Membership Engagement 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 ASHG is the acknowledged leader in representing, serving, and advocating for genetics and genomics researchers. It also recognizes that ASHG needs to provide broad access to year-round programs, resources, and engagement opportunities to meet members’ needs and advance the field.  To address these goals and challenges, the Society seeks to engage its membership in meaningful activities to enhance career growth as well as increase the member value proposition.
Based on its Strategic Plan, ASHG will focus on 1) increasing resources for members and opportunities for members to be engaged; and 2) offering personalized offerings for different member segments while continuing to represent the breadth of the field.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Human genetics researchers at all stages of their careers consider ASHG their home society
  • ASHG members have opportunities for engagement year-round in activities specific to their interests and needs
  • ASHG members are engaged in the Society’s activities to the extent that they choose to be.

Guiding Principles:

  • A focus on member-centricity: increasing resources for members and opportunities for members to be engaged. This involves improving member value by expanding member benefits.
  • A focus on maintaining and engaging our current core membership cohorts before working to recruit new audiences.
  • Representing the breadth of the field while at the same time personalizing offerings for different member segments. By doing so, ASHG can improve the sense of community among members and create a sense of inclusion.
  • ASHG membership and leadership reflect the broad diversity of the general population.

Action Plan:

  1. Special Interest Groups/Member Segmenting ASHG will create the capacity to segment members by interest area and/or career stage. Segmented groups will receive targeted emails, virtual communities, networking events. Examples of segments include Trainees, Early Career Members, Genetic Counselors, International Members, and importantly by scientific topic/area of interest.
    1. Online communities – work with a vendor to integrate online communities into
    2. Networking events – give space for groups to meet in person at Annual Meeting.
  2. Member curated content ASHG could utilize the breadth and knowledge of its members to review/create content to share on ASHG’s website. will be members’ “go to” source for genetic and genomic content with regular updates. Examples include:
    1. Scientific content – Relevant existing committees and editorial boards could help curate content to share with ASHG membership on a variety of topics via website as well as automated email. Members would opt into topics that are of interest to them. Members would receive regular emails with updated content links (ideally, committee hoped it would be “similar to GenomeWeb” — to do at scale this might create an opportunity to investigate a partnership with them).
    2. Educational content –  Leverage the GENE Network and PEAC to curate educational and public information resources to share with public and ASHG membership.
  3. Fostering Connections
    ASHG will be a resource for connecting members of like-minded interest to each other throughout the year in easy-to-use ways.

    1. Mentor/Mentee Match Program – Create a match program to allow members to volunteer to mentor other members. Those interested in being mentored would be able to search the database on certain criteria to find a potential match.
  4. Build and foster an earlier stage of the pipeline of students excited about careers in genetics and genomics research and seek to build and attract and retain diverse talent through these efforts.

    1. Create a new major member focus on undergraduates – Create an awareness campaign for undergraduates to learn more about genetics and genomics careers, ASHG, and the opportunities for them to get involved (help them find a mentor, online resources, etc).
    2. Promote genetics opportunities to diverse audiences reaching early scholars to encourage pursuit of careers in genetics research – continue to exhibit and participate in meetings geared toward underrepresented minority students.
    3. Highlight and showcase members of diverse backgrounds – Ensure all Society communications and imagery highlight and showcase members from a variety of backgrounds, with particular emphasis on better inclusion of those underrepresented in the field (e.g., geographic, ancestral, sector, etc.)


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