Creation of ASP Ambassadors Program: One of the major initiatives of this committee was the formation of the ASP Ambassador’s Program. This program is a recruitment effort targeted at scientists that represent communities who have been marginalized. It was designed to expand and diversify the pipeline of those who engage in natural products research. At the ASP Meeting in the Summer of 2019 (Madison, Wisconsin) three ASP Ambassadors (Drs. Christine Salomon, Katherine Zink, and Sandra Loesgen) were appointed and are working to increase participation of individuals from underrepresented groups in our society. The goals of the Ambassador program include:
- Targeted recruiting of the ASP to undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students that hail from underrepresented backgrounds
- Develop and maintain relationships with local institutions and organizations that serve URM (under-represented minority) populations (examples include PUIs, HBU, institutions with official minority serving institutions designations, etc)
- Identify and assist ASP Committee for Diversity and Inclusion in responding to the needs of the local scientific community to continue to develop and refine initiatives that enhance the diversity within the ASP.
ASP Summer Research Fellowship: We are working to address inequities that face communities who have been marginalized in the pursuit of graduate school and professional careers in the natural product sciences. Towards this goal the ASP and ASP Foundation have committed a total of $60,000 over two years to fund a pilot program, the ASP Summer Research Fellowship. It is a 2.5 month fellowship to support students in lab-based research under the supervision of an ASP faculty mentor. ASP summer research fellowships are open to students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or Latinx (BIL). Fellows will be part of cohort of students nationally and participate in weekly online seminar workshops by ASP members to support their training. Details can be found here: http://www.pharmacognosy.us/asp-summer-research-fellowship/
Creation of ASP Natural Product Career Locator App: We launched the Natural Products Career Locator App, an interface that provides resources for students to research natural products-related programs in their area of interest: www.pharmacognosy.us/natural-product-programs-and-research/
ASP Newsletter articles: We initiated an ongoing conversation in the ASP Newsletter titled “Taking Action”. The series is designed to create space for open dialog about equity, and to amplify the voices of groups who have been marginalized.
- ASP Ambassador Program: Engineered Problems Require Engineered Solutions
- ASP Diversity and Inclusion Committee Call to Action
- Taking Action: Equity and Diversity in the Lab