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Maize Gene Structure and Function Annotation Jamboree, prior to the 2020 Maize Genetics Meeting

The award will provide support to graduate students and faculty interested in course development to participate in the annotation jamboree prior to the Maize Genetics Meeting in Kailua-Kona, Hawaiʻi, USA.

The goal for jamboree participants is to learn about the soon-to-be-released 26 divergent maize (NAM) genomes, get training in the use of genome annotation tools, and develop student projects to improve the maize reference genomes. Familiarity with genome annotation and databases (such as NCBI, Gramene and MaizeGDB) or in-depth knowledge of maize biology is desirable. Acceptance is competitive and based on the applicant's capacity to use maize genome annotation for student research projects or course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs). Awards can be applied towards the cost of transportation, lodging, and food, and can be combined with other awards aimed to support the applicant's participation at the Maize Genetics Meeting.

At the workshop you will work in teams to learn how to annotate a set of target genes. Then you will return to your institution with a list of genes to annotate with students. Twice-monthly webinars will provide support, allow students to share results, and seek consensus on difficult gene models. Reagents will be provided for students to amplify target genes from available cDNA libraries and develop strategies to validate difficult gene models.

Eligibility: Graduate students and faculty based in the USA. First-time conference attendees are encouraged to apply.

For direct questions regarding the award, please contact Marcela Tello-Ruiz, [email protected]. For technical questions about submitting applications, please contact John Portwood, [email protected].

This financial aid award is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Applicants should fill out the attached form and submit a CV or résumé. Student applicants must provide the name and email address of at least one referee, who must be a research mentor, collaborator, or faculty supervisor.

All awardees, including students and faculty mentors, will be required to complete short questionnaires before and after the meeting and to write a summary statement regarding their meeting experience after the close of the conference. Reimbursement checks will be processed and issued upon receipt of the required documentation.

Application Form:
General Information: Applicant eligibility category (your current status):
First name:
Last name:
Home institution:
Institution address:
City, state, zip:
Email address:

Background: Country of residence:
Please indicate race or ethnicity:
If 'Other', please specify:

Career (faculty please answer NA where the question is Not Applicable): Final Career Degree Desired:
Are you planning to pursue a career in plant biology or genetics-related research?
Have you worked in a laboratory as a summer intern, in a paid position, on a fellowship, or on a stipend (e.g., Teaching Assistantship)?
How long have you been working in a research setting?
Have you previously attended any national scientific conferences?
Have you previously attended the Maize Genetics Meeting?

Student/Faculty Information: If you are a student
  • Name of your faculty mentor, collaborator, or research supervisor:
  • Email address of your faculty mentor, collaborator, or research supervisor:
  • How long have you worked with this person?
  • Is this person accompanying you to the 2020 Maize Genetics Meeting?
If you are faculty
  • Are you accompanying a student to the 2020 Maize Genetics Meeting?
  • Is your research currently supported by NSF?

Teaching experience: Which best describes the level of students you teach? (Check all that apply.)
Undergraduate 2-year/community college
Undergraduate 4-year/baccalaureate

How many years have you been teaching?
Approximately how many students do you instruct in a calendar year?

Is your institution classified as any of the following? (Check all that apply.)
Community college
Primarily undergraduate
Minority-serving (e.g Hispanic-serving, Tribal college, HBCU)

Are you currently providing any student research projects or providing course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs)?

If you are providing student research projects or CUREs, please describe each briefly and number of students involved per class or semester.

Student research projects or CUREs: Faculty participating in these workshops are expected to implement student research projects or CUREs on maize genome annotation.
What particular course(s) will you be teaching in Spring 2020, Fall 2020, or Spring 2021 into which you expect to integrate student projects or CUREs on maize genome annotation?

How will maize genome annotation fit into the scope and sequence of this (these) course(s)?

In the context of this (these) course(s), would you like to have students PCR target genes from provided cDNA libraries and then use provided DNA sequences to confirm selected annotations?

How many students would participate in maize genome annotation projects in this (these) courses in Spring 2019, Fall 2019, and Spring 2020?

Your research and teaching: This section assesses how maize genome annotation fits in with your own interests and capabilities.
How does maize genome annotation fit in with your own research or teaching?

Are there any particular gene families that are important to your own research or with which you have expertise? Please explain.

Do you have any research or teaching experience with plant or crop biology? Please explain.

Do you have any research or teaching experience with gene annotation or ontology? Please explain.

CV: Upload your CV or résumé, in pdf format, here: