EDGES Graduate Fellowship

The EDGES program in the College of Science seeks to increase success for graduate students in STEM fields, to enrich the academic environment for the campus community, and to broaden the STEM workforce.

This program aims to recruit, retain, and promote the success of outstanding doctoral students who have the potential to enhance their academic fields and departments through their unique backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. This award is open to incoming graduate students and is active for five years or until the student graduates. EDGES Fellows receive a monetary award (up to $10,000 per fellow) and participate in supported cohort-based activities. Activities include professional development events, panel discussions, peer mentoring, and social activities.

Application is closed.


Monetary awards are divided into two allocations:

  1. An up-front disbursement of 50% of the award amount to assist with a student’s transition to graduate school, and
  2. A second allocation of 50% of the award amount that can be drawn on for research and professional development (RPD) expenses. The RPD funds can be spent any time during the award period.


Program Committee

Committee Chair

Pearl Sandick

Committee Chair

Pearl Sandick
Associate Dean for Faculty and Research
Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy
 Contact Lindsey DeSpain: 801-581-7214

Student Representative, Biology (EEOB)

Vinayak Gopalakrishna Kamath

Student Representative, Biology (EEOB)

Vinayak Gopalakrishna Kamath

Program Coordinator

Lindsey DeSpain

Program Coordinator

Lindsey DeSpain

Student Representative, Chemistry

Shadi Mirmohammadi

Student Representative, Chemistry

Shadi Mirmohammadi

Associate Dean of Student Affairs

Vahe Bandarian

Associate Dean of Student Affairs

Vahe Bandarian

Director of Special Projects

Cassie Slattery

Director of Special Projects

Cassie Slattery


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Faculty Development

Faculty development program

Supporting Faculty in Professional Growth

The College of Science Faculty Development Program provides funding for tenure-line and career-line faculty to participate in professional development opportunities that will enhance their academic trajectory and/or ability to enrich the college community through ongoing projects.  Examples of opportunities suitable for this program include, but are not limited to, workshops and trainings related to increasing research productivity, effective practices for teaching and/or mentoring, improving time/workload management, and leadership development.   Those who receive funding will also have the opportunity to enrich the college community by sharing what they've learned with their colleagues.

This program covers the cost of registration, travel, and local expenses for a faculty member to attend a professional development event of their choosing.   Remote events and programs are also eligible.  All tenure-line and career-line faculty may apply.

Examples of suitable programs:

  • National Center For Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) Faculty Success Program: This 12-week online program helps tenure-track and tenured faculty with the skills necessary to increase research and writing productivity while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
  • American Chemical Society (ACS) Leadership Development Program: The ACS LDP curriculum includes both self-paced e-learning courses, and facilitated courses that provide hands-on learning and networking opportunities. Facilitated courses are offered throughout the year at national, regional and local section meetings as well as at the ACS Leadership Institute.
  • Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) STEM Leadership Institute:  This Institute is uniquely designed for early- and mid-career STEM faculty, principal investigators, and administrators who are engaged in leading initiatives and interventions aimed at transforming undergraduate STEM education in their classrooms, departments, and institutions.
  • HERS Leadership Institute: The HERS Leadership Institute is a transformational, leadership development program for women in higher education, founded to fill leadership pipelines across the United States with dynamic women, each capable of ushering their respective institutions into a more inclusive and equitable future.
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) IMAGE Grant-Writing Workshop: The ASBMB Interactive Mentoring Activities for Grantsmanship Enhancement grant writing workshop is designed to help early-career scientists and senior postdoctoral fellows write winning proposals for federal research funding.

Application Process

The application includes three parts:

  1. A one-page narrative that describes the program you are applying to attend, the time commitment, what you hope to learn, and how it may impact your professional life or activities.  Include a link to the program's webpage as well as any relevant deadlines.
  2. A budget that includes all necessary expenses to enable your participation.  If the request is for more than $5000, please also include a statement from your chair/director specifying what resources the department/school can supply.
  3. Your CV.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by a committee of three academic leaders, at least one of whom is from the broader campus community.  You can expect a response within two weeks of submitting your application.


Faculty who receive funding to attend an event or complete a program are expected to attend, participate, and complete any assignments as required by the program.  They will also be expected to share some of what they've learned with others in the college community through an organized activity within 90 days of the event or completion of the program.  This may be done, for example, through a 45 minute presentation to junior faculty or any other appropriate subgroup of faculty.  The Dean's Office will work with you to coordinate this event.

Those who attend leadership programs will also be asked to debrief with their chair/director and the College of Science dean and associate deans upon completion of the program.

For questions, please contact Pearl Sandick, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs (pearl.sandick@utah.edu).

Submit application packages (as a pdf file) to office@science.utah.edu


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IF/THEN Ambassador

IF/THEN Ambassador

Janis Louie

IF/THEN is designed to activate a culture shift among young girls to open their eyes to STEM careers.

The august statuary of Washington, D.C. will soon include a University of Utah chemistry professor. A 3D-printed statue of Janis Louie will stand with 119 other statues of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in and around the National Mall from March 5-27.

The exhibit places Louie among the largest collection of statues of women ever assembled, according to the Smithsonian Institution, and celebrates the participants in the IF/THEN Ambassador program that is “designed to activate a culture shift among young girls to open their eyes to STEM careers,” according to the initiative’s website.

“I hope visitors feel inspired, encouraged and empowered,” says Louie. “For me, the exhibit is meant to show that STEM isn’t for one type of person, STEM is for everyone!”

