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Trainee Leadership Opportunities

 

The American Society of Human Genetics invites trainee members (defined as undergraduate students and individuals completing various levels of post-baccalaureate training in human genetics or allied fields) to contribute to the Society's leadership by serving on ASHG committees or the ASHG Board of Directors. Trainees in these positions are expected to be full, engaged committee/board members and to fully embrace the responsibilities of their position (please see below).

 

Terms for all positions are three years. Trainees who are reasonably certain that they will maintain trainee status for at least two of the three years of the term are highly encouraged to apply, and applications from trainees at international institutions are welcome. As with all committee/board members, you may hold only one position at a time. Applications for positions starting in 2016 will be accepted starting in October 2015.


 

Communications Committee (1 position starting in 2016)

The Communications Committee is responsible for providing recommendations on, and assisting with the implementation of, communication and public relations efforts related to ASHG programs. Members reflect a diverse cross-section of ASHG members, including research scientists, clinicians, genetic counselors, and science communication professionals. This committee currently has ten regular members and is seeking a trainee member in 2016.

 

Commitments include:

  • Meeting in person once per year at the ASHG Annual Meeting, and participating in quarterly phone calls three times per year.

  • Providing feedback related to ASHG online and print materials, social media activities, key messages, strategic planning, and media relations activities.

  • Participating in email conversations between meetings as necessary.

  • Promoting ASHG programs and messages as relevant/applicable.

  • Sharing news and information of potential relevance to ASHG with ASHG staff.

 

Training and Development Committee (3 positions starting in 2016)

The Training and Development Committee is responsible for recommending and, upon Board approval, carrying out activities concerned with the career/professional development and other needs of ASHG's trainee members. This committee also serves as a liaison between early-career members and the ASHG Board of Directors. This committee currently has eight members, all of whom are trainees.

 

Commitments include:

  • Meeting in person twice per year, once in the early spring in Bethesda, MD and once, briefly, at the annual meeting. Travel expenses are paid by ASHG for the spring meeting; complimentary registration is provided for the annual meeting.

  • Participating in email communications and conference calls as necessary to both plan for trainee-related events at the annual meeting and to address the broader needs of the ASHG trainee community.

  • Participating in ASHG's Trainee Forum (Facebook group) on a regular basis by contributing content/posts, as well as engaging other Forum members in conversation.

  • Evaluating applications for trainee board and committee positions, and recommending top candidates to the board or committee in question.

 

Awards Committee (1 position starting in 2017)

The Awards Committee is responsible for selecting the recipients of awards of the Society as approved by the Board of Directors, including the Curt Stern Award, William Allan Award, Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Education, and Charles J. Epstein Trainee Awards for Excellence in Human Genetics Research. The committee currently has seven members.

 

Commitments include:

  • Meeting one time in person per year, at the annual meeting, to select the winners of the Epstein Trainee Research awards; complimentary registration is provided for the annual meeting.

  • Participating in conference calls in mid-April to mid-May to discuss nominees for the Stern and Allan awards. Affirming the recommendation of the I&E Committee for the Excellence in Education award winner. 

  • Evaluating top-scoring abstracts of applicants for Epstein Trainee Research Awards to select finalists (late summer) and serve as, as well as help to recruit, evaluators for finalist presentations at the annual meeting (in advance of annual meeting and on-site). Dinner meeting on site to select award winners.

 

Information and Education Committee (1 position starting in 2017)

The Information and Education (I&E) Committee is responsible for recommending and, upon Board approval, carrying out activities concerned with education in human genetics for audiences ranging from high school and undergraduate students through the training of professionals, as well as raising awareness among the general public. The committee currently has nine members.

 

Commitments include:

  • Meeting in person twice per year, once in the spring in Bethesda, MD and once, briefly, at the annual meeting. Travel expenses are paid by ASHG for the spring meeting; complimentary registration is provided for the annual meeting.

  • Participating in email communications and conference calls regarding:

    • Evaluating invited education session proposals and making recommendations to the Program Committee (late December to early January). Judging essays submitted to the DNA Day Essay Contest (early April).

    • Soliciting nominations and evaluating materials for the Excellence in Genetics Education Award; making recommendations to the Awards Committee (April/early May).

