The purpose of this conference travel grant proposal is to secure funds to continue to facilitate undergraduate student involvement in the Biennial Meetings of the International Society on Infant Studies (ISIS), which, in 2010, will be held in Baltimore, MD. In continuance with three previous R13 undergraduate travel support grants obtained from NICHD for the 2004, 2006, and 2008 meetings, the proposed grant would dovetail with unprecedented efforts being undertaken by the ISIS to target, develop, and internationalize infancy science researchers early in their careers. We are requesting funds to help offset the travel expenses of 10-20 undergraduate student presenters per cohort, to attend each of the next three ISIS conferences, beginning with Baltimore, MD in 2010. As determined by the Executive Committee of the Society, undergraduate research experiences form the substrate out of which the next generation of infancy researchers will be nourished, and it is essential for the well-being and future successes of the field of infancy research to diversify available mechanisms for funneling the best and brightest undergraduate students into the international field of infancy research. Indeed, many of the most successful scholars within ISIS first became involved with infancy research at the undergraduate level. With the goal of supporting infancy science researchers early in their careers, and of enhancing and globalizing undergraduate participation in all aspects of ISIS, the Society has established and implements biannually a multi-pronged initiative to celebrate and promote undergraduate participation in infancy research at its meetings. First, all undergraduate students receive a considerable rate reduction (42.8%) for conference registration, the Undergraduate Research Committee at ISIS hosts a "Luncheon with the Scholars" program, and the best overall submitted undergraduate paper receives an ISIS-funded $200 cash prize and a plaque.
There has been considerable attention paid to the state of suboptimal science education in the U.S. Accordingly, the International Society on Infant Studies has implemented a multipronged approach aimed at increasing the exposure of undergraduate students to the scientific enterprise generally, and to infancy science specifically. The purpose of the proposed project is to secure funds through the NIH R13 mechanism to identify and facilitate the travel of three cohorts of undergraduate infancy researchers to attend the next three International Conferences on Infant Studies, beginning with the March 10-14, 2010, conference in Baltimore, MD.