Choose Development!


The Society for Developmental Biology (SDB) Choose Development! program aims to increase the number of individuals from underrepresented populations in the field of developmental biology.

Learn more: Choose Development! profile in Scientia

Program  •   Eligibility    Application    Meet the SDB Fellows  •  Photos  •  Flyer

Introduction to the Society for Developmental Biology and Choose Development!

Choose Development! is an undergraduate summer research program for students from underrepresented minority (URM) groups or those with disabilities interested in pursuing research careers in developmental biology and related areas. The program was initially funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF-IOS 1239422, 2013-2017) and is currently funded by the SDB at a lower level (2017-present).

The program provides a research-intensive undergraduate training experience in a lab of an established developmental biologist, a multi-level mentoring plan for each student,
SDB-wide recognition and enculturation activities at national scientific conferences, and continued mentoring after the completion of the fellowship.

Undergraduates will be selected from a national applicant pool and matched to research laboratories with trained faculty mentors (SDB members) committed to enhancing their preparation to enter graduate programs. Students will be recognized as an elite group of SDB Choose Development! Fellows who will spend two summers carrying out independent research in the mentor’s laboratory. The Society will ensure dissemination of their research accomplishments through the students’ participation in SDB regional and/or national meetings, complemented by strong support and encouragement from members of this scientific community. It is expected that most, if not all of these SDB Choose Development! Fellows will choose and be accepted into graduate programs in developmental biology or related areas.

Choose Development! Fellows Luncheon at SDB 78th Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.


SDB Choose Development! Fellows
Undergraduate students belonging to URM groups (Black/African Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans/Aboriginals, Native Hawaiians and US Pacific Islanders), first generation college students, and those with disabilities who are United States or Canadian nationals (US/Canadian citizens and those born in lands under US/Canadian jurisdiction) or permanent residents residing within the United States or Canada and its territories may apply.

Considering the 2-year duration of training, preference will be given to sophomores or students in their second year of undergraduate programs at the time of application.

Applicants must be willing to travel to a different city for summer research in case no appropriate mentor is available in the vicinity.

A stipend of $5000 each summer and some travel/living assistance will be provided.

SDB Choose Development! Academic Mentors
SDB Academic Mentor applicants are current SDB members who hold research grants and are committed to the mission of this program, have space for a summer undergraduate research student, and have a Lab Mentor (postdoc or advanced grad student, or lab manager) who can assist in providing hands-on training to the student.

Considering the duration of this program the applicants must be available throughout the duration of the 2-year training program.

Applicants must agree to provide all laboratory supplies and equipment necessary for a productive experience for the student.

Accepted mentors are required to attend mentor workshops.

2020 Fellows meet virtually with Developmental Biology textbook author, Scott Gilbert.


Online applications for SDB Choose Development! Fellows and SDB Choose Development! Academic Mentors are open.  Applications can not be saved and returned to later.  It is therefore recommended that you preview the questions and prepare your answers before beginning the online application. Application deadline: February 15, 2021.  

SDB Choose Development! Fellow Application (Preview 2021 fellow questions here.)

   Also Required:

  1. Academic Transcript (Attach PDF in online application)
  2. One Letter of Recommendation from a scientific advisor, academic advisor, or faculty member who knows your academic interests and potential (Received by February 15, 2021 via email to

SDB Choose Development! Academic Mentor Application (Preview 2021 mentor questions here.)

    Also Required:

  1. NSF or NIH-style Biosketch/CV (Attach PDF in online application)

Supported by grant  NSF-IOS 1239422 

Last Updated on 02/05/2021