ASM Funded for Inclusive Microbiology Leaders Program
Washington, D.C. – The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has been awarded a grant for nearly $500,000 from the National Science Foundation to fund the Microbiology Leaders Evolving and Accountable to Progress (MicroBio-LEAP) project. MicroBio-LEAP will encourage leaders in the microbial sciences to embrace and promote inclusive diversity with equity, access and accountability (IDEAA) within the microbial sciences and across the broader science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) community.
In alignment with ASM’s IDEAA mission of making microbial sciences the most inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible field in STEM, MicroBio-LEAP will complement ASM’s existing IDEAA-focused programs, such as the Future Leaders Mentoring Fellowship (FLMF) and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Scientists (ABRCMS). Focusing on leaders with the strongest influence on institutional practices, MicroBio-LEAP will empower them to influence the cultures and climates of their respective sectors and organizations.
MicroBio-LEAP will promote deep individual introspection; it will also facilitate peer group exchanges and provide a space where participants can practice knowledge and skills to ensure the training goes beyond awareness to action. To recruit ASM members from academia who can influence institutional policies and practices, ASM is partnering with the Association of Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Chairs.
“Embedding IDEAA principles into the fabric of the institutions and cultures we’re part of is essential for building a STEM community that is truly inclusive. MicroBio-LEAP works towards this goal by providing leaders with the tools and training to embody and elevate diversity, equity and inclusion practices,” said Greetchen Díaz, Chair of ASM’s IDEAA Committee.
“MicroBio-LEAP is an important step toward making the microbial sciences one of the most welcoming and inclusive fields in STEM, and it is the synergy and partnership of ASM’s staff and volunteers that brought this proposal to life. I’m excited to collaborate with microbiology department Chairs to further a culture of diversity and inclusion in our field,” said Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO, ASM.
To reach the broader microbiology community, ASM will offer training sessions based on the project curriculum at its annual meeting, ASM Microbe. ASM envisions that after participants complete MicroBio-LEAP training, they will inspire more change agents and IDEAA champions as they train students, postdoctoral fellows and other employees, creating an inclusive and diverse environment in STEM.
The American Society for Microbiology is one of the largest professional societies dedicated to the life sciences and is composed of 30,000 scientists and health practitioners. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.
ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications and educational opportunities. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.