Genetics Education and Engagement Fellowship
Rapid advances in human genetics/genomics research and genomic medicine are increasingly relevant to everyday life. Scientific advances have been paralleled by innovations in science education and public engagement. ASHG and NHGRI co-sponsor the Genetics Education and Engagement Fellowship to support early-career genetics professionals who wish to transition to careers in genetics education and public engagement.
At the 2019 American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting, former fellow Dyanna Christopher, M.P.H. talks about her work and how the fellowship helped her advance her career goals.
This fellowship program is for people with an advanced degree who are interested in developing and implementing genetics/genomics education, community engagement and/or professional development initiatives for diverse K-12, undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, professional or public audiences, including groups historically underrepresented in science.
This fellowship provides experiences working:
- NHGRI’s Education and Community Involvement Branch
- ASHG’s scientific and digital programming, career development and public engagement teams.
- A third organization involved in science education or public engagement, depending on the fellows’ interests and career goals
Duration of Fellowship: 2 years
Start Date: July 1, 2024
Location: Bethesda, MD (NHGRI); Rockville, MD (ASHG)
Compensation and Benefits: Annual $79,000 salary plus benefits, including medical, dental and vision insurance; retirement plan matching; and a training/travel allowance.
The Fellowship Program
Over the course of two years, the selected fellow will participate in three different rotations in the following areas:
NHGRI Education and Community Involvement Branch: Fellows will participate on a variety of projects related to genomics education at the K-12, community college and healthcare provider levels. This includes patient/caregiver education and public/community engagement initiatives with people historically excluded from STEM fields. Previous fellows have developed digital educational resources, mentored youth interns, facilitated teacher professional development workshops and evaluated program activities for effectiveness and impact.
ASHG: Fellows will have the opportunity to customize their experience by selecting from various educational programs at ASHG to work on based on their personal interests. Programs they may choose from include field-facing professional education and career development; creating tools for K-12 educators; training scientists in community engagement; or working to enhance workforce diversity, equity and inclusion.
Public or private organization involved in genomic literacy, genetics education, public engagement, science outreach (optional): Possible organizations include educational foundations, museums and science centers, curriculum development groups, professional societies and departments of education.
In addition to regular responsibilities, the fellows will participate in colloquia and professional development events designed for the broader Genomics and Public Service Fellowship Program.
Applicants for this fellowship must meet the following criteria:
- Have earned (or will earn prior to the start of the fellowship) an advanced degree (e.g., Masters, PhD, MD, or JD) and be eligible to work in the United States
- Have demonstrated expertise and/or interest relevant to human genetics or genomics
Employment offers will be contingent upon a satisfactory federal background check.
ASHG is an Equal Opportunity Employer, including for disability and veteran status. All eligible applicants may apply. The society is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community of human genetics and genomics professionals. ASHG welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds, and strongly encourages individuals to apply who:
- are from racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in the genetics and genomics workforce;
- have a disability;
- were Pell Grant-eligible in college;
- are/were enrolled in Tribal Colleges and Universities, community colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, or Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs);
- identify as LGBTQ+;
- were disadvantaged by life circumstances that have negatively impacted their educational opportunities;
- and/or have a demonstrated commitment to inclusion and support for a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds.
If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A complete application packet must be submitted by November 30, 2023 and consists of the following:
- Candidate information and contact information
- Educational history
- Candidate questions: Responses to each of the questions found within the online application (up to 400 words each)
Note: Education and engagement can be broadly defined, so please specify in your answers which area(s) you are most interested in or want to focus on (e.g., K-12, community engagement, field-facing professional education and career development, or diversity, equity, and inclusion).
- Why are you interested in participating in this fellowship?
- How does this fellowship fit in with your longer-term career plan?
- Describe your interest and/or previous experience in science education, engagement, or outreach activities. You may choose to highlight a particular project of which you are especially proud.
- Optional: Describe your previous research experience at an 8th grade reading level.
- How did you find out about the program?
- CV or resume
- Contact information for three professional references
Characteristics of a Strong Applicant
Strong candidates will be early in their career path and demonstrate the following:
- A passion for engaging with others about human genetics and genomics, whether with professionals, students, patients or broader public audiences
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills; this includes the ability to explain complex topics adapted for the specific audience
- Some volunteer or paid experience in science education, public engagement, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, or similar
- A desire to advance sponsor organizations’ interests in working with diverse communities
- A desire to grow professional skills such as project management, collaboration, and co-creation
Applications will be screened for eligibility and reviewed by ASHG and NHGRI staff.
Top-ranked candidates will be invited for virtual interviews beginning in January. If necessary, a second round of interviews will be conducted in February.
Selected fellows will be notified in spring.
Current and Past Fellows
Previous Genetics Education and Engagement Fellows maintain close ties and have moved on to a variety of positions in education and engagement. Explore their current positions and reflections on their fellowships.
Mentors and Contacts
- Chief, Education and Community Involvement Branch
- National Human Genome Research Institute
- Senior Director, Scientific and Career Programs
- American Society of Human Genetics
- Associate Director, Fellowship Programs
- American Society of Human Genetics
Last updated: September 29, 2023