In the spring of 2020, encouraged by member CEOs, ARM established the Action for Equality (AFE) Task Force to determine concrete steps ARM and its members could take to ally with the movement for racial equality and address the underrepresentation of Black employees within the regenerative medicine workforce. The AFE Task Force recognized that the representation of minority populations, in particular the Black population, is significantly below those populations’ representation in broader society. A report released by BIO in January 2020, for example, found that Black Americans comprise only 4% of biotechnology company workforces while making up over 13% of the US population.
Thanks to the work of the AFE Task Force, ARM is launching the GROW Internship Program to provide crucial, early-career paid opportunities in the regenerative medicine sector, initially to Black students and over time to a broader minority population. ARM represents nearly 380 organizations in the cell, gene, and tissue-based therapies sector that target a range of diseases and disorders, many of which affect the Black community. ARM convenes the diverse stakeholders in our community to tackle key issues limiting the progress of the sector and the delivery of transformational therapies to patients. ARM and the AFE Task Force believe that improving the representation of Black employees at ARM member organizations and cultivating a community of these future leaders is fundamental to achieving the full promise of our work.
When will the program launch?
The first class of interns will be selected in the spring of 2021 and take part in an internship over the summer of 2021.
Is the program global?
For 2021, all GROW internships will be in the United States.
How many years of education should students have completed to qualify for the GROW internship?
We expect employers to create internships for rising junior and rising senior undergraduates as well as graduate students.
Is this internship focused only on STEM fields?
We anticipate that many of the opportunities will be technical in nature, but we also expect internship opportunities outside of STEM fields, such as in finance, patient advocacy, or marketing.
What is the ultimate goal?
Our goal is to increase the proportion of Black employees and executives in ARM member organizations and to build a strong and ongoing community of GROW interns.
What will GROW offer interns?
- Earning while learning: Interns will be paid, with some employers offering housing, relocation and travel support.
- Build community: Interns will be part of an intern class and given a chance to connect with their peers at several points throughout the internship.
- Professional development: Interns will participate in an ARM-organized kick-off session, a two day in-person professional development event, and a closing session with their class. Post-internship, interns will be given the chance to reconnect with their class and engage with industry leaders at the annual Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa the October following their internship, free of charge.
What will GROW offer employers?
- Build a network: Employers will have a chance to work with other sector leaders to advance representation and equality across the regenerative medicine field and within their own organization
- Tap into an extensive talent pool: Employers will gain access to a larger group of potential interns and a robust internship infrastructure by participating in GROW while being able to leverage the benefits of a program designed for a class of interns, with check-ins and professional development
- Intern screening: GROW will interview interns to ensure employers receive candidates matching their job requirements and criteria.
- Support: GROW will link intern managers, and provide them with tools and training to support a successful internship experience for all involved
How will recruitment work?
- Fall 2020: ARM member organizations will establish internship opportunities specifically for GROW interns, and ARM will promote the program with the help of partnerships and programs, such as Howard University and the American Society of Microbiology..
- Winter 2020: The roster of internship opportunities will be shared with internship candidates in the winter, with applications due in February. Recruitment for the first intern class will model the “matching process” that occurs with medical schools, where the chosen interns will be able to highlight their top three participating organizations, and organizations will highlight their top three intern selections.
- Spring 2021: Once the matching process is complete, ARM will match each preference to the best of its ability, providing a chance for matched interns and member-employers to interview each other. Employers and interns will then make their selections.
How to participate:
If you are a student interested in participating in the GROW internship program, please contact Rashida Dujue-Jackson (email@example.com).