The American Society of Andrology (ASA) seeks to improve the recruitment and retention of diverse individuals within scientific fields germane to the urologic systems of males. Towards this goal, the ASA has developed educational and mentoring programs aimed at recruiting and retaining talented, well-qualified students, fellows, and junior faculty from groups underrepresented in the biomedical fields of NIDDK mission areas of diabetes, endocrine and metabolic diseases, and urologic diseases (including urology basic cell biology, male reproductive health, diabetic effects on male reproduction, erectile dysfunction, urology molecular endocrinology, and urology HIV/AIDS). The ASA Diversity Initiative has three goals and tracks.
Specific Aim 1 is to provide career guidance and mentoring in the field of andrology to graduate students, postdoctoral scientists, and early-stage professionals from underrepresented groups. Track 1 will pair a Trainee Member or early-stage Active Member with a senior Active Member for career guidance. The Active Member will advise their mentee concerning employment searches, grant applications, manuscript preparation, laboratory management, scientific society service, etc.
Specific Aim 2 is to identify undergraduate students from underrepresented groups who have strong interests in science and provide them the opportunity to do summer research in an andrology laboratory. These Track 2 students will be under the direct supervision of a Trainee Mentor (senior graduate student or postdoctoral fellow who is advised by a faculty mentor). This cascading mentoring paradigm trains both the undergraduate and the Trainee Mentor in laboratory experimentation and research mentoring, respectively.
Specific Aim 3 is to introduce freshman and sophomore undergraduate students from underrepresented groups to the excitement of science through attendance at the annual meeting of the American Society of Andrology (ASA). The goal of Track 3 is to expose the students to the value of male reproductive health research and to give them an opportunity to personally meet and interact with professional andrologists. A secondary goal of this program is to identify potential candidates for Track 2 (Specific Aim 2). If funded, progress toward attaining the project goals will be annually assessed by surveys of mentees and mentors as well as an in- depth evaluation by an internal advisory committee composed of senior leadership of the ASA. Lessons learned from ASA Diversity Initiative will be publicly shared through the society website.
The American Society for Andrology Diversity Initiative is designed to recruit and retain scientists and clinicians from underrepresented groups into the field of male reproductive health. Professionals in this field address problems in the areas of diabetes, endocrine and metabolic diseases, and urologic diseases (including basic cell biology, male reproductive health, diabetic effects on male reproduction, erectile dysfunction, and molecular endocrinology). The proposed program seeks to bring individuals from diverse backgrounds into andrology and provide them with the tools for a successful career.