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Genomics Communications Fellowship

Discoveries in genetics and genomics are becoming increasingly relevant to everyday life, but communicating research findings for such complex and nuanced science can be challenging. Researchers are often not given sufficient training for describing their findings to a broad audience while balancing accessibility and accuracy.

The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) co-sponsor the Genomics Communications Fellowship to provide an opportunity for science professionals to become skilled in the area of genomics communications.  Fellows will actively participate in the development and dissemination of innovative and newsworthy communications products to help people learn about genomics and its expanding role in science, medicine, and society.


The ASHG/NHGRI Genomics Communications Fellowship is designed for people with an advanced degree who are interested in the development, coordination, and implementation of innovative, newsworthy communications products to help people learn about genomics and its role in our lives.

The fellowship provides experiences working:

  • At the National Institutes of Health within NHGRI’s Office of Communications
  • With ASHG’s Communications and Marketing team

Note that a third rotation in the DC area is possible based 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 Package: Annual $79,000 stipend plus benefits, including health insurance, retirement plan matching, and a training/travel allowance.

The Fellowship Program

Fellows will help create and disseminate stories, news releases, multimedia, fact sheets, social media, webpages and other forms of emerging media to communicate genetics and genomics advances and resources to a variety of target audiences (e.g., the public, K-12 students, other scientists, etc.). Fellows will conduct background research on communications and public engagement issues of importance to NHGRI, ASHG and the human genetics/genomics community. Fellows will then develop communication strategies and written pieces on a range of topics for different audiences. Writing tasks may include drafting plans, educational and breaking news content, designing and implementing public engagement events and activities, and contributing to news/press releases. Fellows will effectively represent ASHG, NHGRI and any other involved organizations in meetings and events in which they participate.

During the two years, fellows will complete rotations with:

  • NHGRI’s Office of Communications within the National Institutes of Health
  • ASHG’s Communications and Marketing group
  • A third site in the DC area, based on the fellows’ interests and career goals

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 and/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 fellowships@ashg.org.

Application Materials

A complete application packet must be submitted by November 30, 2023 and consists of the following:

  • Candidate information and contact information
  • Educational history
  • Responses to each of the following questions that will be found within the online application (up to 400 words each):
    • Why are you interested in participating in this fellowship?
    • What within your background has prepared you for this fellowship? 
    • Describe your participation in any science communication or outreach activities (this could include in-person engagement opportunities, social media experience, or more formal communications).
    • What other communication skills would you bring to this fellowship?
    • Describe your previous research experience, if any.
    • How does this fellowship fit in with your longer-term career plans?
    • How did you find out about the fellowship program?
  • General Writing Sample: A brief sample of your writing on any science-related topic and directed toward a non-scientific audience, using language appropriate for the general public. Note: DO NOT submit technical or journal articles; samples should be no more than 1,000 words and should not include images.
  • Your CV or resume
  • Contact information for three professional references

Characteristics of a Strong Applicant

If you are interested in applying your skills to enhancing communication about genomics, that’s a great start! The strongest applications will also demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • A passion for improving scientific literacy, especially about genetics and genomics
  • An interest or background in genetics or genomics research
  • Excellent writing or visual arts skills; this includes the ability to explain complex topics without using jargon
  • A desire to advance sponsor organizations’ interests in working with diverse communities

Selection Process

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.

Mentors and Contacts

Sarah A. Bates
Sarah A. Bates, M.S., M.A.
  • Chief, Office of Communications
  • National Human Genome Research Institute (NIH)
Generic Profile Photo
Kara Flynn
  • Senior Director, Communications, Marketing and Membership
  • American Society of Human Genetics
Kristin Lewis
Kristin Lewis, Ph.D.
  • Associate Director, Fellowship Programs
  • American Society of Human Genetics

Contact the fellowship program at fellowships@ashg.org or submit our Fellowship Interest Form to be notified about key fellowship dates.

Last updated: September 29, 2023