The ACT program allows you to customize and individualize your professional development and training through a longitudinal framework. This framework will help you prepare and successfully transition into your chosen career path.

About the Program

ACT is a two-year, in-person and online, cohort-based professional development program for postdocs and assistant professors in the biological/biomedical sciences interested in transitioning into faculty and research roles. Participants must be an underrepresented minority (URM) in science or be at a primarily minority-serving institution (MSI). Participants will receive travel funds for designated ACT activities.

This program will enable you to:
1. Acquire new skills and strategies through interactive training, online sessions, peer mentoring, and participation in a practicum.
2. Receive funding and opportunities to practice your new skills though active career management and entrepreneurship practicum.
3. Expand and strengthen your support network through cohort-based, near-peer, and peer-mentoring.

In-person and online workshop sessions will address a range of topics from conflict management and effective teaching strategies to scientific publishing and career management. ACT has been designed to empower URM emerging scientists for successful transition in academic rank and career advancement.

Program Timeline and Key Events: (FINAL COHORT RECRUITED & ACCEPTED)

Spring 2021
Selection of 2021 Cohort
2021 ACT application deadline: March 28, 2021 by midnight (EST) and participant selection notifications sent by May 7, 2021.

Summer 2021
2021 ACT Kickoff Workshop ( tentative dates June 28-July 1, 2021)
Virtual interactive training sessions will help you develop the skills needed to hit the ground running as you prepare to transition into faculty roles at academic institutions. The workshop will include opportunities for networking with ASCB committee members and leadership and time for you to begin designing your career and entrepreneurship practicums. Each participant will receive funds to execute practicum plans.

Fall 2021
ACT Programming at the 2021 ASCB/EMBO Meeting
• Present and receive feedback on your practicum plans
• Network with the ACT/ASCB community
• Additional skills training

Spring and Summer 2022
1. Practicum Execution
• Implement practicum plans
• Report progress to the ACT/ASCB community

2. Two 90-minute Webinars
Interact with the ACT/ASCB community and receive further skills training.

3. Open Call for Proposals for Science Outreach Funding
Apply for funding to execute a science outreach project of your choice. (Optional)

Fall 2022
ACT Programming at the 2022 ASCB/EMBO Meeting
• Present your practicum results and outcomes
• Network with the ACT/ASCB community
• If applicable, receive feedback on your science outreach proposal

Spring 2023
1. Two 90-minute Webinars
Interact with the ACT/ASCB community and receive further skills training and present and receive feedback on your practicum plans.

2. Execution of Science Outreach Grant Projects
If applicable, execute and assess your funded outreach project.

Questions? Please email Ashanti Edwards at

This program is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant #2 R25 GM116707.

ACT Leadership

Grant Principal Investigators (NIH IPERT)

Ashanti Edwards, ASCB Director of Professional Development
Jim O. Vigoreaux, University of Vermont, MAC Member
MariaElena Zavala, University of California, Berkley, MAC Member
Verónica A. Segarra, High Point University, MAC Member

ACT Participants