Dalhousie Science Scholars and Leaders Program

The Dalhousie Science Scholars and Leaders Program (DSSLP) is working to change the way that traditional undergraduate education determines who can and should do science. Students will join an academic program that will affirm and support the growth of each student’s individual science identity. The program is open to all students with a passion for science and a desire to make a difference in the world through a STEM career. We especially encourage applications from historically excluded and underrepresented STEM students. The program promotes the active participation of its members in support of each other’s success and the advancement of under-represented science talent among those who face systematic barriers. 

What is the program like?

DSSLP is a co-curricular academic program housed within the Department of Biology, but open to all STEM majors.  Students can apply to enter the program in either the 1st or 2nd year of study. Program activities are complemented by credit-based 2nd year coursework (BIOL 2111 and BIOL2112).  In addition to 2nd year course work, students will be mentored in the implicit rules and culture of science, encouraged to engage with undergraduate research opportunities at Dalhousie, and will be provided with tools to increase their own happiness as a student while building productive academic habits.  In addition to delivering the resources students need to translate their passion for science into a successful career, the program will build a culture of peer-support for each other’s success.  Our goal is to recognize and develop historically undervalued potential for science leaders, innovators and change agents. 

How do I apply?

DSSLP is being launched in the Fall of 2022.  Applications by 1st year students for admission in 2nd year will be open on a rolling basis starting in May 2022.  Applicants request and submit an on-line application (j,bielawski@dal.ca), and candidates are then selected for an interview.  The interview is a means to move beyond standardized criteria (GPAs and other metrics) and explore each student’s unique strengths and vision for themselves in science, and to understand their capacity to work cooperatively within a community.

What are the main elements of the program?

  • Individualized advising and planning for success in science
  • First year interest group (FIG) called “A toolkit for diverse STEM students
  • BIOL 2111: Becoming a scientist I (Fall term, Pass/Fail)
  • BIOL 2112: Becoming a scientist II (Winter term, Pass/Fail)
  • Student-centered workshops.
  • Social events.
  • A strong and supportive community

Do you have questions about applying for this program, or the program itself?
Email us at j.bielawski@dal.ca and we will be happy to help!

Check out our collaborator: Diversity of Nature