The CNS Equity and Inclusion Initiative invites UMass faculty to nominate scientists and engineers from underrepresented groups to visit campus. The visitor will give a research presentation of broad interest to the STEM community at UMass and lead a second workshop to share their personal perspective on navigating an academic career.

About the Distinguished Scientist & Engineer Seminar Series:

In our ongoing commitment to foster diversity within the College of Natural Sciences, the Dean’s office, in collaboration with the College of Engineering, offers The Distinguished Scientist & Engineer Seminar Series, which showcases the work of accomplished faculty from underrepresented groups. 

  • Any faculty member(s) of CNS or COE may submit a nomination.  
  • The invited visitor should be well-known in their field for their research accomplishments and of interest to faculty and students from multiple departments.
  • Nominees should belong to an underrepresented group or groups (e.g., racial and ethnic minority, LGBTQIA+, women, differently abled).
  • The college(s) will provide up to $2500 each for 2 to 3 visitors per year. Funding will include an honorarium, travel, and event hosting and promotion costs. 
  • The unit will be responsible for the logistics of hosting the visit (speaker travel and accommodations, promotion, room reservations, etc.).

Please include the following in your nomination:

  1. The name, department, web link, and contact information of the proposed visitor.
  2. Answers to the following (~2 pages/double spaced maximum):
    1. What are their research and scientific accomplishments?
    2. Why is their science of interest to your group and possibly, the larger STEM community on campus? Who would be interested in hearing this speaker?
    3. What are some professional development reasons for bringing this scientist/engineer on-campus?  (e.g., their reputation for mentoring, inspirational speaker, potential networks, etc.)
  3. Contact information of the faculty member(s) nominating this potential visitor. The nominators will be extending the invitation in collaboration with the Dean’s office.
  4. Contact information of the person who will be responsible for coordinating the visit.
  5. Estimated budget and the anticipated semester of the invited speaker’s visit.
  6. Submit your nomination as a single PDF document to Amanda Leigh Hawkins:


Proposals are due by March 4, 2022 for visits during 2022-2023.

Notification and invitations

  • Notification of the decision will be on March 31, 2022.
  • Invitations to the visitors will be extended by the dean of the relevant college (Natural Sciences or Engineering) and the faculty nominators.
  • The Dean’s office will work with the faculty team and coordinator to host the scientist.

Questions about the series

Please contact Karen Helfer, Associate Dean for Graduate, Postdoctoral, and Faculty Development with any questions.

Current series information


Distinguished Scientist & Engineer Seminar Series