Mission Statement

SABER is a scientific community whose members develop theory and generate evidence with the goal of improving post-secondary biology education. SABER fosters Biology Education Research (BER) and its dissemination.


  • Promoting the generation of evidence-based knowledge to inform and advance post-secondary teaching and learning in biology;

  • Facilitating the dissemination of BER findings to education researchers, classroom practitioners, and other stakeholders;

  • Supporting faculty as they implement evidence-based methodology in their post-secondary teaching;

  • Fostering the development of undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and emerging scholars as they pursue professional development and career opportunities in BER;

  • Increasing BER efforts in currently understudied and underserved teaching and learning contexts;

  • Striving for an inclusive BER community that reflects a diversity of post-secondary educators and emerging scholars;

  • Establishing standards of BER practice and evidence;

  • Fostering collaborations among BER investigators and other stakeholders;

  • Valuing a diversity of knowledge-generation methodologies across a wide spectrum of BER research;

  • Fostering a sense of collegiality and camaraderie among members.


SABER is governed by by-laws that were formally adopted in 2019 by the Steering Committee.

Access by-laws here.


SABER held a competition for the creation of a new logo in 2018. Over 25 entries were submitted. The SABER community voted on their favorites in an initial round of voting and made their final selection from the five finalists. Over 400 people cast votes!

The winning logo, which you can see at the top of each page of the SABER website, was designed by Tari Tan, a Curriculum Fellow and Lecturer in the Harvard Medical School Department of Neurobiology.

Dr. Tan provided the following rationale for her design:  

The DNA helix as the backbone of this logo signifies SABER’s grounding in biology, as DNA is a unifying symbol across biological fields. Superimposed on that, and forming an integral component of the DNA helix, is a histogram, which is a common visualization used with education research data. This is meant to highlight SABER’s foundation in education research and to illustrate the interconnectedness of biology and the data we collect. Not only do SABER researchers study educational practices within the context of biology education, but education research data shed light on biological processes such as learning.


The inaugural meeting of SABER was held in 2010 and included 29 invited participants who laid the groundwork for the Society we know today. This inaugural group was convened with support from a National Science Foundation (NSF) RCN-UBE Incubator grant (#0955572) written by Mary Pat Wenderoth, Clarissa  Dirks, and Teri Balser. This meeting led to the formal creation of SABER, our original mission statement, and held the first annual conference in 2011. The attendees produced a meeting report that was published in CBE-Life Sciences Education in 2011. You can read the report by Offerdahl et al. (2011). Mary Pat and Clarissa were granted another award from the NSF (#1143545) which helped support the 2nd annual meeting in 2012.

SABER meetings have been held in Bruininks Hall at the University of Minnesota since the inaugural meeting in 2010. This building was specifically designed to support evidence-based science instruction.