Presidential Membership Initiative

Applications are closed and awardees have been notified.


To be the most vibrant Society that we can be, it is imperative that we attract talented and creative individuals from diverse backgrounds. Diversifying membership is part of the effort to build a thriving scientific enterprise and to create a more equitable and inclusive Society. This program is designed to increase diversity in the GSA membership by offering Presidential Membership packages to early career scientists.

The package includes:

    • Free membership for 2021 (in the appropriate career category)
    • Abstract fee waiver for one GSA conference (single waiver good for 3 years)
    • Recognition in Genes to Genomes

Presidential Members will receive all benefits of GSA membership (including a subscription to GENETICS, discounts on publishing in GENETICS and G3, discounts on conference registration, attendance at GSA-sponsored workshops, and more). Additionally, they’ll benefit from access to networking resources within GSA and the opportunity to participate in the Early Career Leadership Program and the GENETICS Peer Review Training Program.

Application Information

The short application focuses on the applicant’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as how the membership will enhance their career. Open-ended answers—listed below—are restricted to 750 characters including spaces (~100 words), so we recommend composing your answers in a word processing program before entering them into Survey Monkey.

  1. What are your career goals? How will a GSA membership enrich your career journey?
  2. Describe one major change you think is needed to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the scientific enterprise. How do you plan to use your career to help make this change?

The GSA’s Equity and Inclusion Committee will review the applications, considering answers to the open-ended questions and background of the applicant.


Early career scientists who are not current members of the Genetics Society of America are eligible to apply. For this award, early career scientist is defined as a graduate student, postdoc, early-stage investigator (pre-tenure faculty), or early-stage staff scientist or industry researcher (≤5 years in a position). Undergraduate students may apply, although they are not eligible for the Early Career Leadership Program or the GENETICS Peer Review Training Program. International applicants are welcome to apply.

Important Dates

    • October 14, 2020 — applications open
    • November 20, 2020 — first awards announced
    • December 15, 2020 — deadline to apply
    • December 20, 2020 — final awards announced

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be a member of a historically excluded group to apply?

What counts as a historically excluded group?

When will I find out whether or not my application was successful?

Can I receive my membership before the application deadline for Early Career Leadership Program (Nov 30)?

Can I receive my membership before the abstract submission deadline for the Annual Drosophila Research Conference (Dec 3)?

Do I need to be a US citizen?

Do I need to be a geneticist or enrolled in a genetics program?

I am an undergraduate student. Can I apply?

Who do I contact with additional questions?