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2023 American Surgical Association Surgical Leaders Fellowship Grant

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As academic surgical associations, we have the opportunity to prepare future academic surgical leaders. In addition, the promotion of diversity in leadership is imperative. As such, the ASA has established an American Surgical Association Surgical Leaders Fellowship Grant (ASA SLF-Grant) in partnership with the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS), Society of Asian Academic Surgeons (SAAS), Society of Black Academic Surgeons (SBAS), and the Society of University Surgeons (SUS).

Program Description
Participation in the ASA SLF-Grant Program provides Fellows with a shadowing experience of being a surgical leader and exposes them to the competencies and responsibilities unique to these positions. Participating Fellows will be able to identify gaps in their professional experience, knowledge, and skills, that, if bridged, will better prepare them for serving as a surgical leader in the role of a Department Chair, Center Director, CEO, or Dean.

Upon completion of the Fellowship, the surgeon will be expected to:

  • Assess professional readiness to take on responsibilities of the academic surgical leader;
  • Develop new skills and knowledge to advance his/her leadership goals; and
  • Acquire perspectives from current leaders in academic surgery on critical leadership competencies specific to the medical school, teaching hospital, and health system.

Each Fellow will describe her/his experience in a written report to the ASA Council, home institution, and the sponsoring society. The report may be shared at the Annual Meeting of the ASA as well as the sponsoring society. Reports must provide: background on the knowledge/experience gap; the Fellow’s future plans; intended outcomes; limitations; and a self-assessment of the application of knowledge, skills, and abilities gained or refined during the Fellowship experience.

Program Details
Each ASA Future Leader Fellowship consists of one-week visits to two academic institutions during the Fellowship year. Each visit must be with a different academic host and surgical leader. Host leaders must be ASA members who have volunteered to participate. The host must be currently serving as a Chair of a surgery department, Center Director, Dean, or CEO, or an equivalent position. The academic leaders will be contacted by the Fellow and mutually agreed upon by the invited ASA host member. The program specifics of each visit will be determined by the host faculty and the Fellow.

Application Process
Each of the sponsoring societies (AWS, SAAS, SBAS, and SUS) must use a standard letter to seek nominations for the Fellowship. The following is an outline of the process:

  1. Prior to the anticipated start date, the sponsoring societies will complete a call for nominations from their members. Self-nominations will be permitted so long as the requirements are met.

  2. Requirements for potential Fellows
    1. Rank of Associate Professor (for a minimum of 3 years) or Professor.
    2. Board certification.
    3. Membership in the sponsoring society.
    4. ASA membership is optional.
    5. The candidate must have had either: educational courses in leadership either from the home institution or a national organization such as the ACS, SUS, AAS, SBAS, AAMC, etc.; or be enrolled in or have completed an MBA program.
    6. Preliminary Fellowship itinerary, including names of confirmed ASA members who have agreed to serve as host leaders.
    7. Two letters of reference:
      1. From the Department Chair. The sponsoring society and the ASA shall assume that, in supporting the candidate’s nomination, the Chair guarantees the availability of the candidate to travel for a period of two weeks within the award year and to cover any expenses incurred beyond the Grant.
      2. From a member of the Sponsoring Society.

  3. The sponsoring societies will alternate nominating opportunities in even and odd numbered years.
    1. For grant year 2023 and subsequent odd numbered years the nominating associations will be the Society of Black Academic Surgeons and the Society of University Surgeons.
    2. For grant year 2024 and the subsequent even numbered years, the nominating associations will be the Association of Women Surgeons and the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons.

  4. Applicants may submit a proposal to only one of these sponsoring societies. For example, a member of AWS and SAAS may only submit an application to one of these organizations. In addition, past recipients are ineligible to submit an application.

  5. Completed applications will be returned to the sponsoring society by May 31, 2022.

  6. Each sponsoring society will select three potential candidates by June 30th and so notify the ASA.

  7. The ASA Council will review the applications and by August 15th select a primary and alternate candidate to be the ASA Surgical Leader Fellow and then notify the sponsoring society and the candidates. The alternate will serve only if the primary candidate cannot begin the Fellowship in the designated year.

  8. Once appointed to the Fellowship, the Fellow will finalize their itinerary according to the following:
    1. Reconfirm dates with the ASA members who have agreed to serve as host leaders for the Fellowship year.
    2. The Fellowship will consist of one week each at two institutions.
    3. The ASA, the sponsoring society, and the Fellow's home institution will be notified of the itinerary prior to the Fellowship and no later than November 15th prior to the start date.
    4. If difficulties are encountered in finalizing an itinerary, the Fellow should contact the ASA Secretary.
    5. Although the Fellowship should be completed in one year, requests for extensions for up to one year may be made to the Secretary of the ASA.

  9. Each year two Fellowship grants of $5,000 ($2,500 each from the ASA and the sponsoring society) will be awarded to the Fellow's home institution upon receipt and confirmation of the itinerary. The home institution and/or Fellow will be responsible for any additional expenses incurred during the Fellowship.

  10. Upon completion of the Fellowship year, the report of the Fellow will be due by March 1st of the subsequent year. For example, if the Fellowship is completed in 2023, then the report will be due March 1, 2024.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2022