Tips for starting a student chapter

The ASBMB Student Chapters program offers benefits to undergraduate students and faculty advisers alike. Starting a new chapter may seem daunting, but there are many great ideas to consider for activities and stories to review covering chapter accomplishments and student success.

Ready to start a chapter? Make sure you have a faculty adviser who is a regular ASBMB member and at least five students before following the directions to get started.

Ideas for educational and professional-development activities

  • Research talks
  • Alumni career panels
  • Course selection pre-registration lunch/dinner
  • Student–faculty luncheon
  • MCAT study group
  • Résumé photo event/headshots
  • Advising event
  • Faculty talks
  • Student mentor–mentee programs
  • Journal club
  • Off-campus trips to learn about BMB in the field

Ideas for outreach activities

  • Presenting about research to high school students to introduce them to STEM
  • Publishing a chapter campus newsletter or magazine
  • Organizing a lesson for a local after-school program
  • Judging or presenting at local science festivals
  • Hosting a demonstration at a booth on campus
  • Leading a drive for supplies to send to health-oriented service organizations
  • Supporting local Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups on initiatives leading to merit badges
  • Participating in a science café
  • Hosting a demonstration at a local farmer’s market
  • Creating a science-focused podcast
  • Taking students on tour of on-campus labs
  • Participating in advocacy related to science

Ideas for social activities

  • Building edible cell models with club members
  • Weekly informal luncheon
  • Creating terrariums as a group
  • Painting party
  • Senior cookout
  • Soap making
  • Finals study break

Learn more


How to run an ASBMB Student Chapter

A conversation with John Tansey, a professor at Otterbein University and adviser to the winner of the 2023 ASBMB Outstanding Chapter Award.


Why should I be an ASBMB Student Chapter adviser?

Ann Aguanno and Andrea Anastasio answer frequently asked questions about advising undergraduate chapters.


Meet your regional directors

See who's in charge of Student Chapters in your region.