Human Genetics Scholars Initiative

2024-26 Human Genetics Scholars Initiative Application

Applications for the 2023-25 program will open late April 2023.

ASHG, in partnership with NHGRI, Biogen, GSK, Roche, and Merck & Co is pleased to provide the Human Genetics Scholars Initiative, a program launched in April 2019 to help advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the field. The program will:

  1. Identify, mentor, and help prepare a select, diverse cohort of high-potential, early-career individuals for professional success.
  2. Develop and sustain a community of researchers across generations committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, who are willing to foster sustained attention to these issues in their research institutions and training programs.
The HGSI Scholars
HGSI Scholars

ASHG recognizes there is a great need to promote diversity and inclusion in the human genetics research workforce—a need reinforced by many studies of the larger research community and experience within human genetics. Greater diversity would welcome and include individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; individuals with disabilities; and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds (as defined by the National Institutes of Health).

Over the course of this two-year, intensive program, each scholar will receive:

  • Complimentary ASHG membership for two years.
  • Complimentary registration, travel, and hotel accommodation for two Annual Meetings.
  • A dedicated mentor for the two-year period, and support in identifying and building other potential mentor relationships, such as peer and subject-matter mentors.
  • $1,000 annually in enrichment funds for qualified career development of their choosing.

ASHG members can also get involved in this program by becoming a mentor to a future scholar!

Please contact Zenobia Bryant, PhD, Associate Director, Workforce Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, at with any questions.

Eligibility Criteria (2024)

To apply for the program, applicants must:

  • Be a late-stage graduate student, postdoctoral fellow or early-career researcher.
  • Be from an underrepresented group as defined by the National Institutes of Health guidelines.*
  • Submit an abstract to the ASHG 2024 Annual Meeting by the June 5, 2024 deadline.
  • Complete the application form by June 14, 2024.
  • Be a United States citizen or permanent resident with legal status.

*Underrepresented groups include:

  • Individuals from racial and ethnic groups shown to be underrepresented in health-related sciences (biomedical research) on a national basis, including Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders;
  • Individuals with disabilities, defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; and
  • Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Application and Program Requirements

Application Requirements

  • CV/Resume
  • Personal statement
  • Two recommendation letters from a senior colleague, advisor or mentor
  • Submit an abstract to the ASHG 2024 Annual Meeting by the June 5, 2024 deadline

Program Requirements

  • Attend two Annual meetings.
  • Participate in monthly webinars or small group chat sessions to help build community and explore professional development topics.
  • Engage in mentor relationship with assigned mentor and develop network of additional mentors.
  • Attend other scientific events or professional development programs to advance career using enrichment funds.
  • Plan and lead engagement activity in your community during the second year of the program.
Frequently Asked Questions

Program Benefits

What are the benefits of becoming a scholar?

  • Recognition in the Human Genetics and Genomics Community
  • Special Career Opportunities for Scholars
  • Network with Leaders in the Genetics and Genomics Field
  • Monthly Chat Sessions
  • Special Sessions for Scholars
  • Dedicated Mentor
  • Peer-to-Peer Networking
  • Share Resources
  • Leadership Opportunities
  • Professional Development Funds

What is the mentor-matching process?

There are different options:

  1. Scholars recommend up to 3 mentors based on a list of individuals who have expressed interest in mentoring a Human Genetics Scholar. Staff, with the help of the Advisory Group ,will contact scholars with the appropriate mentor.
  2. Staff, with the help of the Advisory Group will select mentors for scholars based on research, career interests and/or location.


Am I eligible to apply for the program if I am not a US Citizen?

Applicants must be a United States citizen or permanent resident with legal status. ASHG cannot sponsor visas to enable a citizen from another country to become a scholar.

If I applied in previous years and was not selected, am I eligible to submit an application again?

If you were not selected to be a scholar, we encourage applicants apply again. Please submit an updated application.

Who is considered a late-stage graduate student?

A Master’s Level or PhD level graduate student within 2 years of completing their degree/dissertation.

Who is considered an early career researcher?

Someone who has completed graduate school or a postdoctoral position within the past 3 years.


  • Assistant Professor
  • Non-tenured Research Professor
  • Industry Scientist
  • Staff Scientist
  • Policy Analyst

What are eligible career interests of applicants?

All types of careers options.


  • Academia
  • Industry (Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical)
  • Policy and Advocacy
  • Science Communication
  • Other Career Options closely related to research

Application & Selection Process

How should I format my CV/Resume?

Use the NIH Biosketch-Fellowship Template.

What should I include in my CV/Resume?

Include academic achievements, research accomplishments, community engagement and leadership activities.

What should be included in my Personal Statement?

  • Explain how you will benefit from the HGSI program.
  • How the program will affect your short and long-term career goals.
  • Comment on your interests and commitment to fostering workforce diversity in human genetics.

Is there a page length or word max for the Personal Statement?

500 words max

Please explain what fostering workforce diversity means. See examples.

  • Mentoring underrepresented groups interested in research.
  • Participating in career discussions attended by those underrepresented in research with your organization or at professional meetings.
  • Participating in science education at K-12 schools that have a diverse student population, e.g. science fair judge or attendance at a Career Day.
  • Participating in outreach activities in underserved communities.

What should be included in a Letter of Recommendation?

Your reference letter writer should include your qualifications for the HGSI program, as well as your leadership and service experience.

When will I know if I have been selected to be a Human Genetics Scholar?

Selected scholars will be announced by July 31, 2024.

Meet our Current Scholars
Advisory Board

ASHG thanks the members of the HGSI Advisory Group for their leadership and involvement in this program.

  • Chair: Fabiola Quintero-Rivera, MD, University of California, Irvine
  • Shoumita Dasgupta, PhD, Boston University
  • Paola Giusti-Rodriguez, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Fuki Hisama, MD, University of Washington
  • Candace Middlebrooks, PhD, Merck
  • Gail Jarvik, MD, PhD, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Chester Brown, MD, PhD, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital
  • Derek Morton, PhD, University of Southern California

Partners & Sponsors

Thank you to our partners and sponsors for their support of the HGSI program.

Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA

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