Five Reasons to Apply for the Mentorship Award Program

Rayne Rouce, MD - August 04, 2021

ASGCT Board Member Rayne Rouce, MD, gives five reasons for ASGCT members to apply for the Mentorship Award Program, which is accepting applications through August 31.

Racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in the scientific workforce and in STEM fields of study, especially at the graduate student level. ASGCT is committed to addressing these disparities and providing opportunities for professional development in biomedical research for underrepresented groups. Therefore, the Society has created a mentorship award program beginning in the summer of 2022 that will provide five award recipients with support for conducting a research project under the supervision of an applicant-identified research mentor, as well as additional benefits described here and below.

On a personal note, I have been the recipient of, and later a mentor for, similar mentored awards and programs. While it is challenging to condense the numerous benefits down to the top five,  I’ve attempted here! Below are five reasons you should apply (and encourage your mentees to apply) to ASGCT's Mentorship Award Program, from the perspective of a previous mentee and current mentor of a diversity and inclusion-focused award.

For Mentees:

  1. Acquire additional monetary support (in the form of a research stipend) for research you are currently conducting or plan to pursue!
  2. Be matched with a career mentor with similar scientific and career development (and even life) goals! These mentor matches typically extend far beyond the duration of the program.
  3. Gain access to seasoned ASGCT mentors within and outside your field, participate in quarterly sessions designed to address common challenges for trainees and early career professionals within the cell and gene therapy field, and receive complimentary registration for the ASGCT Annual Meeting to present your research!
  4. Network, network, network, and take advantage of ways to become more active in ASGCT!
  5. Jump right onto the first rung of ASGCT’s ladder for career development, while paving the way for those behind you!

For Mentors:

  1. Acquire additional monetary support in the form of a stipend for research supplies as well as a separate research stipend for the trainee you are already mentoring!
  2. Receive travel reimbursement to attend the ASGCT Annual Meeting with your mentee!
  3. It takes a village! The Mentorship Award Program provides your mentee with a dedicated career development mentor, as well as access to ongoing early career and networking seminars.
  4. Take advantage of the many resources available to your mentee including grant and manuscript writing seminars, elevator pitch coaching, biosketch refinement, scientific seminar best practices and more!
  5. Help ensure the pipeline of diverse scientists focused on cell and gene therapy research stays strong!!

Ready to Apply?

Apply for the Mentorship Award Program by August 31

Dr. Rouce is a member of ASGCT's Board of Directors, an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine, and a member of the ASGCT Communications Committee.

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