Are you...

interested in pursuing a PhD in the life sciences?

curious about the application process?

part of a group historically-underrepresented in STEM?

Join us for a virtual

Life Sciences

Diversity Recruitment Weekend

Friday, June 11 + Saturday, June 12, 2021

This event will be hosted by current graduate students from five graduate fields (PhD programs) at Cornell University:

If you are interested in applying to any of these PhD programs, we encourage you to attend! (If you are interested in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Entomology, or the School of Integrative Plant Sciences, please check out the Cornell Diversity Preview Weekend!)

 The Life Sciences DRW is a chance for you to meet with current students and faculty to learn more about our programs. We will provide you with information about:

  • The PhD experience at Cornell from a student's perspective

  • Differences between the various PhD programs Cornell offers in the life sciences

  • Career opportunities after obtaining a PhD

  • The process of applying to Cornell's Graduate School

  • Life in Ithaca, NY

  • A day in the life of a Cornell PhD student

  • How fellowships and funding for PhDs works at Cornell

Our goals for the weekend are to:

  1. Provide prospective students with information about the graduate school experience

  2. Promote the importance of diversity and inclusion in graduate school

  3. Describe the scientific environment at Cornell University

  4. Host workshops about the application process with Cornell professionals

  5. Bring together a diverse group of people who are all interested in pursuing graduate research at Cornell

Please note: this event is for informational purposes and is completely separate from the PhD admissions process.

The Application Process

Who should apply?

Anyone interested in pursuing a PhD in the life sciences is eligible to apply. We particularly encourage applications from individuals who identify as members of one or more groups underrepresented in STEM. Diversity has many dimensions, including but not limited to: race/ethnicity, disability, socioeconomic status, sex, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, and parental education level.

What does the application involve?

The application will ask you to briefly respond to the following questions:

  • What do you hope to learn from the program? (~200 words)

    • Some ideas of what to talk about:​

      • Why do you want to pursue a PhD?​

      • How will studying at Cornell help you to achieve your personal and professional goals?

      • How will you use the lessons you take away from this event?

  • What do diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to you in terms of grad school? (~500 words)

    • Some ideas of what to talk about:​

      • Why do you think diversity, equity, and inclusion are important to the scientific process?​

      • What do you think are some of the challenges surrounding diversity in the life sciences?

      • How do you hope to use the information you learn at the Diversity Recruitment Weekend to tackle issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in your workplace going forward?

  • What are your research interests? Briefly describe any previous experiences. (~200 words)

    • Some ideas of what to talk about?​

      • What scientific goals do you have?​

      • How have your previous research experiences shaped you personally or professionally?

      • What scientific topics spark your interest? Why?

The application can be accessed here.

How will applications be evaluated?

Your application will be read by current graduate students. We anticipate offering a spot for the presentations to all eligible applicants. Workshops will be limited to 20 participants each.

When are applications due?

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis starting on April 12. The application deadline has been extended to May 22.

How much does it cost?

Participation in the Life Sciences Diversity Recruitment Weekend is completely free!


What to Expect

The weekend will include presentations, workshops, and opportunities for informal interaction with faculty and current graduate students.


Our Sponsors

We are grateful for the support of our sponsors:

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Questions? Send us an email at