For nearly two decades, the ASTC Diversity and Leadership Development Fellows Program has nurtured emerging leaders from underrepresented groups employed by ASTC-member science and technology centers and museums. As we emerge from the pandemic, the program has been reimagined under the new name, the New Leaders Fellowship.

With a responsive and updated curriculum, this fellowship provides professional development, a peer network, and opportunities to acquire and develop leadership skills that leverage the unique perspectives and experiences the fellows bring to their work. Our goal is to support future leaders who embody inclusive, empathetic, and visionary leadership.

The fellowship benefits the participants, ASTC-member institutions, and the field at large by:

  • Offering skill-based leadership development opportunities to science center and museum professionals from historically underrepresented or marginalized backgrounds who aim to move into leadership roles in their career.
  • Providing opportunities for ongoing learning and dialogue between participants and mentors who model empathetic leadership and shared identities with mentees.
  • Centering diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and equity (DAIE) within the curriculum to give future science center and museum leaders the tools to create immediate impacts in their day-to-day work.
  • Providing ASTC-member institutions with an opportunity to diversify their leadership pipeline, contributing to future innovations and growth.
  • Supporting an ever-expanding network of highly skilled leaders in the field.

Program Highlights

The New Leaders Fellowship is a year-long hybrid program that includes virtual engagements and an in-person component at ASTC’s 2022 Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from September 12-15. Ahead of the conference, fellows will participate in a one-day workshop and community welcome on Sunday, September 11. Fellows will then participate in the full conference experience. Once back in their home institutions, fellows take part in a year of virtual learning, including monthly get-togethers, one-on-one conversations with peers and mentors, and an online community.

Who Can Apply

ASTC’s New Leaders Fellowship is intended to provide people from historically marginalized communities the opportunity to develop leadership skills. To qualify for this program, fellows must belong to one of the following communities that have historically been underrepresented in the science center and museum field:

  • Black, Indigenous, Middle Eastern, Asian, Pacific Islander and/or Hispanic/Latinx communities
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and/or Asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities
  • Experience a physical or intellectual disability and/or difference

Fellows must be currently working for an ASTC- member institution located in the United States or Canada. We welcome applicants from a variety of institutional roles and backgrounds. In the interest of increasing the institutional diversity of the 2022 cohort, we especially encourage candidates who work in small (fewer than 10 paid staff) or rural institutions (outside a major metropolitan area) to apply.

Candidates must be mid-career and currently work in a role with supervisory and/or managerial responsibilities. Candidates must be in their current role for at least one year at the time of application. Current responsibilities may include the regular coordination of work and performance management for direct reports (including paid staff or volunteers), project management, as well as budgetary accountability. Candidates without supervisory and/or managerial experience or candidates in senior leadership-level roles do not qualify for the New Leaders Fellowship.

How to Apply

The application includes two 500–800-word essay questions. Preview the essay questions. Applicants will be able to pause their application and return to it at any time during the application period. The application period starts on May 18 and ends on June 27, 2022. Prospective fellows will also be required to submit a current resume, as well as a Statement of Understanding signed by the applicant’s direct supervisor and Chief Executive. Download the statement.

View our informational webinar recording for details on the program and how to apply.

Review and Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed in June and July by a panel of ASTC staff and leaders from the field. Applicants will primarily be evaluated on their responses to the essay questions. These questions are designed to evaluate the following:

  • Ability to identify an effective leader and describe the skills and knowledge used by that leader
  • Ability to recognize a conflict encountered by a leader and recommend a resolution to the conflict
  • Familiarity with their institution’s diversity, equity, accessibility, equality, and justice needs, including the ability to identify issues and propose solutions
  • Ability of applicant to assess their own leadership skills and knowledge, including room for growth and development

After a blind review of applicant’s essay and resume, demographic information will be considered by the review panel to create a cohort that reflects the full diversity of the field.

Prospective fellows can expect to learn of their acceptance via email by Monday, August 1, 2022.

Staff Contact

For questions about eligibility, the application process, or other aspects of the New Leaders Fellowship, please email Lauren H. Griffin, Manager of Inclusion Initiatives.

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