FORWARD Program

The Fostering Opportunities Resulting in Workforce and Research Diversity (FORWARD) Program supports physician-scientists from underrepresented populations, building on AGA’s longstanding commitment to advancing diversity in the biomedical science research workforce.

The FORWARD program is supported by the NIDDK of the NIH (award number R25DK118761).

FORWARD Program call for applications

The FORWARD Program, an AGA leadership pathway, prepares physician-scientists from underrepresented populations for a successful career in academic medicine with leadership development, research and management skills training from top GI investigators, and a new network of peers and leaders from underrepresented populations to learn from.

Check out highlights from the FORWARD Program Class of 2019-2021.

Top five reasons to apply

  • Grow your mentoring and mentee relationship skills with senior and peer mentors.

  • Network with fellow underrepresented population leaders who are shaping the future of academic medicine.

  • Develop leadership skills that will help you advance in academic medicine and AGA governance with executive coaching and experience-building opportunities.

  • Strengthen your research and management skills with training from esteemed researchers in an ongoing learning environment.

  • Polish your grant and manuscript writing skills with active feedback and support from top GI investigators.

  • A current AGA member in North America.
  • The applicant should work in the broad field of digestive disease disorders (gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas, biliary tract, liver) in areas such as physiology, microbiome, immunology, nutrition, neoplasia, population science, surgery, endoscopy, pediatric GI, disparities-related research and other digestive disease related areas.
  • A GI fellow or early career GI from an underrepresented population (as defined by NIH and within 10 years of graduation) in an academic institution with an advanced degree such as MD, PhD, DVM or DO.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or individual lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of award selection.
  • A GI fellow or served as an assistant professor or instructor within the first five years of their faculty appointment.

Hear from our Scholars

Mentors

  • Maria Abreu, MD, AGAF
  • C. Richard Boland, MD, AGAF
  • John Carethers, MD, AGAF
  • Darwin Conwell, MD, MS
  • Marcia Cruz-Correa, MD, PhD, AGAF
  • Hashem E. El-Serag, MD, MPH, AGAF
  • Gail Hecht, MD, MS, AGAF
  • John Inadomi, MD, AGAF
  • David A. Lieberman, MD, AGAF
  • Jorge Marrero, MD, MS, AGAF
  • Robert Sandler, MD, MPH, AGAF

Scholars

  • Yelina Alvarez, MD, PhD
  • Dominique Bailey, MD
  • Veroushka Ballester, MD, MSc
  • Oriana Damas, MD
  • Patricia Jones, MD, MSCR
  • Antonio Mendoza-Ladd, MD
  • Folasade (Fola) May, MD, PhD, MPhil
  • Akinbowale (Akin) Oyalowo, MD
  • Nneka Ufere, MD
  • Eric J. Vargas, MD
  • Maria Abreu, MD, AGAF
  • C. Richard Boland, MD, AGAF
  • John Carethers, MD, AGAF
  • Darwin Conwell, MD, MS
  • Gail Hecht, MD, MS, AGAF
  • John Inadomi, MD, AGAF
  • David A. Lieberman, MD, AGAF
  • Jorge Marrero, MD, MS, AGAF
  • Anil K. Rustgi, MD, AGAF
  • Robert Sandler, MD, MPH, AGAF
  • Gary D. Wu, MD, AGAF

Important dates

Sept. 17 – Oct. 18, 2021

Call for applications

Oct. 31, 2021

Candidate Virtual Interviews

Jan. 31, 2022

Virtual Pre-Program Orientation

March 18-19, 2022

Academic Skills Workshop

Program chairs

Byron Cryer

Byron Cryer, MD

Professor of Medicine Texas Southwestern Medical School

M. Bishr Omary, MD, PhD, AGAF

M. Bishr Omary, MD, PhD, AGAF

Senior Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs and Research Rutgers University Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine

Juanita Merchant, MD

Chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology University of Arizona Tucson

Jesus Rivera-Nieves, MD, AGAF

Professor of Medicine UC San Diego Health