New Member FAQ


What is the structure of GRIT?

GRIT has three main levels of membership. The first level is composed of the Directors. The second level of leadership is composed of the Data Manager, Team Leads, and Cluster/Department Representatives. The GRIT general body members, the third level, operate under the advice and direction of the leadership team but are always welcome to propose and take lead on new ideas/initiatives. More detail can be found on the leadership page!

How do I know about upcoming events?

We have a GRIT google calendar you can add to your own calendar to always be up to date! Another way to stay up to date with GRIT events is to check your email inbox. Meeting recaps are sent after every General Body Meeting (GBM) and contain all upcoming events. Email reminders are also sent for individual events by team leads or team members. For most events, flyers are posted throughout academic buildings.

How do I get involved?

The best way to get involved is to attend GBM (currently the first Wednesday of every month at 10am on zoom). At GBM we discuss all previous and upcoming events, and there are often calls for volunteers. If you can’t attend the meeting, check the meeting minutes for calls for volunteers and upcoming events!

A great way to get involved with ​retention​ is by attending Team Meetings. GRIT has distinct teams focusing on different facets of marginalized students at the University of Chicago. Each has 2-3 team leads who are responsible for spearheading events, gathering information on issues at the University of Chicago relating to the goal of their team. Currently there are five teams: Underrepresented Minority (URM) Team, Women in STEM Team, LGBTQ+ Team, Disability Advocacy Team, and International Students and Immigrants (I&I) Team. We highly encourage general body GRIT members to attend team meetings, regardless if they identify as a member of that branch’s identity group. More information about these teams can be found on the Who Do We Support page!

A great way to get involved with ​recruitment​ is by reaching out to your department/cluster representative. Each representative oversees the recruitment process in their department over the stages of the academic year and would love to involve you in any part of the process. These stages are:

  • Fall: Traveling to diversity conferences to recruit; traveling to universities to recruit; following up and working with contacted students to enhance applications; working to connect students with on-campus resources and labs
  • Winter: Planning recruitment weekend activities; participating in recruitment
  • Spring: Analyzing recruitment data; assessing overall recruitment impact; planning for next year’s recruitment process

If you often can’t make General Body Meetings and Team Meetings, reach out to team leads or your department/cluster reps to see how you can contribute to the team’s or cluster’s goals. They will always be happy to accept a new team member! Also, feel free to share any event ideas you’d be interested in helping lead!

As always, driving cultural change and promoting equity and justice in STEM takes work. The strength of our organization comes from the effort being put in by our diverse general body members and our leadership. We are deeply grateful for this work and will always strive to support the work and ideas that are brought by new membership. It brings out our creativity and keeps our organization alive.

What is required of me?

The GRIT constitution requires each member to attend a minimum of 5 out of 10 monthly GBMs, although we will make an exception for those who can’t attend for specific reasons. If you can’t make GBM (due to lab meeting, class, therapy appointment, etc.), please email the Data Manager and they will make a note of it. In this case, please try to attend some Team Meetings.

Every GRIT member is required to attend the annual GRIT retreat. This is a great time to meet other GRIT members and learn about intersectional advocacy. If you absolutely can’t make it, we may hold a make-up date. Otherwise, we require members to complete an online format of the retreat that will get you thinking about topics covered during the in-person retreat including intersectional allyship, structural barriers to full participation in STEM, and responses to scenarios involving a range of identities & issues.

Additionally, you must be an active participant in GRIT events, programs, and plans at least once per quarter. This includes attending/helping plan GRIT recruitment events (diversity panel, GRIT poster), retention events from any of the 4 Teams, or traveling with GRIT to a diversity-focused conference.

I want to be a GRIT traveler, how does that work?

GRIT Travelers will receive full funding to attend diversity focused science conferences in order to recruit talented diverse undergraduates to UChicago. Being a GRIT traveler can be very fulfilling and is a great way to have an impact on the future composition of students in your department. However, travelers take on a large responsibility to GRIT and the University including:

  • Attending the traveler training seminar run by GRIT & UCGRAD
  • Proactively seeking out and conversing with undergraduate researchers at the diversity conferences
  • Recording the names, emails and research interests of students met at the conference and reporting that information to the Data Manager and Recruitment Co-Directors
  • Working to connect prospective students with UChicago resources, including faculty who have been identified as GRIT allies
  • Maintaining their connection with the students with whom they connected throughout the application season

Traveler applications open in late summer for our bigger diversity conferences (SACNAS, ABRCMS). The Retention Co-Directors read and consider all applications and then create a list of suggested students. They then work with the funding offices (most often BSD’s OGPA or PSD EDI office) to make the final decisions based on what programs and years they’d like represented. There are more regional diversity conferences sprinkled throughout the year (ACS GLRM, CuWIP) that we handle on an ad-hoc basis.

How can I get involved with my cluster/department’s recruitment weekend?

The Cluster/Department Representatives are responsible for organizing and instructing relationships between GRIT and their respective institutions, including faculty, staff, and the student body. They are responsible for:

  • Being the point person for recruitment-related activities within that cluster/department
  • Keeping track of social and professional events within their cluster/department and publicizing those events to GRIT
  • Identifying faculty allies and collaborators in their department, assisting and delegating connections with prospective students

Cluster reps are usually selected by the incoming leadership team, though volunteers for the position are encouraged. If you want to help out your cluster rep you can find the current rep and their email on our website and GBM recaps!

I want to get involved with a specific team, how do I do that?

Go to a team meeting or reach out to the team leads. Their email addresses are on our website and GBM recaps. We would love your input and support!

I’m thinking about applying for a leadership position next year! How does that process work?

We hold elections annually for all leadership positions. Elections are held at the end of the Spring quarter and newly-elected leaders assume their position at the beginning of the fall quarter. Between June and September there is designated training time, in which the newly elected Leadership Team will work closely with the previous Leadership Team in order to:

  • Recreate and strengthen connections with faculty, administrators, and leaders of other student groups
  • Educate new leaders on the responsibilities of their position
  • Use previous experience to prepare new leaders for leadership positions
  • Begin planning for recruitment and retention events for the year

To apply for Co-Director, you must give a Statement of Purpose and complete an application created by the previous Leadership Team. Members must also have held a leadership position in GRIT (team leader or department/cluster representative) prior to being elected Co-Director. For all other positions (Data Manager or Team leader), no statement of purpose is needed to apply. Instead, all members can nominate themselves for a leadership position. In order to be elected to a Leadership Team position you must be a current and active GRIT member.

The applications and statements for each candidate will be available online for members to vote. Voting will occur online over a 1 week period. 2⁄3 majority is needed to elect a member as a Team leader or Data Manager. Slightly stricter requirements need to be met for Co-Directors. See Constitution for more details.

I have more questions! Where can I get answers?

More information can be found in the GRIT Constitution which details membership requirements, structure, and election requirements. If you have more questions, email the grit Co-Directors at You can also email any of the GRIT leaders directly as listed on the leadership page. Lastly, a pdf of these FAQ is available here.