Diversity Institute for Emerging Leaders

Applications for the 2020 institute are now closed.

Early-career scientists and clinicians may be presented with wonderful opportunities but also experience unique challenges as they enter the behavioral medicine workforce. As early-career professionals, you are likely responsible for simultaneously developing or contributing to a portfolio of research, establishing a clinical practice, teaching, and/or administrative roles within and outside of your organization for the first time. These roles require leadership skills and qualities, while presenting an opportunity to develop new skills. Strong leadership skills can improve the effectiveness of your actions and increase the impact of your work. However, early-career professionals, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, may not have the opportunity to participate in activities that focus on the development of these skills. Furthermore, even when early career professionals do participate in these activities, there is often a lack of attention paid to how the principles of diversity and inclusion are essential to the development of strong leadership. The leadership development of early-career professionals and the principles of diversity and inclusion are priorities for the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM). Therefore, we are launching the first Diversity Institute for Emerging Leaders during the 2020 SBM Annual Meeting.

Click the video below to learn more about why emerging leaders and the topics of diversity and inclusion are so important to SBM from President-Elect Dr. Monica Baskin.


Institute Overview

The purpose of the SBM Diversity Institute for Emerging Leaders is to help early-career SBM members develop into effective, thoughtful leaders by fostering leadership skills and a deep understanding of the principles of diversity and inclusion. At the conclusion of the year-long institute, participants will be able to identify their leadership strengths and areas for improvement; recognize their “blind spots” related to diversity and inclusion; respond to challenges related to diversity and inclusion, and use their leadership skills to implement and/or advocate for inclusive practices or policies within their sphere of influence (e.g., lab, department). Throughout the year participants will continually assess their leadership development and deepen their understanding of diversity and inclusion through quarterly learning opportunities and regular small group sessions with peers and mentors who are passionate about health equity in behavioral medicine.

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.

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

During the workshop, you will:

  • Undergo an intensive leadership training with a specific emphasis on incorporating the principles of diversity and inclusion into your leadership role
  • Meet with SBM leaders
  • Enjoy lunch with other early-career behavioral medicine professionals & mentors
  • Become part of a small cohort that will stay connected throughout the year and teleconference with an Institute mentor
  • Acquire concrete leadership skills such as:
    • Managing collaborative teams
    • Mentoring
    • Influencing and negotiating
    • Navigating challenging interpersonal situations
    • Welcoming diversity and fostering inclusion
  • Identify future leadership opportunities and develop an action plan for pursuing these opportunities throughout the year with an emphasis on incorporating diversity and inclusion.