CSEE BIPOC Resources Library Microgrants

One barrier to inclusivity for underrepresented minorities, including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour), in STEM is that most course materials lack representation of contributions from BIPOC. Similarly, most resources available for early-career researchers (or those mentoring them) do not reflect the experiences and additional challenges that BIPOC might face in STEM.  CSEE will commission the creation of two kinds of written materials: (1) articles highlighting research contributions of BIPOC researchers (worldwide, past or present) to E&E, that can be used as examples in undergraduate and/or K-12 curricula, and (2) articles written to help BIPOC navigate experiences in undergraduate or graduate school or in the field. Via our website and via direct outreach, CSEE will make these resources available to instructors, researchers, and departments of biology and cognate fields across Canada. The program will also address another barrier to increasing BIPOC participation in science, which is financial; the library microgrants will provide direct remuneration plus no-cost membership and conference registration.

The commissions

CSEE will commission the creation of (1) “Foundational research” articles and (2) “Navigating” articles.  While we suggest topics of interest below, CSEE is open to all proposals.

  1. “Foundational research” articles.
    • These will highlight foundational contributions by BIPOC researchers in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology. An applicant might write about any BIPOC researcher, worldwide, past or present.
    • Articles should include appropriately licensed photos or other illustrations, and should be relevant to commonly covered topics in introductory biology, ecology, evolution, or conservation courses. Photos of living human subjects must have photo releases.
    • An article could emphasize a particular piece of research or a researcher’s career contributions.
    • We encourage contributions from non-BIPOC authors, but these will be on a volunteer basis (non-remunerated). We encourage all career stages to get involved.
  2. “Navigating” articles. These will provide guidance for BIPOC navigating common situations in ecology and evolution, whether in learning or research.
  • Articles could address navigating situations in field work as a BIPOC; navigating situations in undergraduate study as a BIPOC; or navigating situations in grad school as a BIPOC.
  • “Navigational” articles are authored by, and share the views of, BIPOC members. We encourage all career stages to get involved.

 “Foundational Research” essays should be 500-1000 words, and BIPOC contributors will be paid $200 per essay.  “Navigating” essays can be longer upon agreement of the editorial committee, and will be paid at the rate of $200 per 1,000 words.  These rates are competitive with open-market freelance writing rates.

Applying for a microgrant

Applicants should send a very brief proposal (no more than 200 words, describing the article’s intended content/message) to the Chair of the Editorial Committee, peter.soroye@gmail.com.

Applicants should be members of CSEE, or non-members of CSEE who are Canadian or working or studying at a Canadian employer or institution.  Applicants are welcome from any career stage, but CSEE will seek to balance awardees between faculty, industry professionals, and students.  Should senior applicants wish to participate while waiving financial compensation, CSEE will use the budget room to recruit more early-career participants.

Editorial committee

CSEE Council will establish a committee of 3 Society members, at least 2 of them BIPOC, to provide guidance and insure that submissions align with the goals of the project.  It will report to the chair of the Awards Committee.  This is the same committee that will handle Spotlight Library submissions (see above).  BIPOC members of the editorial committee who do not serve on CSEE Council will receive a stipend for their service.

Posting and promotion

Materials will be made available online as they are approved, with promotion on social media etc. Links will be periodically sent to CSEE membership, and created materials will be promoted during the CSEE annual meeting. Applications will be accepted year- round (until all budgeted grants are awarded).

“Navigating” essays will have a two-week public comment period, after which the author would be asked to make any appropriate revisions. Public comment will help each article reflect multiple voices and lived experiences, without diminishing the experiences of the main author.


CSEE has budgeted $3000 in 2020 for this initiative (but we envision the project continuing into future years).  The cash payment portion of the microgrant is crucial, because it is unfair to ask BIPOC to do unpaid work to fix a problem that isn’t of their making. The cash amount is intended to represent fair market pay for the labour involved.