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AboutWhat to Expect | Commitment | Who Should Apply? 

About the BIOME Institute

The BIOME (Biology and Mathematics Educators) Institute offers a unique opportunity to engage with a community of peers to address an educational challenge with the ultimate goal of improving student outcomes.  The challenge, in this case, is implementation practices and resources that support students from all backgrounds and engage them in communities to enhance their learning. The community will be supported in this endeavor with access to experts in areas relevant to the challenge, information about useful resources, and community facilitators to guide the development process.  The BIOME Institute is offered by BioQUEST, with over 35 years of experience in science education reform.  

Research on professional development has demonstrated that it is difficult for even the most committed faculty to change pedagogical approaches working independently for a variety of reasons including time constraints, institutional resistance, and lack of resources.  Challenges to meaningful pedagogical change are most often identified during planning or implementation.  The BIOME Institute reduces barriers to change by providing faculty with information, resources, community, and guidance as they plan and implement new ideas.  The Summer Session provides a focused, information-rich opportunity to develop ideas, identify collaborators, and begin collecting resources.  The Fall Working Groups provide ongoing support, additional resources, and information, and peer feedback to increase faculty success in achieving their goals. 

Disciplinary and interdisciplinary institutional teams are encouraged to apply.  Individuals from all biological disciplines, as well as quantitative, physical, and social sciences, are welcome to apply.  Future faculty are welcome to apply and are encouraged to partner with a faculty member at their institution.  Upon completion of the BIOME Institute, participants will become BIOME Fellows, and receive a certificate of completion appropriate for tenure and promotion portfolios, teaching portfolios, and CVs.

2022 Theme: Sparking IDEAS

Creating equitable, inclusive learning environments for all of our students is paramount for empowering them as thinkers, scientists, and citizens, and for advancing scientific discovery and innovation. How do we foster a sense of belonging in each student and a sense of community for the class as a whole? How do we reduce barriers to participation and engage all perspectives? How do we position ourselves as leaders but also empower students to guide their own learning? In turn, what strategies for fostering inclusion and equity carry from the classroom into our professional networks?   

The BioQUEST community, through the 2022 BIOME Institute, will aim to support faculty in building a sense of community and belonging within their classrooms and groups with the goal of creating networks and partnerships founded on mutual trust, respect, and open collaboration between students and educational leaders. BioQUEST has been a leader in STEM education reform for the past 35 years, and this year we will continue to grow our community through conversations focused on shifting the relationship between instructors and students, reframing instructional practice, and improving all student outcomes and feelings of belonging in STEM. 

BIOQUEST: Evolution and Revolution in STEM Education

What to Expect

The BIOME Institute offers a community based professional development experience where participants will learn about resources and practices relevant to their teaching. The BIOME Institute is entirely virtual, beginning with a summer experience that sets participants up for fall working groups. 

Summer Session

The summer session extends over two weeks, with all required synchronous activities during the first week and asynchronous working group formation during the second week (see the Schedule for more information).  Participants will be placed in small, facilitated discussion groups, which will meet throughout the synchronous workshop week to discuss the keynotes and other ideas and events at the BIOME. 

Share your work

There will be several opportunities to share what you have been working on and learn more about your colleagues' projects in virtual sharing sessions. We invite you to share about educational resources, projects, and programs that demonstrate ways to support students by building inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible communities in STEM classrooms.

For more information and to apply to share your work, please click here!

Fall Working Groups

The fall working groups provide an opportunity to engage with like-minded colleagues and work through the challenges of implementing new ideas in the classroom based on participants’ interests. Working groups will form at the conclusion of the Summer Session and be facilitated by members of the BioQUEST communities. Working groups should plan to attend synchronous bi-weekly meetings, while working asynchronously on projects between meetings. 


It is important that all participants are able to commit to the full professional development experience which includes:

  • Summer Session:
    • Synchronous: Monday, July 18- Friday, July 22
    • Asynchronous: Monday, July 25- Friday July 29
  • Fall Working Groups: September 5- November 18

This is a supportive community of people sharing similar goals and challenges.  Colleagues share resources, ideas, and advice based on their own experiences, and provide each other with feedback on materials or plans. Your contributions are critical to the success of this experience. We recognize that unexpected circumstances may change schedules and that participants may not be able to attend synchronous events.  The summer session is designed to provide maximum flexibility by providing recordings of synchronous events and access to resources.  However, there is no substitute for time spent with your working group and we ask all participants to commit to full participation for the entire program.

Who should apply?

  • Teachers interested in inclusivity, diversity, equity, accessibility, and building communities to enhance your students' engagement and belonging in STEM classrooms.
  • All levels of educators in STEM are welcome and encouraged to apply: faculty from secondary education, two- and four-year faculty, graduate students, post-docs and outreach specialists. 
  • Future faculty are welcome to apply and are encouraged to partner with a faculty member. 
    • The BIOME Institute will include programming specifically for graduate students and post-docs. During registration, future faculty may apply to volunteer during the BIOME to receive a full registration waiver. Future faculty application questions include: 
      • What other professional development events have you attended in the past three years?
      • How would participating in the BIOME as a future faculty volunteer further your career?
      • Reference: Please provide the name and email address of someone who can serve as a professional reference.
  • We encourage teams from a single institution or partner institutions to apply, especially interdisciplinary teams and teams combining part-time and full-time faculty. Each team member must complete an application.
    • Team participation is just as flexible as individual participation; teams have the option of joining the same Fall Working Groups and collaborating on institutional projects, but are not required to. We do encourage teams to branch out during the Summer Session and connect with new colleagues. 
  • The meeting sponsors strive to increase the inclusivity and accessibility of this event, and to that end, we encourage persons requiring accommodations to apply and let us know how we can support their participation.  

More information

Subscribe to the BioQUEST mailing list to receive summer workshop updates: Subscribe

If you have any questions, please contact Katrina Wells (katrina "dot" wells "at" bioquest "dot" org) or Deborah Rook (deb "dot" rook "at" bioquest "dot" org).