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Lou De Felice Summer Student Travel Award

We are excited to announce the Lou De Felice Summer Student Travel Awards. These awards aim to increase diversity and inclusion in the biomedical research community. Specifically, these awards are for students and their faculty mentor to attend either the SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) or ABRCMS (Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students) research conference this upcoming fall.

The specific goals of this award are to:

  • Provide career development and continued mentoring for VSSA students that contribute to diversity in the biomedical research community
  • Offer their faculty mentors a chance to continue mentoring the VSSA student and to contribute to diversity and inclusion in training.

Three (3) $5000 awards are available to:

  • Pay for the costs of both the VSSA student and his or her mentor to attend either ABRCMS or SACNAS meetings (their choice).
  • Contribute $500 to the mentor’s lab to use at his or her discretion.

Dates/locations of 2024 meetings:

  • SACNAS – Oct 31- Nov 2, Phoenix, Arizona
  • ABRCMS – Nov 13-16, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Eligibility and application:

All current VSSA students (including independent members) are invited to apply. The following materials are required, due by Friday, July 26th, 2024.

  • An unofficial or official transcript
  • One letter of recommendation (emailed from the letter writer to Felysha.jenkins@Vanderbilt.Edu by Friday, July 26th)
  • A 500 word Statement of Purpose detailing the following:
    • Your research interests and goals
    • Your career goals
    • How attending either SACNAS or ABRCMS will contribute to your training
    • How you contribute to diversity in the biomedical research community

For those that completed an application to the VSSA for this summer, we already have the first 2 items and you will not need to submit them.

Application site:

  • Applications are due by Friday, July 26th
  • The application can be found here 


2022 Winners:

  • Taylor Barongan, AJ Hinton Lab
  • Faith Guice, Maria Hadjifrangiskou Lab
  • Channita Keuk, Julie Rhoades Lab

2019 Winners:

  • Leah Rowe, Sean Davies lab
  • Shania Sanchez, Kristen Ogden lab
  • Nana Antwi, Lars Plate & Lauren Buchanan labs

2018 Winners:

  • Malek Jacobs, Chris Williams lab
  • Donovan Brown, Borden Lacy lab
  • Christina Wang, Bill Tansey lab

2017 Winners:

  • Jessica Robinson, Richard Gumina lab
  • Jaelynn Lawrence, Julie Sterling lab
  • Andrea Mancheno Lopez, Ken Lau lab



Vanderbilt University is committed to training a diverse biomedical research workforce.