    • Helping to plan the High School and Undergraduate Genetics Education Faculty workshops at the annual meeting and teaching in those workshops as appropriate (spring meeting and summer).

    • Implementing, where appropriate, the recommendation of the Training and Development Committee apropos trainee programs and activities.

  • Ad hoc projects as necessary, which may involve only a subset of I&E members.

 

Program Committee (1 position starting in 2017)

The Program Committee (PC) is responsible for organizing the scientific program of the annual meeting, which is the keystone activity of ASHG. The PC consists of approximately two dozen members representing the full breadth of human genetics/genomics research, including social/ethical and education research.

 

Commitments include:

  • Meeting in person twice per year, once at the annual meeting (for parts of two days), and once for one-and-a-half days at ASHG headquarters in Bethesda in July to build the annual meeting program. Travel expenses are paid by ASHG for the summer meeting; complimentary registration is provided for the annual meeting.

  • Reviewing invited session proposals: one week of online review and comments in early December; one or two conference calls in mid-December; contact proposers and evaluate modified proposals; further review and two more conference calls in January.

  • Serving as primary reviewer for a specific topic category (e.g., bioinformatics, cancer genetics) for submitted abstracts and identifying at least two ad hoc reviewers to assist with reviewing abstracts.

    • Abstract shuffle: Allow 2-4 hours, in mid-June. Must be done in allotted two days.

    • Scoring abstracts: Each PC member typically is responsible for about 150 abstracts, with help from ad hoc reviewers. Allow 4-6 hours. Must be completed by late June.

    • Abstract assignment: Group abstracts appropriately to build compelling platform sessions. Allow 6-8 hours. Must be completed by early July.

  • Attending the annual meeting, with on-site responsibilities including attending your designated sessions.

 

Social Issues Committee (1 position starting in 2017)

The Social Issues Committee is responsible for recommending and, upon Board approval, carrying out activities concerned with the impact of genetic knowledge and practice on society at large. Articles or statements produced by the Committee that reflect a position of the Society must be approved by the Board of Directors. This committee currently has nine members.

 

Commitments include:

  • Meeting one time in person per year, at the annual meeting; complimentary registration is provided for the annual meeting. Much of the work is ad hoc and deals with issues of critical and timely importance, such as pediatric genetic testing. The committee has a variable workload, usually conducted via emails and conference calls, and is entering a period where it will be busy with several projects.

  • Opportunity for authorship on ASHG white papers.

 

ASHG Board of Directors (1 position starting in 2018)

Please note, top candidates for the Board will be subject to direct vote by the general membership during the regular 2017 Board elections (August 2017).

 

The Board of Directors, which currently has 17 members, formulates policies of the Society; elects the Secretary and Treasurer; appoints the Executive Vice President and Journal Editor; fills such vacancies among the officers and directors as may occur between elections; has charge of funds and endowments of the Society; authorizes expenditures; delegates signature authority; and conducts such other business as may be desirable.

 

Commitments include:

  • Meeting in person twice per year: once for two days prior to the start of the annual meeting, and once for two days at ASHG headquarters in Bethesda, MD in the spring. Travel expenses are paid by ASHG for the spring meeting; complimentary registration is provided for the annual meeting.

  • One-day orientation for new board members (proposed).

  • Eight hours of prep time with board materials in advance of each board meeting.

  • Occasional documents to read; occasional online voting, conference calls.

 


If you are interested in serving on a committee, you must complete the application by the designated deadline. A complete application requires:

 

  • a CV
  • a statement of your interest in serving on the committee you are applying for
  • two long-form answers for questions specific to the committee you are applying for
  • information regarding your membership history and attendance at ASHG meetings
  • two recommendations from senior colleagues, one of which MUST be from an ASHG member; references will be asked to comment on the following:
    • Please describe the applicant's leadership skills and potential, including his/her previous experience with professional and/or volunteer service
    • How will the applicant's interests and experience further the mission of the committee he/she is applying to?

 

Please note that recommendation forms will be sent directly to your identified references when you submit your application.

 

Please contact Katherine Lontok, PhD, Educational Programs Manager, at klontok@ashg.org with any questions.

 

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