Underrepresented Trainee Scholarships

Note:  Several conferences are being converted to a virtual meeting format. For virtual meetings, which require no travel or lodging, scholarships will provide a free registration.  The number of scholarships will depend on available funding, and will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to qualified applicants. If you are applying for a scholarship, do not register for the virtual meeting until you receive notice of the status of your scholarship application.

See posted Financial Aid deadlines of eSymposia events

Keystone Symposia offers scholarships to Students and Postdoctoral Fellows in the life sciences from underrepresented backgrounds. These scholarships, of up to 1,200 USD each, are to be used to help defray the expenses associated with conference attendance, including airfare (restrictions may apply based on funding source), ground transportation, lodging costs, and a portion of meeting registration. Receipts will be required to receive reimbursement. Keystone Symposia strongly encourages those with disabilities to apply for these scholarships (for more information, visit Keystone Symposia Policy on Accessibility).

Applications may be submitted for both a Keystone Symposia Scholarship and an Underrepresented Trainee Scholarship; however, only one scholarship can be awarded. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on the quality of science of the abstract and the relevance of the abstract to the conference topic. Only one application per abstract is accepted. Only one award per lab will be allocated.

Application fees are as follows:

  • $50 refundable* abstract fee for in-person meetings (* abstract fee is refundable if the application is not awarded, and the abstract is withdrawn)

Note: Please check specific conference page under the Conference List for any additional financial aid opportunities.


To be eligible for an Underrepresented Trainee Scholarship, you must be:

  • A United States Citizen or United States Permanent Resident
  • A graduate student or postdoctoral fellow currently enrolled in an academic institute at the start of the meeting for which you are applying. Note: a graduate student is defined as a student who is studying for a higher degree at an academic institution. A postdoctoral fellow is defined as an individual with a Ph.D., M.D., or DVM degree who is engaged in a temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarly training for the purpose of acquiring the professional skills needed to pursue their desired career path, and is within 6 years of these degrees. The 6 year degree determination is based on the meeting start date.
  • From one of the following underrepresented backgrounds listed below or have a disability (If you have a disability, please contact scholarships@keystonesymposia.org for instructions to complete the application):
    • Hispanic American or Latin American
    • African American
    • Native American or Alaska Native
    • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • An applicant is eligible to receive one award per meeting year (July 1st - June 30th)

Review Criteria

Criteria for Abstract Review:

  1. Relevance to the meeting topic
  2. Significance of the scientific question and results
  3. Style
    • Organization (e.g., the abstract has a clear beginning, middle and end)
    • Grammar and spelling
  4. Clarity of scientific presentations
    • Clear question or hypothesis
    • Sufficient background
    • The experimental approach and rationale for the approach are clear
    • The results are clearly presented
    • The interpretation and conclusions are reasonable and logical

Application Process

If you are eligible and wish to be considered for a scholarship, you should complete all of the following by the scholarship deadline for the meeting you wish to attend. It is recommended you begin these steps in advance of the deadline date to ensure completion.

After logging into your account, please follow these steps:

  • Select your meeting (Step 1 below)
  • Complete Underrepresented Trainee application (Step 2 below)
  • Submit an abstract for the meeting to which you are applying (with paid abstract fee) (Step 3 below)
  • Have your mentor submit a letter via our website to verify your status as a student or postdoc (Step 4 below)

Attention NIH employees: Keystone Symposia processes scholarships as a reimbursement. Please note that if your employment status with NIH precludes receiving awards as a reimbursement, your award will consist only of registration paid "in kind". You will forfeit the remainder of the award. We will not be able to pay "in kind" for such expenses as lodging and transportation.

NOTE:  Global Health Travel Awards and Early-Career Travel Awards are also available.

Please click here to view the Frequently Asked Questions for scholarships. If you have any additional questions, please contact scholarships@keystonesymposia.org.

You must Log in to our website (more steps will follow when you are logged in) in order to start the application process.

Apply for a Trainee Scholarship

Contact us with questions

Financial Assistance / Student Scholarships

Jeff Lehman
Scholarship Coordinator
Phone: +1 800-253-0685 or +1 970-262-2678
Fax: +1 970-262-0311
Email Scholarships Department