Inspiring a Generation

The IF/THEN Ambassador Program is sponsored by Lyda Hill Philanthropies as part of the IF/THEN initiative. The initiative aims to “advance women in STEM by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of pioneers.”

The Ambassadors program is a part of that initiative, and assembled high-profile women in STEM to act as role models for middle school-age girls. Ambassadors received media and communications training and then engaged in outreach work nationally.

Dr. Louie and family.

After selection in 2019, Louie traveled to a three-day conference with the other Ambassadors. “It was amazing!” she says. “It is the only conference I have ever been to that was 100% female scientists!”

It was a diverse group. “The featured women hail from a variety of fields,” she says, “from protecting wildlife, discovering galaxies and building YouTube’s platform to trying to cure cancer.”

Later, Louie appeared on an episode CBS’ Mission Unstoppable to draw connections between chemistry and the world around us. She also pitched in when another Ambassador’s summer STEM camp needed to go online with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“She asked a variety of the Ambassadors to present to the girls over Zoom, so that the STEM camp could still be impactful,” Louie says. “I was delighted to be one of the presenters!”

Meeting her statue

The process of creating the 120 statues was very different from the traditional sculpture techniques that created the hundreds of other statues in Washington, D.C. At the initial conference, Louie and the other Ambassadors each took a turn being digitally scanned in a booth with 89 cameras and 25 projectors so that the statues could later be 3D printed. (Learn more about the process of creating the exhibit here.)

When completed, the orange statues appeared in Dallas and New York City before the full exhibit was first unveiled in Dallas, Texas in May 2021. Washington, D.C. is the exhibition’s second stop.

Louie and her family traveled to Dallas to see her statue.

“It was surreal, in the best way!” she says, of meeting her doppelgänger.  “My children were able to see not only myself but a field of orange statues of women pioneers—and I was thanked by someone visiting the exhibit for making a difference.”

Meet the other Ambassadors featured in the exhibit here.


by Paul Gabrielsen, first published in @theU


Photos courtesy of the IF/THEN® Collection


Student Spotlights

ACCESS: The Invisible Scaffolding

2024 Convocation Student Speaker: Dua Azhar

Biologist Eron Powell: Student Commencement Speaker

Humans of the U: Brenda Payan Medina

Goldwater Scholars 2024

Biology Student Stories: Bailey Landis

Mining friends along the way

ACCESS: A Tale of Two Researchers

ACCESS: Margaret Call

Humans of the U: Sadie Dunn

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Student Organizations


Scientific discovery is a result of collaboration and support.

You have a place in the College of Science. There are several organizations where students can find community, peer support, and resources. Please contact us if you would like your organization listed on this page.


American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)

In order to increase the numbers of Indigenous North Americans seeking degrees and careers in STEM fields, students must be started on the STEM pathway early. AISES administers many programs, services, and events for pre-college, undergraduate and graduate students designed to increase their access to college and support their success in preparation for careers in STEM fields.

American Chemical Society (ACS)

The University of Utah's ACS Student Chapter is an organization dedicated to encouraging future generations of students to take an interest in chemistry and science.

University of Utah students present exciting chemistry demonstrations to elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the Salt Lake area, as well as provide tutoring services that focus primarily on math and science.

Association for Women in Mathematics

Our goals are to: support, build a community for, mentor, increase interest in mathematics from, encourage, and introduce role models to underrepresented groups in mathematics.

Curie Club

Curie Club is made up of individuals committed to the advancement of science and to creating opportunities for all identities to make an even greater contribution to medicine, scientific research, environmental solutions and entrepreneurial innovation.

Young scientists represent the future for breakthroughs in medicine, environment, new materials, and other discoveries critical to addressing our greatest global challenges. Curie Club was founded to help ensure that all individual scientists are given the opportunity to help shape that future. We welcome, support, and celebrate all identities.

Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA)

Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) Chapter at the University of Utah School of Medicine. LMSA unites and empowers medical students through service, mentorship, and education to advocate for the health of the Latino community.


This group is an association of students at the University of Utah who are interested in STEM fields as well as part of the LGBT community.

Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

SACNAS is an all-inclusive community dedicated to supporting diversity and inclusion in STEM fields and fostering the success of scientists from under-represented backgrounds. Our goal is to help these members attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM. Come be a part of the vibrant SACNAS community at the University of Utah and help us cultivate a safe and secure scientific community filled with the brightest scientists. We aim to provide a holistic approach to STEM training by organizing opportunities for professional development, cultural programming, resilience training, and a pipeline of support and mentoring within a national network. Be the best U with the University of Utah SACNAS chapter.

Society of Physics Students (SPS)

The Society of Physics Students is a national organization dedicated to promoting an interest in science and physics. We are the local chapter, and you do not need to be a physics major to get involved! All you need to get involved is have an interest in physics!

Undergrad Women in Physics & Astronomy (UWomPA)

We are a community of physics undergraduates at the University of Utah. We strive for equality, community, friendship, and the fervent pursuit of science.

Physics Undergraduate Student Advisory Committee (USAC)

Our Undergraduate Student Advisory Committee (USAC) advises the Department of Physics & Astronomy in matters concerning their undergraduate students. We do this primarily through our participation in the RPT (Retention, Promotion, and Tenure) process for the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

In addition, we occasionally participate in other activities promoting student involvement within the Department. Overall, USAC is an amazing way to be a voice for your fellow Undergraduate students in matters concerning the Department of Physics and Astronomy.