‚ÄčWilliam H. Danforth Plant Sciences Pathway 

The William H. Danforth Plant Sciences Fellowships seeks to foster a culture of intellectual entrepreneurship focused on research, leadership, and innovation in the general area of Plant Science. Plant Science bridges diverse areas of research ranging from agriculture to medicine and from energy production to climate change. The fellowship is open to first-year Washington University graduate students in any DBBS affiliated laboratory with a thesis project in the general area of plant biology.

Selected students will receive a 4-year fellowship to cover yearly stipend plus $2,000 additional per year for project supplies, meeting attendance, and research-related travel.  Danforth Fellows will be expected to complete their program courses, take the Fellows Gateway Course (advanced elective), participate in additional Career Development Activities, and finish a Ph.D. thesis. 

Program Specifics

1) Plant Science Fellows Gateway Course.  This course provides an opportunity to explore the range of research and careers opportunities in plant & microbial biosciences in academia, federal, state, and local government and the private sector.   Students will meet experts in the field, visit biotech labs, and discuss current issues facing science related to biotechnology.  Advanced elective credit.

2) Career Development Activities. To develop leadership skills in science, career development, education, and entrepreneurship and to foster involvement in the St. Louis community, Danforth Fellows will be required to complete "2 points" of additional activities.  A range of options are available and can be tailored to meet the long-term career goals of the student.

Examples of 1 point options

  • Elective Career Development Courses - Biotech Industry Innovators; Basics of Bio-Entrepreneurship; Commercialization of Science and Technology; Introduction to Entrepreneurship; Business Planning for New Enterprises; Social Entrepreneurship; Communication that Works; Fundamentals of Applied Agronomy/Soil Science etc (on-line courses from ASA/SSSA/CSA)
  • Platform Presentation at a National/International Scientific Meeting
  • Entrepreneurial Consulting - Participate in a BALSA consulting project (www.thebalsagroup.org/)
  • Service as a Science-Related Club Officer - Two semesters of service in BioEntrepreneurship Core (BEC); WU ProSPER: Broadcasting Innovation in Environmental Research and Policy; Collaborative Urban Agriculture Development in St. Louis; Future Educators; Young Scientists Program; International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Team
  • Win an Idea Bounce (ideabounce.com/skandalaris)

Examples of 2 point options

  • Complete an Intensive Internship Experience - Company Internship (3 month; Monsanto Program; Pioneer HiBred/DuPont); Office of Technology Management Internship (6 month; weekly); "Knowledge Development Rotation" (identify skills area for graduate training - 3 month rotation in another lab/institution); Teaching Certification Program completion
  • Receive External Grant Support (examples:  NSF GRF, USDA NIFA, NIH NRSA)

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