ASHG Career Development Committee Action Plan

In April 2020, the Board of Directors approved this Action Plan and a phased implementation of the listed activities over the next three to five years in support of the Strategic Plan. The activities will be reviewed by the Board for funding on an annual basis.

Strategic Issue:

ASHG envisions a world in which people everywhere realize the benefits of genetics and genomics research and seeks to advance understanding and appreciation of that research to advance science, health and society. We also recognize ASHG must prepare the genetics and genomics workforce for the envisioned future as the need for robust investment in genetics and genomics research is widely recognized and consistently enacted, and supportive policies ensure innovation proceeds rapidly and responsibly.

To address these goals and challenges, the Society seeks to engage professionals in all stages of career development. Based on its Strategic Plan, ASHG will focus on 1) generating career development tools for trainees and early career professionals and 2) and engage members in mentor and leadership opportunities.

Desired Outcomes:

  • ASHG members are offered year-round professional education and training & career development opportunities.
  • ASHG members are provided career development programming specific to their career stage and profession.
  • ASHG members will be actively involved in creating and promoting activities which affect their career.
  • Committee members will reflect the career stages and career fields of ASHG membership and its demographics.

Guiding Principles:

      • ASHG is the primary resource for career-related information and opportunities for genetics and genomics specialists including researchers, industry professionals, academicians, clinicians, laboratory practice professionals, genetics counselors, nurses and others with special interests in human genetics.
      • ASHG efforts will focus on preparing the largest workforce of human genetics and genomics researchers and clinicians for different careers.

Action Plan:

    1. Career Resources: ASHG will continue to provide year-round career resources and opportunities besides the online job board and onsite career fair/career booth.
      1. Develop Virtual Career Resources Toolkit – Develop career resources toolkit based on career stage and diverse career professions. Resources will be curated from existing resources on reputable websites and new digital ASHG sources from podcasts/video interviews and webinars. The toolkit will provide resources related to transitioning into new careers, lists of grant and fellowship opportunities and other related information. The toolkit can include a community resource listserv and/or messaging center for members to communicate career-related opportunities to interested individuals.
      2. Non-Peer Reviewed Career Development Content in American Journal of Human Genetics (AJHG) – Curate content from existing trainee newsletter, The Nascent Transcript, to create 1-page career development article in AJHG, similar to weekly post in AAAS Science journal.
    2. Professional and Career Development: ASHG will continue to provide year-round career development opportunities through annual meeting events and year-round digital programming. The topics and events will be optimized annually based on member interest and need. Topics have included grant writing, how to develop an individual development plan, careers in industry, mental health and resilience and preparing for careers in academia.
    3. Mentorship Development: Create mentorship development opportunities for mentors and mentees.
      1. Mentorship Training – Provide Implicit Bias Training and Mentoring Across Cultures training webinars for mentors and mentees. These types of training opportunities for members will provide tips and guidelines on how to recognize our own biases when interacting with individuals in a laboratory, work, academic and/or personal setting and what someone can do to mitigate these biases. This training opportunity will cover distinguishing between visual and non-visual biases. These skills are even more important when mentoring individuals with a different background. Additional resources will guide mentees in fostering the mentor relationship. The Implicit Bias training can also be utilized as a required activity for volunteer leadership service with ASHG.
      2. Mentor Database – Create list of ASHG members willing to mentor members year-round and/or at the Annual Meeting based on career field, research, and career transitions. List of mentors can be curated based on the membership database and annual meeting registration information. Members can make the decision to be a mentor by selecting a new “become a mentor” feature allowing them to select categories that best fit their abilities. The database can be setup similar to the Genetics Engagement and Education (GENE) Network or the information can be available through a member-only sign-in ASHG website page.


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