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Instars Program

SFS Instars

A mentoring program for undergraduate students from under-represented groups interested in freshwater science.


Instars, a mentoring program sponsored by the Society for Freshwater Science, is an opportunity for undergraduate students from under-represented groups who are interested in the study of freshwaters. The program also provides opportunities for networking among graduate students, faculty and professionals hoping to encourage diversity in our discipline. Launched in 2011, the seventh instalment of the program will take place May 20 - 24, 2018 in Detroit, MI where the theme will be “Navigating Boundaries in Freshwater Science.”

SFS Instars

The Instars program plans to support annual meeting expenses for at least 10 new Instars Fellows for the 2018 meeting in Detroit, MI. For details on the application process and selection of fellows please contact Checo Colón-Gaud or Judy Li. To maximize the number of students we can serve, programs or institutions are also encouraged to sponsor undergraduates by providing registration fees, travel and/or other costs associated with attendance at the conference. The Society will sponsor the Instars workshop, a special Instars session and associated activities, and there will be no expenses for the Instars program itself. If there are extraordinary circumstances requiring financial assistance, faculty sponsors are encouraged to contact Checo Colón-Gaud (jccolongaud@georgiasouthern.edu) or Judy Li (judyli@comcast.net).

Download the 2018 Instars Program Announcement.

Workshop & Activities

We hope to inspire and excite students about our science by offering activities with other undergraduates, graduate student mentors, and professional SFS members that will include:

  • A half-day, pre-meeting orientation workshop
  • Networking activities with peers and mentors during the meeting
  • Attendance at plenary sessions and a full range of special, technical, and poster sessions chosen by students
  • Opportunities for undergraduates to present their own research in general sessions with friendly review from SFS members
  • Post-meeting networking and linking to research and educational opportunities in aquatic science

Instars Mentors

The program will sponsor Instars Graduate Mentors by providing a modest stipend for the annual meeting. Student membership in the society is a priority for funding Instars Graduate Mentors; potential for presentation by the graduate mentor during the conference, and the student’s number of years as a member of SFS will also be considered but would not preclude funding. More info.

How to Apply

Instars fellows and mentors can apply through the SFS website and observe the following program deadlines:

Funding decisions will be made by mid-March

Program Participants 


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