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Instars Program

Application for Instars Program Fellowships

Society for Freshwater Science Annual Meeting

The Society for Freshwater Science announces the Instars Program Fellowships. The Instars program is a new mentoring opportunity for undergraduate students from under-represented groups who are interested in the study of freshwater. 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 Fellows will be of two types: (1) fellows funded at least partially by the program, and (2) fellows supported by their sponsoring institution or by private funds. Funded fellows supported by the program will be provided with support for annual meeting registration fees, travel, and lodging for the pre-meeting activities and the annual meeting. Additional fellows are encouraged to participate in the Instars program, but will need funds from their sponsoring institution or private funds. Student interest in freshwater science is a priority for funding Instars Fellows; potential for presentation by the student during the conference, and the student’s year in school will also be considered but would not preclude funding.

Eligibility criteria

Please note the following eligibility criteria:

  • Participants must be citizens or permanent residents of Canada, Mexico, or the United States and be undergraduate students enrolled in a degree program (part-time or full-time) that leads to a baccalaureate or associates degree. Spring 2019 graduates are eligible. Graduate students are encouraged to contact the Instars planning committee to apply to participate as Instars Mentors.
  • For the purposes of these awards, applicants must belong to one or more of the following groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in freshwater sciences: Black/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Indigenous Alaskans, Native Pacific Islanders (Hawaiian/Polynesian/Micronesian), Asian Americans, Indian, first generational students, and persons with disabilities.

Application Instructions

When completing the full application, please type all requested information in the spaces provided. Do not leave any of the boxes blank, but rather enter "na" if a category is not applicable. Academic transcripts may be submitted as a PDF file.

Applicant Information


To be eligible for an award, applicant must belong to one or more of the following groups:


Academic Information

Is your GPA based on a 4.0 system?

Please attach an up-to-date transcript from your present academic institution. An unofficial copy in PDF format (preferred file format) is acceptable.

Please name your file as follows: Lastname_Firstname_Transcript.pdf

Only pdf files can be uploaded, any other file type will result in an error.



Additional Information

The Society for Freshwater Science is an international scientific organization whose purpose is to promote further understanding of freshwater ecosystems (rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs, and estuaries) and ecosystems at the interface between aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Provide a brief statement (1 page max, font no smaller than single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman) of your previous experiences in freshwater systems, your long-term research interests and career goals as they may relate to freshwater science. Be sure to indicate how attending the annual meeting and your involvement in the Instars Program will help you achieve these goals while meeting the mission of the SFS.

Please name your file as follows: Lastname_Firstname_Statement.pdf

Only pdf files can be uploaded, any other file type will result in an error.


List any courses or research activities you have participated in that involve freshwater ecosystems and/or resources. These may include paid or volunteer experiences related to your interest in freshwater science (e.g., Adopt-A-Stream, River Clean-ups, Rivers Alive, Riverkeeper, etc.). Limit 1000 characters.

If you will be giving an oral presentation or presenting a poster of your undergraduate research at the annual SFS meeting, please attach a PDF of the abstract you submitted through the SFS website. Presenting is encouraged but not required.

If you still need to submit your abstract you may do so here: SFS Abstract Submission

Please name your file as follows: Lastname_Firstname_Abstract.pdf

Only pdf files can be uploaded, any other file type will result in an error.


Enter Abstract Number (if applicable, enter NA if not presenting): 

Funding Information

Please check all categories for which you already have funding:

Faculty Sponsor Information

Please include the name and address of your faculty sponsor at your home institution. Ask your faculty sponsor to write a letter of recommendation and email it to: Checo Colon-Gaud(

Application Submission

Click the submission link below to submit your application.

Please note: You should receive a confirmation email upon successful submission of your application. If you do not receive an email, check all of your answers for error messages and try and resubmit.

Don’t forget to ask your faculty sponsor to write a letter of recommendation and email it to: Checo Colon-Gaud( before the 15th of February 2019 (for unfunded fellows seeking funds) or by March 31st (for fellows funded through their institutions or private funds).


Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding your Instars Fellowship application, please contact Checo Colon-Gaud(

If you experience any technical difficulties in submitting your application, please contact the web editor (