According to the Center for First-Generation Student Success, students that are the first in their families to attend college ("first-gen college students") often experience significant difficulty navigating higher education compared to their counterparts. They are more likely to struggle with "Imposter Syndrome" and possess lower levels of cultural capital, which together can result in higher incidence of mental illness during college and overall lower graduation rates.  Beyond college, the next steps - preparing for and succeeding in graduate school - can feel like an insurmountable obstacle. 

Addressing these obstacles can serve two important roles: (1) improving undergraduate outcomes for first-gens, and (2) increasing recruitment of first-gens into STEM fields. In spite of and as a result of their experiences, first-gens typically possess a number of qualities that are key to being a successful scientist - they are hard-working, determined, resilient, and creative. Increasing the recruitment of these students into STEM and science research should be a priority. To that end, I have begun gathering resources (below) in the hopes that demystifying science, academia, grants, and application processes will contribute to this priority. If you have ideas or an application you would like shared on this page, please email me.

for undergrads to grad students

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

  • Helpful tips for applying (Alex Lang)

  • Online database of applications across fields (Alex Lang)

Examples of applications

  • Timber Burnett (ecology - repository)

  • Julia Arenson (biological anthropology 2015 & 2016 - repository)

  • Emily Baltz (neuroscience 2017 & 2019 - repository)

  • Tuesday Simmons (microbiology 2015 - repository)

  • Deon Benton (psychology 2014 - repository)

  • Carla López Lloreda (biogeochemistry 2020 - repository)

  • Enrica Bridgewater (psychology 2020 - repository)

  • Stella Mayerhoff (cognitive science 2020 - repository)

NIH predoctoral fellowship (F31 & F32)

for grad students to postdocs

the job market


  • Biological Anthropology Jobs (TT, postdoc, PhD, MA)

  • Primate jobs posting (all levels)

  • ECOLOG ecology jobs (postdocs)

  • EVOLDIR evolutionary biology jobs (postdocs)

  • Biology jobs database (faculty)

  • Eco-evo jobs database (faculty)

  • Psychology jobs (faculty)

  • Indeed

Where to look?

  • Twitter

Where to get help?

  • "Future PI" slack group

I am in the process of compiling a freely accessible database of PhD and grant applications & other info geared toward first-generation students.
If you would like to contribute a past application/reviews or other material to this database, or have questions, comments, feedback, or suggestions, please contact me using the form below.