Broadening Participation Awards

Broadening Participation Awards advance diversity and inclusion in STEM by supporting URBAN trainees to participate in 1) public engagement activities that specifically reach under-represented groups* and/or 2) participation in educational activities (e.g., conferences, trainings, reading groups) that build capacity for scientific research and/or communication centered on inclusion, equity, and intersectionality (Canfield et al. 2020). For background, see bottom of page.

*Building on the NSF definition, under-represented groups include American Indians/Alaska natives, Black and African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders (natives of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa), persons with disabilities, veterans, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Broadening Participation Awards proposals can be submitted through the form below at any time. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis with an estimated response time of 1-2 weeks.

Please note that we will prioritize:

  • Trainees that have participated actively in program activities
  • Trainees that have not already received a Broadening Participation Award
  • Activities that relate to the fields of Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health

All trainees are encouraged to apply. For questions, or to discuss ideas before applying, please reach out to Program Manager Heather Ho (

Background: BU URBAN seeks to create well-rounded scholars who excel in communicating to diverse audiences, including policy-makers and the lay public. In order to successfully help cities tackle environmental challenges, trainees must be competent in communicating and working with leaders, stakeholders, and communities with different lived experiences. For many urban environmental challenges, impacted communities often consist of racial or ethnic minorities historically and presently under-represented in decision-making. As such we seek to support trainee efforts to build skills and gain experience in engaging with under-represented groups. This effort also supports another priority of BU URBAN: Broadening Participation in STEM. By engaging under-represented groups in science communication, trainees are increasing the diversity of those who participate in and benefit from STEM and in the process, expanding science learning and increasing science identity for members of under-represented groups (Canfield et al. 2020).