The Botany and Beyond: PLANTS III pathway program will provide an immersive mentored experience for a diverse cohort of undergraduate PLANTS Scholars attending the Botany conference. Botany conference is composed of scientific talks, workshops, field trips, a poster session and networking events. Conference presentations cover a variety of academic areas related to botany such as climate change, pollination biology and other plant-animal interactions, conservation, paleobotany, ethnobotany, systematics and biodiversity including field, greenhouse, and genomic techniques, pedagogical methods, etc. This year, Botany 2024 will take place in Grand Rapids, Michigan from June 15 -19, 2024.

A Mentored Experience

PLANTS scholars are paired with mentors who help you better understand the scientific talks, discuss your questions about the BOTANY meetings in general, grad school and funding, and different careers; and can introduce you to people you wish to meet.

Each scholar is matched with a near-peer (graduate student) and an established (career professional) mentor. With the understanding that people with different backgrounds offer different perspectives, PLANTS mentors are chosen because they are interested in you and your perspective, and they are often happy to discuss their own career paths, work-life balance and how they came to be interested in plants. Mentors may also help after the meetings with further questions about applying for funding, internships, fellowships, graduate school, etc.

PLANTS scholars and PLANTS Advisor Ann Sakai leaving Botany 2023

Program Overview

PLANTS scholar Fitz Dettmer presents his poster at Botany 2023

Annually, we fund up to 20 undergraduates from throughout the US and Puerto Rico (applications from international students cannot be accepted due to limitations from our funding source) to attend the summer conference; receive mentoring from graduate students, postdocs and faculty; explore botanical research; network and engage with the broader botanical community from several scientific societies; and explore pathways and opportunities to pursue botanical careers. The program offers programming and student-centered experiences across the conference and includes full funding to support meeting registration, travel, meals throughout the conference, a per diem on travel days and lodging for the conference.

The Botany meeting also provides a chance to attend social events centered around different affinity groups (e.g., LGBTQ+, AAPI, Indigenous, BIPOC groups, first time attendees, undergraduates, those from specific academic institutions, and gatherings of different scientific societies). The conference is a great way to understand the breadth of botanical research and education, to meet undergraduate and graduate students with similar interests, learn about potential career paths, and to network with professionals in your area of interest. This is a very friendly community, so please consider joining us! PLANTS Scholars will also join a network of over 100 PLANTS Alumni and will have sustaining opportunities to engage in mentoring through supportive virtual communication strategies, follow-up Webinars, and opportunities to return to the BOTANY meetings as mentors and alumni in subsequent years.

Perks for PLANTS Scholars

In addition to mentorship, PLANTS scholars get:

  • Complimentary conference registration
  • Free travel to and from the conference
  • A free room to themself at a hotel with other PLANTS participants
  • Meals throughout the conference and a per diem for meals on travel days
  • One free conference field trip up to $100 value
  • A free membership to the Botanical Society of America for 3 years
  • Connection to a great network of past and future PLANTS participants and BSA staff
PLANTS scholars on a river rafting field trip in Boise, Idaho for Botany 2023