Diversity Institute for Emerging Leaders

Click here to download an application for the 2022 institute.

Early-career scientists and clinicians are often presented with wonderful opportunities but also experience unique challenges as they enter the behavioral medicine workforce. Early-career professionals are likely responsible for simultaneously developing or contributing to a portfolio of research, establishing a clinical practice, teaching, and/or performing administrative roles within and outside of their organization for the first time. Exceling in these roles may be particularly challenging when professionals are also trying to ensure that their work and career is informed by principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. A strong understanding of these principles and how they can be incorporated into one’s career can improve effectiveness and increase their impact. However, early-career professionals, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, may not have the opportunity to think deeply about issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion and how these concepts can be integrated into their career and leadership journey. The development of early-career leaders and the principles of diversity and inclusion are priorities for the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM). Therefore, we are pleased to announce SBM’s second Diversity Institute for Emerging Leaders, launching during the 2022 SBM Annual Meeting.

Institute Overview

The purpose of the SBM Diversity Institute for Emerging Leaders is to help early-career SBM members from diverse backgrounds or those who are working with those from underrepresented populations develop into equitable and thoughtful leaders by fostering a deep understanding of the principles of diversity and inclusion. At the conclusion of the year-long institute, you will be able to recognize your “blind spots” related to diversity and inclusion; respond to challenges related to diversity and inclusion; and implement and/or advocate for inclusive practices or policies within your sphere of influence (e.g., lab, department). Following a 1-day in-person workshop, you will continually deepen your understanding of diversity and inclusion through quarterly learning opportunities and regular small group sessions with your peers and mentors who are passionate about equity in behavioral medicine.

  • The institute is a year-long endeavor, limited to 25 selected individuals.
  • Applicants must have paid their 2022 SBM membership dues by the time they apply.
  • The institute kicks off with an intense, 1-day workshop that takes place before the 2022 SBM Annual Meeting, on Wednesday, April 6, 2022.
  • The institute provides mentoring and opportunities to network with peers throughout the year.
  • The cost is $425, including all materials, continental breakfast, and lunch.
  • Participants will be responsible for their travel and lodging.
  • The 2022 SBM Annual Meeting registration fee will be waived for accepted institute participants.
  • Applicants representing diverse backgrounds, as defined by SBM, are encouraged to apply.

SBM Definition of Diversity

The Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) defines diversity as the collective ways in which people and organizations are different and similar with respect to demographic characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, and behaviors. The dimension of diversity include, but are not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, culture, religion, mental and physical ability, class, education, immigration status, and professional discipline.

SBM seeks to actively engage individuals and organizations representing various backgrounds to support the mission and vision of our society.


Who is “early-career”?

The meaning of “early-career” varies across the range of behavioral medicine careers. However, this institute is most appropriate for those who are completing their post-doctoral research or who have completed their terminal degree within the last 5 years. Ultimately, we will leave the determination to you, the SBM-member applicant. Applicants should explicitly state how they see themselves as early-career professionals and give specific examples of how their duties are indicative of this career stage.

Tuition Assistance

Recognizing that early-career and underrepresented scientists face financial barriers, SBM will cover institute tuition and associated travel up to $1,000 for two applicants who demonstrate financial need. An additional two free institute slots and up to $1,000 in travel expenses have been made available through generous support from WW. To be considered for one of these four slots, please note interest on your application.

If I’m accepted, how will the Diversity Institute help me and my organization?

During the April 6, 2022, workshop, you will:

  • Undergo an intensive training in diversity, equity, and inclusion, with an emphasis on incorporating these principles into your career and leadership opportunities.
  • Meet with SBM leaders.
  • Enjoy lunch with other early-career behavioral medicine professionals and mentors.
  • Become part of a small cohort that will stay connected throughout the year and teleconference with an institute mentor.
  • Identify future opportunities to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion and develop an action plan for pursuing these opportunities throughout the year with an emphasis on incorporating diversity and inclusion. 

Throughout the institute year (April 2022 through mid-April 2023):

  • Institute mentors will be available to your cohort for scheduled check-ins (based on the schedule of mentor and colleagues), helping you and your colleagues problem solve any challenges that you have implementing your action plan.
  • You will participate in quarterly learning opportunities to foster the continued understanding and engagement in diversity, equity, and inclusion work.

During the 2023 SBM Annual Meeting you will:

  • Be recognized as an emerging leader.
  • Present information about your journey to the incoming institute class.