Advocacy Certificate for Human Genetics and Genomics Trainees

Applications for the 2022 program will open on November 3, 2021.

ASHG is committed to helping our members champion human genetics and genomics research, and advocate for policies that support research and advance the field. The Society provides opportunities and resources to support members in engaging with policymakers through the ASHG Advocates network and the Advocacy Center. Building on these successes, ASHG is launching a new program, the Advocacy Certificate for Human Genetics and Genomics Trainees (ACGT). The ACGT program is part of the Board-approved Government and Public Advocacy Committee (GPAC) Action Plan.

Please contact policy@ashg.org with any questions.

Overview

The ACGT program is for trainee ASHG members to provide an introduction to the world of science policy and advocacy and help trainees build their professional skills. The ACGT program is designed for trainees who are interested in pursuing a research or clinical career but who would like to explore policy and what it means to be an advocate for human genetics and genomics research. The ACGT will be a competitive, year-long program, and will give trainees the opportunity to participate in several policy-related activities.

Eligibility: Must be a trainee ASHG member (Resident/Clinical Fellow, Postdoc, Graduate or Undergraduate Student)

Selection Process: Candidates are asked in the application materials to explain their motivation and interest in policy and advocacy. An advisory group from the ASHG Government and Public Advocacy Committee (GPAC) and other ASHG volunteer leaders will review application materials in January and announce the 2022 ACGT Class in early February.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of the program?

  • Gain experience in science policy and advocacy
  • Learn how to communicate effectively about your research and science to elected officials
  • Get involved in special ASHG events and opportunities
  • Build your professional skills in advocacy such as writing, speaking, and networking
  • Network with leaders in the ASHG community and advocates
  • Peer-to-Peer networking
  • Explore new leadership opportunities

I don’t live or work in the U.S. May I apply?

The ACGT program is open to all ASHG members, including members outside of the U.S. While some of the programmatic activities and focus will center around U.S. policies and advocacy, there is no citizenship or residency requirement to participate in any of the activities.

Is prior experience in policy and advocacy required?

The program is designed to help trainee members gain new skills and experience in advocacy. Therefore, prior experience is not necessary. Competitive candidates will have demonstrated interest in policy and advocacy.

I am not interested in a policy career. Is this program for me?

Yes. The program is intended for trainees who are interested in pursuing a research or clinical career but who would like to learn more about science policy and how to advocate for genetics and genomics research while conducting research. ASHG, in partnership with NHGRI, also sponsors the Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship for genetics professionals wishing to transition to a policy career. The ACGT program provides a great introduction to science policy for trainees exploring this route.

Activities

Trainees in the ACGT program will be expected to participate in a wide variety of activities to help build the necessary skills and experience in advocacy.

  • ASHG Capitol Hill Day
  • Rally for Medical Research
  • Training workshops and webinars
  • Action alerts and campaigns
  • Write an Op-ed
  • Individual policy project or activity
  • Quarterly meetings
Advisory Group

ASHG thanks the members of the ACGT Advisory Group for their stewardship of the program.

  • Mira Irons, MD, College of Physicians of Philadelphia
  • David Wheeler, PhD, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Charles Schwartz, PhD, Greenwood Genetic Center
  • Melinda Aldrich, PhD, MPH, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Burcu Darst, PhD, University of Southern California
  • Trenell Mosley, PhD, Emory University

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