Choose Development!


Built upon a culture of inclusiveness, the Society for Developmental Biology Choose Development!  program aims to augment the diversity of undergraduate students that enter doctoral (PhD) programs in pursuit of research careers in fields related to developmental biology.  The program was initially funded by the National Science Foundation (2013-2016).

Learn more: Choose Development! profile in Scientia

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

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

This pioneering program emphasizes professional development and research training under long-term and continuing supervision by expert developmental biology research faculty. Undergraduates with disabilities and those belonging to under-represented minority (URM) groups 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 (possibly an academic year) 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.


SDB Choose Development! Fellows
Undergraduate students with disabilities and those belonging to URM groups (Black/African Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans/Aboriginals, Native Hawaiians and US Pacific Islanders) 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 duration of this program 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 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 this program (until 2021). Applicants must agree to provide all laboratory supplies and equipment necessary for a productive experience for the student. Accepted mentors are required to attend a mentor workshop.  SDB will assist mentors in applying for supplemental support for the lab in order to help defray the additional expenses.


Online applications for SDB Choose Development! Fellows and SDB Choose Development! Academic Mentors will be available soon.  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.  Rolling review of applications will begin in January 2020. Application deadline: February 14, 2020.  

SDB Choose Development! Fellows Application (Preview 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 14, 2020 via email to

SDB Choose Development! Academic Mentors Application (Preview 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 11/01/2019