Why should I apply for the MicroBio-LEAP ToL Scholars Program?

ASM is committed to advancing inclusive diversity with equity, access and accountability (IDEAA) in the microbial sciences and broader STEM community. The Training-of-Leaders Scholars Program presents microbiology leadership with an opportunity to contribute to this change by learning the skills necessary to create sustainable cultural change within their circles of influence and impact. Existing ASM IDEAA efforts focus on supporting individuals, but to promote the cultural paradigm shift across the STEM community, participation is needed from the leaders who can directly influence policies and practices that define their workplace or organization’s culture. We appreciate you considering participanting in the effort to cultivate sustained IDEAA in STEM.

How do I apply for the MicroBio-LEAP ToL Scholars Program?

The open call for the ToL Scholars Program ended on Oct. 16, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Applications are currently under review. The disposition letters will be distributed in mid- to late-November.

Do you have to be an ASM member to apply for the MicroBio-LEAP ToL Scholars Program?

You must be a member of ASM or AMSMIC to be eligible. Not yet a member? Consider becoming a member of ASM today!

How long is the MicroBio-LEAP ToL Scholars Program?

The program consists of 16 sessions. ToL scholars will meet approximately every 2 weeks, over a 10-month period. During the program, participants will need to attend an in-person summit immediately before ASM Microbe 2024, with the opportunity to share their knowledge at the meeting. The ToL Scholars Scholars Program is longer in duration than other programs, and this is intentional. A recent meta-analysis and evaluation of DEI found that lengthier trainings have greater positive impacts on participants. Accordingly, scholars will receive a small stipend for their participation and engagement in the program, which will be dispersed throughout the program, along with financial support to travel to the in-person summit.

What is included in the ToL curriculum?

The curriculum consists of the following 5 modules, taught through virtual lecture, small collaborative learning pods and large group reflection exercises:

  • Connecting Unconscious Bias & Microbiology.
  • Psychological Safety.
  • Empathic Leadership.
  • Disruptive Cultural Curiosity.
  • Sustainable Inclusion.

Lectures will be approximately 2-3 hours in length, and small learning pods and large group sessions will be approximately 90 minutes in length.

In each module, scholars will be offered the following opportunities:

  • Engage in deep individual introspection.
  • Participate in peer group exchanges.
  • Apply knowledge and practice skills to ensure training goes beyond awareness to become action.

Where does the MicroBio-Leap ToL Scholars Program take place?

The program is hosted on ASM’s virtual learning platform. There is 1 in-person commitment planned for immediately before ASM Microbe 2024.

What sectors of the microbial sciences can participate in the ToL Scholars Program?

All sectors of the microbial sciences are encouraged to apply. Sectors include, but are not limited to, higher education, professional organizations, nonprofits, government and industry.

What positions are included in the category of “leader?"

Leadership positions include, but are not limited to:

  • Managers.
  • Supervisors.
  • Editors and/or reviewers for journals.
  • Conference planners and/or organizers.
  • Members of professional committees, subcommittees, working groups, task forces.
  • Members of advocacy groups, including groups within academia. 
  • Entrepreneurs/business owners.
  • Mentors.
  • Executives.
  • Directors.
  • Chairs.
  • Individuals working to advance change in microbiology. 

If you are unsure if your position is eligible, please contact dei@asmusa.org to confirm.

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