The purpose of this conference travel grant proposal is to secure funds to facilitate undergraduate student involvement in the biennial International Conference on Infant Studies. Meetings are held every two years in spring or summer, both in U.S. and international locations. Undergraduates play a large role in infant research, and the goal of this initiative is to provide support for them to attend the conferences. From previously NICHD funded R13 initiatives, there is evidence that such attendance encourages students to pursue developmental science in graduate school or other allied disciplines. Moreover, we believe it allows students to see the central role of science in the study of development. Related to the central goal of this initiative is to make it possible for students from under-represented groups to attend the meetings and continue their involvement in science. The future success of the field of infancy research depends on diversity of researchers, participants, and questions. This initiative dovetails nicely with national efforts to engage undergraduate students in science and to encourage their continued engagement following graduation. This initiative also aligns well with the efforts of the International Congress on Infant Studies (ICIS), the organization that sponsors the biennial conferences. Promotion of undergraduate research experiences will result in the next generation of infancy researchers. This proposal seeks to support student travel to the next three conferences - 2016, 2018, and 2020 - with $15,000 per conference (total request is $45,000). This funding rate should be enough to help offset travel expenses for 10-20 undergraduate presenters per meeting. Additionally, the ICIS will provide a reduced conference registration fee for undergraduate attendees, networking opportunities for undergraduates to learn about graduate school and post-college employment, and a $200 cash reward and a plaque to the author of the best overall undergraduate paper.
The purpose of this conference travel grant is to secure funds to facilitate undergraduate student involvement in the biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, with a particular focus on students from under-represented groups. We hope to build on previous success in encouraging students to pursue developmental science in graduate school or other allied disciplines and in enabling them to see the central role of science in the study of development.