ASTC Diversity and Leadership Development Fellows Program

In October 2001, ASTC’s Board launched a field-wide Equity and Diversity Initiative to attempt to bring balance in the disparity between the diversity of our society and the diversity of professional staff, audience, and board members of the science center field. The primary activity for addressing this disparity is the ASTC Diversity and Leadership Development Fellows Program, originally designed to support the professional growth and retention of professionals of color currently working in the field. In response to the ever-changing nature of equity and diversity issues, eligibility criteria have been expanded and now include science center professionals from ethnic/racial minority backgrounds; with disabilities; and who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or asexual (LGBTQIA). To date, more than 160 science center professionals from nearly 90 science centers and museums in the United States and Canada have participated in the program.

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Award information: Fellows receive free conference registration and a stipend of up to $1,000.00 to cover conference-related travel, lodging, and meals. Stipend is disbursed upon timely submission of all original receipts and required forms.

Eligibility: Individuals who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply to the program:

  • Identifies with one or more of the following underrepresented groups: racial/ethnic minority, LGBTQIA, or person with a disability
  • Has been employed at present institution full-time for at least one year
  • Holds a mid-level management position (i.e., non-entry level)
  • Demonstrates a desire to advance her/his career in the science center/museum field
  • Expresses an interest in supporting equity and diversity in the science center/museum field
  • NEW Fellows: Has not attended an ASTC Annual Conference in the past three years
  • ALUMNI Fellows: Did not receive alumni fellowship in the previous year, and has/will participate as a speaker in an ASTC Annual Conference session.

Apply: Applications are complete only when all three of these steps have been completed.
Pro Tips: Before completing your online application, outline or draft your answers using this scratch pad; you may want to save a copy of this for your records. Click here for a short video and here for a blog post containing some additional tips.

  1. Complete either the New Fellows online application form or the Alumni Fellows online application form.
  2. New Fellows Alumni Fellows

  3. Download and sign the Applicant and Institution Statement of Understanding.
  4. Email the following items to Ann Hernandez.
    • Completed Applicant and Institution Statement of Understanding
    • Current resume
    • Organizational chart for your institution
    • (Optional) Supplementary materials

Deadline: Monday, May 8, at 11:00 p.m. ET

A panel of reviewers familiar with the science center profession and diversity issues will review the applications. The panel will select the winners based on evidence that the applicants are committed to promoting equity and diversity, have long-term visions of themselves in the science center field, and are at places in their careers where they will benefit from this experience. 2017 awards will be announced in June.

Contact: Ann Hernandez, (202) 783-7200 x126,