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Genetics and Education Fellowship

Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 Genetics and Education Fellowship. Applications submitted by April 21, 2017 will be considered. Please apply online at: ASHG Genetics and Education Fellowship Application []

Education fellows. Credit: ASHG

Sponsored by:

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


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 $72,000 stipend plus benefits

Designated Mentor(s):
  • Carla Easter, Ph.D.
    Chief, Education and Community Involvement Branch, NHGRI
  • Michael J. Dougherty, Ph.D.
    Director of Education, ASHG
Rotations (schedule approximate)
  • Sept. 2017 - Jan. 2018
    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.
  • Feb. - June 2018
    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.
  • July - Dec. 2018
    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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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.

Submit an Application. Deadline: April 21, 2017 []

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Questions can be directed to:

Michael J. Dougherty, Ph.D.
Director of Education
American Society of Human Genetics

Carla Easter, Ph.D.
Chief, Education and Community Involvement Branch
National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH

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Last Updated: March 30, 2017

See Also:

The Genetics & Public Policy Fellowship