ASCB awarded $1.32 million NIH grant to enhance academic biomedical workforce diversity


ASCB was awarded a first-of-its-kind National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to enhance diversity in the academic biomedical workforce. The grant is from the Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) program, a new part of NIH’s efforts to enhance diversity within the academic biomedical research workforce that is designed to facilitate the transition and success of promising postdoctoral researchers from diverse backgrounds into independent faculty careers in research-intensive institutions.

ASCB’s MOSAIC Program (aka AMP) provides $1.32 million over five years to create skills development workshops, mentor training opportunities, and institutional culture-change initiatives at universities. AMP will be under the leadership of two Co-PIs, ASCB CEO Erika Shugart and ASCB Director of Professional Development Ashanti Edwards. AMP will also be co-directed by Mary Munson, professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and chair of ASCB’s Women in Cell Biology Committee, and Michael Boyce, associate professor at the Duke University School of Medicine and co-chair of the Society’s Minorities Affairs Committee.

“We expect that AMP will improve our scholars’ success as tenure-track research faculty,” said Edwards. “Our mentor training and institutional change initiatives will also benefit additional postdoctoral fellows, beyond our direct participants, extending AMP’s impact across the nation. We anticipate that the successful completion of AMP will advance diversity across the U.S. academic biomedical workforce.”

Postdoctoral fellows who are recipients of MOSAIC K99 grants will be matched to ASCB by NIH to become AMP Scholars. Goals of the program include helping AMP Scholars to:

  • Identify their strengths and develop a plan to enhance them through professional development and networking
  • Develop new skills through in-person and online training sessions
  • Expand and strengthen their support network through cohort-based peer groups and mentoring

“We will tailor the program to the individual cohort to help them build and enhance their skills,” said Shugart. “AMP Scholars also will develop a valuable network of peers and mentors who will become critical to their job and success as a faculty member.”

The first cohort of AMP Scholars will begin in the summer of 2021. More details and instructions on how to apply can be found at

MOSAIC awards were also given to the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Association of American Medical Colleges, according to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which oversees the program.

About the Author:

Mary Spiro is ASCB's Science Writer and Social Media Manager.