PROJECT SUMMARY The American Society of Biomechanics is the foremost society for biomechanics research and engagement in the United States. The Society's annual meeting brings together an interdisciplinary group of researchers interested in the application of mechanical principles to biological problems, both basic and applied. This interdisciplinary society complements the NIAMS mission to support research by focusing on the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these disease processes. The 2018 annual meeting, which will be held in Rochester, MN, is being hosted by faculty at Mayo Clinic. The meeting will feature a variety of activities designed to foster a lively interchange of ideas, including podium presentations, thematic poster sessions, invited symposia, keynote lectures, poster presentations, topical tutorials, and laboratory tours. Student participation and mentoring are priorities for the Society. Meeting attendance is anticipated to exceed 1,000 delegates, of which, approximately 40% are expected to be students. Thus, mechanisms have been established to specifically encourage and support the participation of women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities. Under the direction of the current Diversity Chair, Robin Queen, PhD, the Society aims to further expand a diversity travel award program, engage underrepresented youth in the Rochester area in musculoskeletal research with a focus on biomechanics of sport, offer networking opportunities, and provide career mentorship. This grant application seeks to secure funds to support the diversity travel awards for attendees of the meeting. Travel awards were offered at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 annual conferences to individuals with disabilities and underrepresented backgrounds. These awards have proven to be successful in increasing the diversity of attendees as the society strives to improve the inclusivity of the conference. Previous travel awardees will be invited to be involved in conference planning and implementation, including serving on award committees, the student planning committee, the scientific program committee, the diversity committee, as well as being involved with the planning and execution of the outreach event.
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