Hinchcliffe chosen as faculty mentor for national minority affairs initiative
Dr. Edward Hinchcliffe of The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota has been selected to serve over the next year as a faculty mentor under a national program aimed at promoting diversity in science.
Hinchcliffe, who leads the Institute’s Cellular Dynamics research section, will mentor a scientist through the American Society for Cell Biology’s minority affairs initiative called the Faculty Research and Education Development (FRED) program. Specifically, the program aims to promote grant funding success of junior faculty at institutions with a strong commitment to recruiting students from backgrounds underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to the field of cell biology.
“This is a great honor and I’m excited for the opportunity,” Hinchcliffe said. “This is a very visible, national program and highly competitive. The ASCB Minority Affairs Committee is one of the strongest and nationally visible organizations for promoting diversity in science.”
Over the next year in the federally funded training program, Hinchcliffe will serve as a mentor to Dr. Alexis Rodriguez, an assistant professor at Rutgers University in Newark, N.J. Hinchcliffe will give a seminar at Rutgers as well as host Rodriguez for a presentation at The Hormel Institute.
Under the program, a limited number of young scientists are selected to work with more-experienced, funded senior faculty at a research-intensive institution for a long-term structured mentoring relationship focused on preparation of a research or educational grant to be submitted to the National Science Foundation or comparable funding agency.
The ASCB mentoring program is focused on newly independent investigators who are senior postdoctoral scientists about to launch their own independent positions or untenured junior faculty members who have been in their current positions for no more than five years.
Minority professors and professors at colleges and universities with a high minority enrollment especially are encouraged to apply for the program, according to the ASCB.
The Hormel Institute has an extensive educational outreach initiative and Hinchcliffe is very active in supporting those efforts to promote science careers to young students from all backgrounds. He leads the Institute’s annual visit to Austin’s middle school to talk to all seventh-grade students about his research and to inspire careers in science.
As an organization, The Hormel Institute is highly diverse in its workforce, with scientists coming from all over the world, including from China, South Korea, Japan, Argentina, England, Russia and India.
Based in Bethesda, Md., the ASCB is an inclusive, international community of biologists who study the cell – the fundamental unit of life. The group is dedicated to advancing scientific discovery, advocating sound research policies, improving education, promoting professional development and increasing diversity in the scientific workforce.