Human Genetics Scholars Initiative

Applications for the 2021-23 program will open in May 3, 2021.

2020-22 Human Genetics Scholars Initiative Application


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

  1. Identify, mentor, and help prepare a select group of high-potential, diverse early-career individuals for professional success.
  2. Develop and sustain a community of researchers across generations committed to diversity and inclusion, who are willing to foster sustained attention to these issues in their research institutions and training programs.
Human Genetics Scholars with ASHG Board and HGSI Advisory Group Members along with representatives of HGSI funding partners, NHGRI and Biogen, during the ASHG 2019 Diversity Reception.
Human Genetics Scholars with ASHG Board and HGSI Advisory Group Members, along with representatives of funding partners NHGRI, Biogen, and Color Genomics, during the 2019 Diversity Reception.

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 In-Person 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 Kanika Pulliam, PhD, , Director, Career Programs and Workforce Diversity, at with any questions.

Eligibility Criteria (2021)

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 2021 Annual Meeting by the June 10, 2021 deadline.
  • Complete the application form by June 18, 2021.
  • 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 2021 Annual Meeting by the June 10, 2021 deadline

Program Requirements

  • Attend two in-person 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 public education/engagement activity in your community with resources from the NHGRI engagement program during the second year of the program.
Meet our Current Scholars
Advisory Group

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

  • Chair: Cynthia Morton, Brigham & Women’s Hospital
  • Vence Bonham, National Human Genome Research Institute
  • Neil Hanchard, National Human Genome Research Institute
  • Fuki Hisama, University of Washington
  • Rosario Isasi, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
  • Janina Jeff, Illumina
  • Bryant Marks, Morehouse College, The National Training Institute on Race and Equity
  • Fabiola Quintero-Rivera, University of California, Irvine

Partners & Sponsors

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


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