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Apply for NHGRI-ASHG's new education fellowship for genetics professionals

News February 04, 2014

Realizing the benefits of genomics will require an educated public who can understand the implications of genomics for their health care and evaluate the relevant public policy issues,according to the National Human Genome Research Institute's (NHGRI) 2011 strategic plan.

Advancing Genomic Knowledge

To help cultivate an educated citizenry, the American Society of HumanGenetics (ASHG) and NHGRI have teamed up to sponsor the new Genetics and Education Fellowship. Every year, one genetics professional will receive comprehensive training and experience to help prepare him or her for a career in genetics and genomics education.

The 16-month program is divided into three parts:

  • From September 2014 to December 2014, the fellow will work in the Education and Community Involvement Branch, within NHGRI's Division of Policy, Communications and Education. At meetings and events, the fellow will help educate community groups on genomics and genetics and develop programs with a similar goal.
  • From January 2015 to June 2015, the fellow will move to ASHG to conduct educational research and develop educational programs for a wide range of audiences.
  • From July 2015 to December 2015, the fellow will have an option to do a rotation with a public or private organization involved in genetics education. The fellow will have an opportunity to participate in educational program administration, grant oversight and evaluation, science policy development, curriculum development, or genomic literacy program development.

"There's a need to develop the next generation of leaders who can advance the public's genomics literacy," said Vence Bonham, J.D., chief of NHGRI's Education and Community Involvement Branch. "This fellowship will help cultivate those leaders."

The Genetics and Education Fellowship is modeled after the existing NHGRI/ASHG Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship, which seeks to cultivate a cadre of policy professionals with genomics backgrounds. The 16-month policy fellowship is also divided into three parts:

  • From September 2014 to December 2014, the fellow will work in NHGRI's Policy and Program Analysis Branch and conduct projects and analyses on ethical, legal and policy issues.
  • From January 2015 to September 2015, the fellow will work at a congressional office and handle issues and projects dealing with biomedical research, health or science.
  • The fellow will complete the last three months of the fellowship working in ASHG's administration providing support for different committees and conducting projects dealing with legislative and policy issues.

Derek Scholes, Ph.D., chief of the Policy and Program Analysis Branch at NHGRI, and alumnus of the fellowship, says the fellowship helps opens doors.

"It gives you a range of experiences and allows you to build a network of contacts, all of which set you up for entering a policy-related career at the end of the fellowship," Dr. Scholes said.

Laura Lyman Rodriguez, Ph.D., director of the Division of Policy, Communications and Education at NHGRI, says that through these programs, fellows will help inform the public about the translation of genomics research into medical settings and the societal implications of this shift.

"By learning to work with policy makers and to educate and engage the general public about genomic issues and innovations, fellows in these two programs will contribute to important elements of our institute's mission," Dr. Rodriguez said.

Both programs will be accepting applications from February 4 through April 25, 2014.

Apply Now:

If you have questions regarding either fellowship, please contact:

For the Genetics and Education Fellowship:

Carla Easter, Ph.D., Chief, Education and Community Involvement Branch, NHGRI, easterc@nih.gov

Kanika Pulliam, Senior Manager, Education & Career Development Programs, ASHG, kpulliam@ashg.org

For the Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship:

Cristina Kapustij, M.S., Chief, Policy and Program Analysis Branch, NHGRI, cristina.kapustij@nih.gov

Derek Scholes Senior Director, Policy & Advocacy, ASHG, dscholes@ashg.org

Last updated: February 5, 2014