The Research Coordinated Network (RCN) for Evolution in Changing Seas seeks to bring together marine scientists with evolutionary biologists to further our understanding of adaptation in the ocean. The RCN is excited to announce a that we will be running the Virtual Lab Meeting Training Program for a second year! For data and quotes from last year’s participants, check out this blog post and the diverse list of last year’s mentees. This program helps mentees develop a supportive network, provides a pathway for mercn-ecs.github.iontees to future success, and broadens their knowledge in our field. Since all lab meetings are virtual during COVID, this is an excellent time to take advantage of these unusual circumstances with a training program.

In this program, the RCN seeks to provide training to students at the undergraduate or graduate level (“mentees”) by participating in lab meetings of a research group that shares their interests. The mentee will participate by attending lab meetings during 2021-2022. A designated “mentor” from the research group will dedicate portions of two lab meetings to the mentee’s professional development. The format for lab meetings dedicated to the mentee’s professional development is flexible, but could take the form of review of graduate school or grant application statements at lab meeting, research presentation at lab meeting, lead paper discussion at lab meeting, etc.

The following are requirements for program completion:

  • Attendence at 10 lab meetings with portions of 2 lab meetings dedicated to mentee’s professional development before May 2022,
  • Monthly participation in professional development discussions in a Slack Channel


Approved applicants will receive a $500 stipend (see information on eligibility and number of stipends available below).

Information for mentors

  • Mentors may be Faculty, Postdoctoral Fellows, or Research Associates - as long as lab meetings can be dedicated to the mentees professional development.
  • If you haven’t yet, please sign up to be a member of the RCN. It’s as simple as filling out a form and signing up for our listserv!
  • Please use the RCN lab meeting mentor sign-up form to sign up to be a mentor for this program before Sept 15.
  • Mentor applications are due Sept 15 (two weeks before mentee applications are due).
  • PIs that sign up will agree to invite the matched applicant to join 10 lab meetings and at least parts of 2 lab meetings will be devoted to professional development of the applicant by May 2022.

Information for applicants

Eligibility to apply

We welcome and encourage applications from all students at the undergraduate or graduate level, regardless of institution or nationality, age, culture, race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability, politics, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or subculture. For more information, check out our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

We aim to be able to place every applicant with a mentor.

Note, however, that there are a limited number of stipends. In a recent RCN survey, 74% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that a proportion of stipends should be prioritized to increasing underrepresented groups within the RCN. This program is part of our antiracism response to systematic racism in society. Stipends will be priortized for:

  • participants who did not previously partipate in last year’s Virtual Lab Meeting Training Program
  • individuals who best describe how their particiation in this program will help to increase diversity of underrepresented groups in our field.

Stipends can only be paid to persons with a SSN or Tax ID Number in the USA. For international students in the US, please consult with the international office of your university before receiving the payment. There is usually additional paperwork that has to be filled out when receiving funds from another institution.

To apply:

Step 1: If you haven’t yet, please sign up to be a member of the RCN. It’s as simple as filling out a form and signing up for our listserv!

Step 2: Decide which mentors you’d like to be matched with. To view a list of mentors who have signed up for the program and their research interests, check out this table of interested mentors. We encourage applicants to reach out to mentors who are not on the list and encourage them to sign up with the RCN lab meeting mentor sign-up form.

Step 3: Prepare your application materials. The applicant will need to submit the following in a single pdf:

  • A 500 word statement that describes the applicant’s
    • current research interests and/or experiences related to the themes under the Evolving Seas RCN
    • future career interests,
    • how interactions with the host lab would help to advance their careers and/or support their professional development,
    • a description of how their participation in this program will help to increase diversity (broadly defined) within the network
  • A CV or resume

Step 4: Fill out the application at the RCN lab meeting application form

If you have trouble submitting the application with the google form, email

Applications are due Sept. 30, 2021. Lab meetings will take place between October 2021 and May 2022.

In the application, mentees will choose their top 3-4 choices for a mentor. The RCN will attempt to match applicants with their preferred mentor.