For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 20, 2023, 10:00 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time
Media Contact: Kara Flynn, (202) 257-8424, firstname.lastname@example.org
NHGRI Contract Will Build on a 20-year ASHG-NHGRI Partnership and Shared Commitment to Training Future Leaders in Genomics and Public Service
ROCKVILLE, MD — The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) has received a five-year contract of $7.1 million to strengthen and substantially expand its prestigious genomics fellowships, working in close partnership with the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NHGRI contract will create an expanded and more impactful Genomics and Public Service Fellowship Program, building on a 20-year partnership between ASHG and NHGRI to support the training of genomics professionals, a central goal of both organizations.
“ASHG is delighted to strengthen and expand our vital partnership with NHGRI. We are both deeply committed to advancing the benefits of genetics and genomics research, and supporting public understanding of genomics is essential to this goal,” said ASHG President Brendan Lee, MD, PhD. “Genomics is transforming our ability to understand and treat many debilitating diseases and to understand the building blocks of life, and we must engage with public institutions to advance this knowledge to serve society.”
In 2002, ASHG and NHGRI launched a jointly sponsored graduate-level policy fellowship, and a similar education fellowship in 2015. Together, the two fellowships have propelled nearly 30 early-career genomics professionals into accomplished careers in public policy, advocacy and education.
“This expanded partnership builds on the tremendous success of the existing fellowships, which have an impressive history in launching the careers of genomics experts who are actively engaged in helping genomics to benefit society,” said NHGRI Director Eric D. Green, MD, PhD. “It is imperative that as this program grows, it reaches and recruits fellows from diverse and historically marginalized communities so that the genomics enterprise represents the diversity of the country.”
The new, expanded Genomics and Public Service Program will incorporate the following elements:
- Graduate-Level Fellowships: The new program will continue the two prestigious Genetics & Public Policy Fellowship and the Genetics Education & Engagement Fellowship and add a third Genomics Communications Fellowship. These fellowships will continue an established rotation that provides fellows with exposure to work at NHGRI, ASHG and a third placement informed by the fellow’s preference and their anticipated career path. Applicants must have completed a graduate program, earning a PhD or master’s degree.
- Postbaccalaureate Fellowship: This new component will provide 14 additional fellows training opportunities at an earlier stage of their careers. The Postbaccalaureate Genomics Analyst Fellowship will offer in-service training opportunities at NHGRI or ASHG. Through this two-year fellowship, fellows will experience a host of learning opportunities and will gain exposure to the processes through which science informs and supports civil society. The program anticipates that postbaccalaureate fellows will likely later pursue graduate training in genomics, medicine or other public service. Applicants must be within one year of completing their undergraduate degree.
All fellows will take part in a regular colloquium with guest speakers from a range of genomics and public service careers; attend the ASHG Annual Meeting, the world’s largest scientific meeting for genetics and genomics research professionals; and receive support for additional professional activities. The program will be administered by ASHG, and support for a new staff position will be made possible through the contract. Applications for both fellowships will open in fall 2023.
“ASHG looks forward to building on this program together with NHGRI,” said Lee. “The future of genomics research will be shaped by future leaders in public service, and we are very excited to support those emerging leaders through this powerful training and education effort.”
* * *
About the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG)
Founded in 1948, the American Society of Human Genetics is the primary professional membership organization for human genetics specialists worldwide. Its community of nearly 8,000 members include researchers, academicians, clinicians, laboratory practice professionals, genetic counselors, nurses, and others with an interest in human genetics. The Society serves scientists, health professionals, and the public by providing forums to: (1) share research results through the ASHG Annual Meeting and in The American Journal of Human Genetics and Human Genetics and Genomics Advances; (2) advance genetic research by advocating for research support; (3) educate current and future genetics professionals, health care providers, advocates, policymakers, educators, students, and the public about all aspects of human genetics; and (4) promote genetic services and support responsible social and scientific policies. For more information, visit: http://www.ashg.org.