Our Mission

The mission of the SIMB Diversity Committee is to integrate cultural sensitivity and a commitment to gender, racial and ethnic diversity throughout the organizational structure of SIMB and the broader community of Biotechnology.

Who we are

Committee chairs

Diversity Committee
Term Ends 2021
Sara Shields-Menard, Nicholls State University
Term Ends 2020
Felipe Sarmiento, Gingko Bioworks

Sheena Becker, DOW AgroSciences
Noel Fong, Nucelis, Inc.
Laura Jarboe, Iowa State University
Vanessa Nepomuceno, University of Illinois


For more information about Diversity Committee opportunities, email us at diversity@simbhq.org

Spotlight on Diversity

A brief “interview with Olivia Thompson”.

Diversity Travel Award

The SIMB Diversity Travel Award has been established to promote diversity and to increase the participation of underrepresented minority groups in SIMB among the graduate students making presentations at any SIMB sponsored meeting.

The travel award will be offered for up to 2 winners at SIMB-sponsored meetings.

General Diversity Award Information (PDF)

Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals (SBFC)
April 26-29, 2020 New Orleans, LA
SBFC Diversity Travel Award Information + Form (PDF)Deadline: December 16, 2019

SIMB Annual Meeting and Exhibition
July 21 – 24, 2019, Washington, DC
SIMB Annual Meeting Diversity Travel Award Information + Form (PDF) – Deadline: passed

Recent Advances in Fermentation Technology® (RAFT)
October 27 – 30, 2019, Ft. Myers, FL
RAFT® Diversity Travel Award Information + Form (PDF) – Deadline: passed

3rd International Conference on Natural Product Discovery and Development in the Genomic Era
January 12 – 16, 2020, San Diego, CA
NP Diversity Travel Award Information + Form (PDF)Deadline: October 15, 2019

Annual Meeting Diversity Session

A special topic session will be convened by Raul Cano and Laura Jarboe at the 2017 SIMB Annual Meeting and Exhibition on Implicit bias in the workplace..



Microaggressions: An Obstacle in the Workplace, or an Opportunity for Growth?
Andrew Prescott
Download 8.4 MB .pptx file

Building Community for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Scientists
Scott Smith, Gerard Buckley, James DeCaro, Steve Barnett, and Steve Dewhurst
Download 3.9 MB .pptx file

Conference Tips:

7 Tips for Women at Science Conferences by Hilda Bastian

Communicating Science to the Public by Neil deGrasse Tyson


Mentoring: An Investment in the Future of Discovery by Michelle Personick

Workplace Gender Equality Agency Report. Supporting careers: mentoring or sponsorship? (PDF)

Nature’s guide for Mentors by Adrian Lee, Carina Dennis, and Philip Campbell