Keystone Symposia proposes to enhance opportunities for individuals from under-represented (UR) groups in biomedicine through the unique and transformative environment at Keystone Symposia, a mission-driven nonprofit organization that develops and implements small high-powered meetings in the life sciences. In turn, Keystone Symposia anticipates continuing its own profound transformation, one that better positions the organization to achieve its mission: connecting the scientific community for the benefit of humankind. The goals of this program are to engage high levels of participation by scientists and trainees from UR groups as attendees, speakers, organizers and scientific advisors at Keystone Symposia and its meetings;to foster an environment of inclusivity, community and ownership for all attendees at Keystone Symposia meetings;to deliver new knowledge, tools, and opportunities for developing collaborations and networks that have an impact on research and careers;and to develop Keystone Symposia into a national resource for diversity in the life science community. The strategy will be to 1) provide financial resources to support meeting attendance;2) generate networks and other outreach to both communicate the value of Keystone Symposia and identify UR scientists and trainees whose research careers are likely to benefit from participating at Keystone Symposia;3) foster and sustain engagement through community-building activities;4) promote the Keystone Symposia Fellows Program to provide opportunities for newer investigators with an interest in UR participation in life science research to shadow the meeting development process at Keystone Symposia;5) develop clear and meaningful mechanisms for feedback by UR participants;and 6) develop approaches and activities that can be disseminated to the life science community via publications, presentations, and the Keystone Symposia website. This program will provide participants with knowledge, skills, and networking opportunities needed to thrive in biomedical research careers. We anticipate that this program will enhance the quality of Keystone Symposia and its ability to achieve its mission of connecting the life science community for the benefit of humankind.
Enhancing biomedical research and career opportunities for trainees and researchers from under-represented (UR) groups will better position the US to reap the benefits of more diverse experiences and approaches to solving health problems. Moreover, UR scientists are likely to be more familiar with and more inclined to address pressing health challenges within UR and underserved communities.