The Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative was created to identify and support the next generation of leaders in this exciting, challenging, and multidisciplinary field. We invite you to explore this website to learn about the purpose, goals, and benefits of this initiative, find out something about us, get your questions answered through our FAQs, broaden your view of the field through the Knowledge Library, and then, consider applying to be a Fellow yourself. Applications have closed for the 2013 class, please check back periodically for information about the 2014 program.
“Biosecurity” refers to the policies and actions taken to protect the civilian and military populations against biological agents, whether the agent is intentionally released or naturally occurring. Pressing issues in biosecurity include antibiotic-resistant organisms, dual-use technologies, an ever-widening capacity to produce synthetic biothreats, and regulatory structures that are outpaced by scientific innovation. The field is complex and includes a broad range of disciplines that can offer fresh thinking. Advances in the life sciences present significant opportunities and challenges for the 21st century. Recognizing the need for critical expertise in biosecurity for the future, senior government leaders asked the UPMC Center for Health Security to establish the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative.
The Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative is a competitive program designed to create and sustain an energetic, multidisciplinary, and intergenerational biosecurity community made up of motivated young professionals as well as current leaders. Each year, this competitive program will select a group of Fellows who are talented career professionals from government, defense, private industry, science, public health, medicine, the social sciences, and academia. By participating in conferences, seminars, networking events, writing competitions, and educational webinars, Fellows will deepen their expertise, expand their professional contacts, and build their leadership skills. This is not a full-time fellowship, and Fellows can continue with their primary jobs and/or studies while they participate in the Initiative. The Initiative will cover most expenses related to participation.
In 2012, the Initiative selected the first class of 25 Fellows, the “best and brightest” of next generation biosecurity professionals, who demonstrate the capacity to make strong contributions to the field. An Executive Steering Committee made up of established leaders in the field provides strategic guidance to the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative.
Fellows in the Emerging Leaders Initiative have regular opportunities to interact with current leaders in the field who are working in government, national security, public health, biopharma, the social and life sciences, and medical and disaster response. Meetings, webinars, and other events and activities will be designed to facilitate candid discussions about current and anticipated biosecurity challenges and to afford Fellows the opportunity to contribute ideas to the scientific and policy communities.
Fellows are provided with an array of resources and experiences to advance their knowledge of key biosecurity issues and help them learn about careers in the field. Fellows will also receive a 1-year subscription to the leading journal in the field, Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science.
Webinar Series: Webinars feature information on key biosecurity topics and insight into various career paths. Senior experts from across the biosecurity spectrum lecture on current topics in biosecurity and discuss their own career pathways.
Annual Spring Workshop and Symposium in Washington, DC: This annual 2-day event offers professional networking opportunities among Fellows and seasoned biosecurity experts, fosters deliberations about critical issues in biosecurity, and provides a forum for learning about both key topics in biosecurity and potential career opportunities.
West Coast Seminar: Fellows participate in a 1.5-day seminar held on the West Coast. The seminar focuses on specific topics from leading biosecurity and biotechnology experts, provides selected Fellows with the chance to present their work, and allows Fellows to explore possible career opportunities in the field. In advance of the seminar, policy and science papers will be solicited from Fellows, and those with the strongest papers will be invited to present at the seminar and submit their papers for possible publication in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science.
Congressional Seminar Series: The Center for Biosecurity of UPMC hosts a seminar series on Capitol Hill that offers professional insight to Congressional staffers and policymakers on issues that are relevant to biosecurity legislation. If able to attend, Fellows can gain visibility on the legislative process.
Annual Yearbook: A yearbook is published annually to highlight Fellows and their accomplishments and alumni of the Initiative. The publication showcases promising talent for future positions in government and industry while also documenting the year’s activities.
Build the Network: Upon completion of the Fellowship, alumni will have opportunities to enhance professional relationships across disciplines and institutions through continued engagement in the Initiative’s network, an ongoing community composed of Fellows, alumni, and senior biosecurity experts.
(Please Note: The application process for 2013 is now closed.)
Eligible applicants must: 1) be citizens of the United States; 2) be currently enrolled in or have graduated from a masters or doctoral program in the past 3 years or have at least 1 year of professional experience in national security, public health, medicine, biotechnology, or a related field; and 3) submit a complete application.
There is a 5-step online application process:
Selection Criteria: Fellows will be selected based on the quality of their statement and essay, academic and/or professional accomplishments, and nominating letters.