During this two-hour discussion session, a group of 5-7 panelists will share their experiences regarding pre-graduate field experience, including barriers to access as well as existing and potential solutions. A pre-session reading list will be provided, and a pre-panel survey of the research community regarding this topic is planned by one panelist. Time will also be allocated for audience feedback and discussion. The session may also be made available to an extended audience via webcast.

Audience: The session will be open to anyone, but will be most relevant to faculty, current and prospective graduate students, and undergraduates in research disciplines with a fieldwork component.

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