The grant will provide funding for a two-day conference in Denver in July 2013 for all five classes of participants in the Keystone Symposia Fellows Program since its inception in 2008. The Fellows Program is a high-level life science research mentoring and positioning program for postdoctoral fellows and other early-career investigators committed to diversity. Through involvement in the Keystone Symposia program development process, Fellows receive invaluable mentoring and access to the inner workings of the life sciences community. To date, 18 individuals have graduated from the Program, which is funded by a multi-year MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the NIH. Five participants are currently mid-way through the 2012-2013 Program.
The summer training conference will provide a face-to-face opportunity equipping participants with advanced grant-writing skills to increase the rate of grant acquisition for early-career scientists. It will also provide them with strategies and tools to confront diversity-related challenges and issues in the workplace. A variety of experts will be tapped from around the country to provide the training.
Dr. Laina King, Director of Diversity in Life Science Programs at Keystone Symposia, expressed her appreciation for the grant: "The support from the Foundation allows us to take the Fellows Program one step further and give participants formal and focused training in the areas that are proving most challenging for early-career investigators. We are deeply grateful for the commitment the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is demonstrating to life science diversity in making such a program possible."
Dr. Elizabeth Boylan, Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, commented: "I am very pleased that we were able to make this grant as part of our higher-education portfolio focusing on professional advancement for underrepresented populations. We value the opportunity to assist early-career scientists in the acquisition of key professional skills, and look forward to learning about outcomes vis-à-vis standard career parameters as well as engagement with diversity matters on their home campuses and in their professional societies."
This is the second grant for Keystone Symposia from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Some of Keystone Symposia's earliest diversity initiatives were launched with the help of a Sloan grant received in April 2008. Subsequent efforts have been funded with the help of the MARC grant as well as corporate support from Amgen, Biogen Idec and Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.
Provided by Keystone Symposia on Molecular & Cellular Biology
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