Monthly gatherings prepare employees for the dreaded awkward elevator ride.

Computer science is the science of choice for campers in SciGirls Coding Camp. This is one week when we want our campers' eyes on the screen.

This week at the lab, Ella Morton is heading to New Orleans to attend the bi-annual Ocean Sciences Meeting, her first scientific conference. She is pretty excited: Her suitcase has been packed for months with her mermaid painting, favorite story book, and My Little Pony.

At age 5, she's too young to drive the six hours from Tallahassee to the Big Easy. Luckily, her dad, MagLab geochemist Peter Morton, is going, too, and, as a father of four, is an experienced chauffeur.

Morton is able to bring Ella (child #3) to the conference, where he and his undergrad students will present data on the flow of micronutrients in the ocean, thanks to a MagLab Dependent Care Travel Grant. Launched as a diversity initiative in 2006 and funded by the Florida State University Office of Research, the program helps cover the cost of caring for children or other dependents so that MagLab staff can travel to conferences and MagLab users can come here to conduct experiments.

The financial and logistical strain of raising a family and establishing a career can weigh on young scientists. Last year, Morton was away from home for more than four months, including a 75-day expedition to the North Pole. Whenever possible, Morton brings one of his children, ages 3 to 11, on the road with him. The benefits are many: it eases the burden on his wife, allows him to spend one-on-time with his children, and exposes his kids to the life of a scientist.

"People are paying more attention to the fact that scientists aren't just hard-core data managers and idea generators, but that they have a life outside of science," said Morton. "It makes me feel better about my chosen field."

Increasingly, scientific conferences offer camps or other childcare for kids of participants, and Morton has noticed more of his colleagues bringing wee ones in tow. Youngsters get to watch mom or dad on the job and learn more about what scientists do. Watching her father present his poster at a recent meeting helped his oldest daughter give a better presentation at her middle school science fair, he said.

"I really appreciate this shift in attitude," said Morton, "where there's more infrastructure and attention given to parents and families who want to stay engaged in the science and their personal lives."


Text by Kristen Coyne / Photo by Jennifer Morton

Roxanne Hughes is working to address the production, retention and career development of female physicists.

The director of the lab's Center for Integrating Research and Learning is among a group of experts creating the future research agenda on women’s underrepresentation in engineering and computing.

All applications are due by the 1st of the month in order to be considered. Applications are reviewed on a monthly basis, so even if an application is submitted before the 1st, it will not be reviewed until the deadline. Notifications of funding acceptances will be sent by the 15th of each month. Please indicate how your application fits within the MagLab's Diversity Mission.

Recruitment Travel Funding

MagLab staff and scientists can apply for a recruitment travel grant once per calendar year. If you will be conducting STEM Diversity Recruitment travel, please complete this form. Examples could include: attending a minority serving STEM conference, speaking at a minority serving institution, speaking to a minority serving organization. Please keep your request under $2000. This funding is meant to supplement other travel funds. Funding is limited.

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Professional Development Travel Funding

MagLab staff and scientists can apply for a professional travel grant once per calendar year. The total travel amount for awardees is up to $2000. Awardees will be chosen based on a set process/application. Please explain how this travel will support your individual goals, the mission of the lab, and the diversity mission of the lab.

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Bridge Funding

This funding will be used to support students or postdocs for a limited time if the individual's current funding source has expired. This application must be submitted by the faculty member who will be supervising the student or postdoc. Graduate students and undergraduate students can be funded for up to one semester annually. Postdocs can be funded for up to 3 months annually.  These applications will be reviewed by the Retention Subcommittee and are limited to the availability of funds.

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For more information please contact Roxanne Hughes.

Students can also find other sources of funding at the following websites:

http://artsandsciences.fsu.edu/students/scholarships/ermine-m-owenby-jr-fund-promote-excellence

http://sga.fsu.edu/cogs.shtml

https://www.aps.org/meetings/march/travelgrants.cfm

The highlight describes 10 years of the Scigirls summer camp and its impact on participants.

If you build fun, hands-on, science excursions, the girls will come. That's what SciGirls Summer Camp is all about.

Ten years and 260 girls later, we look back at the impact of SciGirls, a unique, hands-on summer camp for girls who dig science, by talking to two former campers.

Getting a PhD in science is an arduous feat; for some minority students, it can be especially challenging. The MagLab is working to give these students the tools and opportunities they need to see their journey through.

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