Educational Programs

Genetics and Education Fellowship

 
Education fellows. Credit: ASHG
Sponsored by:

The American Society of Human Genetics
The National Human Genome Research Institute
National Institutes of Health

Background

Rapid advances in genetics and genomics research have been paralleled by innovations in education, especially those involving effective uses of technology and evidence-based teaching. Inquiry, backward design, formative assessment, and peer instruction are just a few examples of principles that have been demonstrated to improve teaching and learning. However, those principles are not ubiquitous in educational programs. Similarly, public education efforts and the formal genetics curriculum lag behind our enriched understanding of genomic architecture, variation, and their effects on health and disease. For those reasons, the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) co-sponsor the Genetics and Education Fellowship, which gives genetics professionals and opportunity to contribute to education program development and research at a national level.

The fellowship is designed as a bridge for genetics professionals wishing to transition to education careers. This unique fellowship provides several experiences: working with NHGRI's Education and Community Involvement Branch; working with the education department at ASHG; and an optional experience working with a federal public agency involved in substantive science education or genomic literacy initiatives. This variety of assignments challenges fellows to view genomics education from several critical viewpoints, to better understand how to effect improvements, to contribute directly to educational program development, and to build a professional network that advances their careers in education.

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Program Overview


Purpose: This is a fellowship program designed for genetics professionals with an advanced degree who are early in their careers and interested in the development and implementation of national genomic literacy efforts, or informal science education, or science education policy and program development, or education research. The fellow will have the opportunity to participate in genetics education program development with NHGRI and ASHG and to work directly with other organizations involved in genetics education (optional).

Length of Fellowship: 16 months
Start Date: August to early September (negotiable)
Compensation Package: annual $60k stipend plus benefits
Designated Mentor(s):
  • Vence L. Bonham, Jr., J.D.
    Chief, Education and Community Involvement Branch, NHGRI
  • Michael J. Dougherty, Ph.D.
    Director of Education, ASHG
Rotations (schedule approximate)
Sept. - Dec. 2014 Education and Community Involvement Branch, Division of Policy, Communications, and Education at NHGRI: Participate as a member of the Branch on a variety of projects related to genomics education.
Jan. - Sept. 2015 American Society of Human Genetics: Participate in educational research and/or program development involving a range of audiences, including K-12, undergraduate, graduate, professional, and the public.
Oct. - Dec. 2015 Public or private organization involved in genetics education, e.g., Smithsonian Institution, National Science Foundation, educational foundations, museums, curriculum development groups (optional): Participate in educational program administration, grant oversight and evaluation, science policy development, curriculum development, public outreach.

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Activities

The activities of the fellow will vary with each rotation. They may include research and analysis, curriculum development, faculty development, public outreach, etc. on a wide range of genetics education issues affecting formal or informal K-16 education, professional training, and/or the educational implications arising from the translation of genomics into medicine. The fellow will participate in a variety of forums and represent the involved organizations effectively in individual meetings and larger settings.

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Qualifications and Skills

Candidates must have an advanced degree in human genetics or a related field and prior experience in education. Ideally, candidates will have completed graduate training, but be early in the career development path. In addition to possessing a scientific knowledge base, the candidate must have a well-articulated interest in science education and demonstrated skills in oral and written communications.

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Selection Process and Application

A committee of representatives from ASHG and NHGRI will review application materials, interview finalists, and recommend up to three candidates to the organizational leaders for the final selection decision. The experience, motivation, area of interest, and future plans of the candidates will be considered.

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Contact

Questions can be directed to:

Joseph D. McInerney, M.A., M.S.
Executive Vice President
American Society of Human Genetics
E-mail: jmcinerney@ashg.org

Vence L. Bonham, J.D.
Chief, Education and Community Invovlement Branch
National Human Genome Research Institute
E-mail: bonhamv@mail.nih.gov

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Last Updated: April 30, 2014