Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship
National Institutes of Health - Maryland

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Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship

The Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship application has now closed. Applications for the 2013 fellowship will open in February 2013.

Sponsored by:
The American Society of Human Genetics

The National Human Genome Research Institute

The National Institutes of Health


Program Overview



Qualifications and Skills

Selection Process and Application



The extent to which the discoveries from genetics and genomics research are translated into the improved health of the American people is greatly influenced by policy decisions guiding research and the integration of genetics and genomics tools in the clinical setting. That's why the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) co-sponsor the Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship to give genetics professionals an opportunity to contribute the policy-making process. The fellowship is designed as a bridge for genetics professionals wishing to transition to a policy career. This unique fellowship provides three separate types of experiences: time spent in the National Institutes of Health within the Executive Branch; a staff position on Capitol Hill serving elected officials in the Legislative Branch; and experience working with ASHG in the non-profit science advocacy sector. This variety of assignments provides experience for the fellow from multiple critical viewpoints and challenging perspectives of the scientific policy-making process.

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Program Overview

Purpose: This is a fellowship program designed for genetics professionals with an advanced degree who are early in their careers and interested in the development and implementation of genetics health and research policies at the national level. The fellow will have the opportunity to participate in policy analysis at the NHGRI and the ASHG and to work directly with the U.S. Congress.

Length of Fellowship: 16 months

Start Date: August to early September (negotiable)

Compensation Package: annual $60k stipend plus benefits

Designated Mentor(s):
Derek Scholes, Ph.D.

Chief, Policy and Program Analysis Branch, NHGRI

To be determined

Interim Executive Officer, ASHG

Past and Present Fellows

Current Employer
Office Rotation in Congress

Laura Koontz
Genetics and Public Policy Fellow
To be determined

Cristina Kapustij
Genetics and Public Policy Fellow
Rep. John Dingell

Kyle Brown
U.S. Senate
Legislative Assistant
Senate HELP Committee

Selvi Sriranganathan
Greater Washington
Maternal-Fetal Medicine
and Genetics
Certified Genetic Counselor
Rep. Eddie Bernice-Johnson

Sara Selgrade
Public Health Analyst

Senate HELP Committee

Pam Bradley
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Staff Fellow
Senate HELP Committee

Ed Ramos
Research Fellow
Senator Obama

Derek Scholes
Chief, Policy and Program Analysis Branch
Senate HELP Committee

Mike Stebbins
White House Office of Science
& Technology Policy
Asst Director, Biotechnology
Senate Minority Leaders Office

Jennifer Leib
HealthFutures, LLC
Senate HELP Committee
Daryl Pritchard
National Pharmaceutical Council
Director, Policy Research
Rep Louise Slaughter

Top of page Rotations (schedule approximate)

Sept. - Dec. 2011
Policy and Program Analysis Branch, Office of the Director, at NHGRI: Participate in a variety of ongoing ethical, legal and policy activities as well as other processes, such as development of the federal budget.

Jan. - Sept. 2012
Congressional office and/or Committee involved in genetics-related public policy issues: Work within the personal office of a Member of Congress or a Congressional committee with jurisdiction over biomedical research, health or science. Fellows determine their positions based on availability and their own interests, and participate fully in staff functions during this time.

Oct. - Dec. 2012
Work with the administration of ASHG: Involvement in legislative and policy issues, providing support for the Board and Social Issues Committee, and collaboration with other organizations (e.g., ACMG, NSGC, FASEB and AAMC)

Top of page Activities

The activities of the fellow will vary with each rotation. They will include research and analysis on a wide range of policy issues impacting biomedical research and its clinical application, and summarizing them for different audiences. Writing tasks may include crafting new policy position statements, preparing testimony, summarizing legislation or drafting speeches. The fellow will participate in a variety of forums and will be expected to represent the involved organizations effectively in individual meetings and larger settings.

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Qualifications and Skills

Candidates are expected to have an advanced degree in human genetics or related field. Exceptional applicants with other advanced degrees and clearly demonstrated experience-based knowledge in science policy could be considered. Ideally, the fellow will have completed graduate training, but be early in the career development path. In addition to possessing a scientific knowledge base, the candidate must have a well-articulated interest in public policy development and implementation. Demonstrated skills in both oral and written communications are essential.

Top of page Selection Process and Application

A committee of representatives from ASHG and NHGRI will review application materials, interview finalists, and recommend up to three candidates to the organizational leaders for the final selection decision. The experience, motivation, area of interest, and future plans of the candidates will be considered. Membership in ASHG is also a consideration.

The application period will open in February 2013

To apply, go to: ASHG Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship

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Questions for the ASHG/NHGRI Fellowship can be directed to:
Joann Boughman, Ph.D.

Executive Vice President

American Society of Human Genetics


Derek T. Scholes, Ph.D.

Chief, Policy and Program Analysis Branch

National Human Genome Research Institute


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Last Updated: December 7, 2012

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