B-Sure Program

The American Society of Biomechanics is committed to building a professional community that respects and promotes diversity and inclusion. To build on our commitment to promote enhanced engagement in the Society of underrepresented groups, ASB is pleased to announce a novel summer internship program aimed at providing research opportunities to students historically underrepresented and underserved in biomechanics.

The program pairs undergraduate students with host laboratories for an 8-week period in Summer 2023.

Students accepted into this program will receive a grant for up to $6000 which may be used to cover travel, temporary housing, and living expenses for the summer. In addition, all participants will receive a complimentary ASB student membership for one year (2023 or 2024). ASB anticipates funding 3 or more internships in 2023. Please note that the awards are not to be used to support any direct or indirect costs of the research project.

Previous students accepted into this program were matched with a host research lab directed by an ASB member.

Recipients

Destinee Webster, Georgia State University
Joshua Cayme, University of Texas El Paso
Zachary White, Georgia Institute of Technology
Janai Augustin, City College of New York
Alexie Hernandez, Stevenson University

Participant Testimonials

I am beyond grateful for the personalized mentoring I received from UTSA’s Dr. Sakiko Oyama thanks to the B-SURE program. My summer research experience confirmed my interest in biomechanics and provided me with a strong sense of belonging to the field.

Joshua Cayme

University of Texas El Paso

The B-SURE program was a great opportunity to link up senior graduate students from our lab (as mentors) with incredibly talented and motivated undergraduates (as mentees) to do high quaity hands-on team science in a cutting edge biomechanics research environment. Over a summer, mentors gain experience guiding projects and mentees learn how to do independent research. These partnerships are a great way to help students from historically underrepresented and underserved groups access the amazing world of movement biomechanics and spread their newfound knowledge and experience to their peers moving forward.

Gregory S. Sawicki (mentor)

Georgia Institute of Technology

The American Society of Biomechanics has given me not only an opportunity but a chance to apply myself in this field that I am passionate about. In the B-SURE program, I was able to make great connections, develop professionally and individually, and was challenged in ways that has prepared me in my field for the future. I can’t thank ASB enough for believing in me and opening a door that will allow me to follow my passion.

Destinee Webster

Georgia State University

It was a great chance to get a student from another university to engage with our research lab for a few months, which brought a fresh perspective and gave this student new learning experiences.

Karl Zelik (mentor)

Vanderbilt University

Eligibility

Both members and non-members of ASB are eligible to apply.

To be eligible, an applicant must be an undergraduate student from any group that has been historically disadvantaged or under-represented in research disciplines. We encourage all interested students to apply, especially those from under-resourced backgrounds.

Students must have completed at least one year of an undergraduate program by Summer 2023. Preference will be given to students who are not already in a graduate program in biomechanics or a related field.

Eligibility guidelines for membership of an underrepresented population will follow those described in the National Institutes of Health’s “Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity” (NOT-OD-20-031):

Eligibility Guidelines
  1. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27) and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.  In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be demonstrated convincingly to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in NIH programs to enhance diversity. For more information on racial and ethnic categories and definitions, see the OMB Revisions to the Standards for Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity (https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-1997-10-30/html/97-28653.htm).
  2. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.  See NSF data at, https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/static/data/tab7-5.pdf.
  3. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria:
    1. Were or currently are homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Definition: https://nche.ed.gov/mckinney-vento/);
    2. Were or currently are in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families (Definition: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/focus-areas/foster-care);
    3. Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years (Definition: https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/income-eligibility-guidelines);
    4. Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor’s degree (see https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2018/2018009.pdf);
    5. Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell grants (Definition: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/fpg/eligibility.html);
    6. Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as a parent or child (Definition: https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/wic-eligibility-requirements).
    7. Grew up in one of the following areas: a) a U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer (https://data.hrsa.gov/tools/rural-health), or b) a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas  (qualifying zipcodes are included in the file). Only one of the two possibilities in #7 can be used as a criterion for the disadvantaged background definition.Students from low socioeconomic (SES) status backgrounds have been shown to obtain bachelor’s and advanced degrees at significantly lower rates than students from middle and high SES groups (see https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_tva.asp), and are subsequently less likely to be represented in biomedical research. For background see Department of Education data at, https://nces.ed.gov/; https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_tva.asp; https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/advancing-diversity-inclusion.pdf.

Literature shows that women from the above backgrounds (categories A, B, and C) face particular challenges at the graduate level and beyond in scientific fields. (See, e.g., From the NIH: A Systems Approach to Increasing the Diversity of Biomedical Research Workforce https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5008902/ ).

Expected Timeline

April 1, 2024: Applications due

April 1, 2024: Recommendation letter due

April 8, 2024: Notification of acceptance

April 2024: Matching process to identify host labs for B-SURE participants

June 2024: B-Sure virtual kick-off event

June – August 2024: Summer internship period

August 2024: B-Sure virtual symposium

Application

Applications for 2024 are now open!

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Personal statement which includes your interest in the program, your interest in biomechanics, and your career goals. (maximum 500 words).

Please include:

  • Why you chose your area of study
  • Your current career goals
  • Your research interests (what do you want to study in biomechanics? What are you curious to learn?)
  • What skills or experiences would you like to gain from this program
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One Page Resume

Please include:

  • Name and Contact information at top
  • Education, incl. Cumulative GPA at each institution
  • Professional Experience (work/internship)
  • Honors/Awards, Leadership
  • Optional:
    (i) Languages
    (ii) Technical Skills or Relevant Coursework
    (iii) Certifications
    (iv) Relevant Extracurriculars
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Statement

A short statement (less than 250 words) affirming that you meet the eligibility criteria and under which category you qualify as historically disadvantaged or under-represented in research disciplines.

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Letter of Reference

  • The letter of reference should be written by someone who knows you well, preferably an instructor, employer, or coach, and can speak to how you will benefit from this program. They should describe how they know you and should not be a family member or friend.
  • The letter should be emailed directly to asbdiversity+bsure@asbweb.org

For questions or to submit your application materials, please email asbdiversity+bsure@asbweb.org

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