As part of The Association of Medical Illustrator’s (AMI) commitment to further the use of visual media to advance life sciences, medicine, and healthcare, we are proud to announce the launch of the AMI Diversity Fellowship. Made possible by a grant through Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) Our Race to Health Equity (ORTHE) initiative, the AMI Diversity Fellowship will seed the creation of a new digital library to expand the depiction of racial and ethnic diversity in medical illustrations.

 

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The Fellowship represents a new investment in medical illustration and in artists themselves. Specifically, the Fellowship will result in the creation of a digital library to showcase a series of illustrations that will reflect skin tone diversity in a variety of patients with different health conditions. This new library will be made available for use by medical educators to train the next generation of healthcare professionals.

In addition, the fellowship will fund and nurture the training and education of ten illustrators of different racial and ethnic backgrounds so that they can help bring awareness to the importance of depicting race and ethnicity in medical illustration. For decades, a majority of the illustrations used in medical education have depicted mostly white, male, able-bodied figures. Through ongoing training, illustrators can help lead and facilitate public conversations about the importance of reflecting diversity in skin color in their work, raising individual and organizational awareness of this sensitivity among colleagues and peers.

The AMI Diversity Fellowship is an important part of a larger initiative by Johnson & Johnson to improve medical education and the clinical training of health care providers, address enduring racial biases in medicine, and promote health equity. Visualizing change is one of several ways to address these disparities. AMI is pleased to invest its expertise in answering this call to action. Through illustration, we can show and “make known” those who have been overlooked and minimized for too long.

The AMI, as the premier association of professionals who create visual media to communicate concepts in medicine, healthcare, and the life sciences, recognizes the impact of visual communications on the people and institutions who use them. We are proud to collaborate on Illustrate Change and launch the AMI Diversity Fellowship to support 10 medical artists in the creation of 100 new medical illustrations representing communities of color.

For 78 years, the AMI has supported the medical illustration community by setting professional standards and promoting the power of visual media to advance scientific discovery and to improve health literacy. AMI is a professional membership organization that hosts education, networking, professional development, and mentoring opportunities for innovators in biomedical visualization.

Learn more about membership here.

Please review details of the program, and if you have any questions or feedback, please direct those to AMI Diversity Fellowship Program Manager, Hannah DiLoreto (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Program Purpose

With the early work of the AMI Diversity Committee and now this new Fellowship, AMI continues to lead and evolve its commitment to promoting diversity in all forms in medical illustrations.

Through a generous grant from Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the Fellowship will:

  1. Seed the creation of a digital library - Illustrate Change - to showcase a series of illustrations that will reflect different skin tones and skin colors in a variety of patients with different health conditions. This new library will be made available for use by medical educators to train the next generation of healthcare professionals.
  2. Fund and nurture the training and education of ten illustrators of different racial and ethnic backgrounds so that they can help bring awareness to the importance of depicting race and ethnicity in medical illustration.

Over time the Fellowship will bring greater visibility to issues of health equity and increase the pipeline of medical and scientific illustrators from under-represented communities of color.

The AMI Diversity Fellowship is an important part of a larger initiative by Johnson & Johnson to improve medical education and the clinical training of health care providers, address enduring racial biases in medicine, and promote health equity.

Investment in Training and Education

The AMI Diversity Fellowship will center around the production of 100 diverse illustrations which will be available via the world’s first public non-commercial digital library, Illustrate Change.

Illustrate Change will be free to students and educators and is intended to increase and promote racial, ethnic, and skin tone diversity in medical illustrations focused on different health conditions and pathologies. An initial set of illustrations is currently under development by an independent illustrator as phase one of the project. Then, the library will be expanded considerably by contributions from the 10 medical illustrators who receive recognition as inaugural AMI Diversity Fellows.

Benefits of Fellowship

The AMI Diversity Fellowship will provide invaluable recognition and exposure to 10 illustrators selected as inaugural AMI Diversity Fellows. Recipients will be honored in various ways, with recognition provided from AMI and J&J via website coverage, communications and highlight videos. In addition, Diversity Fellows will receive a cash award, invaluable training, complimentary AMI membership and attendance and participation in the 2024 AMI Annual Conference. Additionally, recipients may choose to work with a mentor over the year of the Fellowship, if desired.

Ten applicants will be honored as an AMI Diversity Fellow and will receive:

  • Recognition and promotion as an AMI Diversity Fellow by AMI and J&J.
  • A cash award of $25,000
  • Extensive complimentary training opportunities in 2023 and part of 2024.
  • Complimentary one-year AMI membership for the 2024 membership cycle.
  • Complimentary attendance at the 2024 AMI Annual Conference, including travel and lodging.
  • Recognition at the 2024 AMI Annual Conference.
  • Single page ad in the Medical Illustration & Animation sourcebook and 50 portfolio images and animations on  Medical Illustration Sourcebook

How To Apply

The application period is now closed.

Medical illustrators interested in being considered for the AMI Diversity Fellowship will be selected through an online application process consisting of:

  • Specific application questions related to background, education and experience.
  • Personal statement and reflections on professional and or personal experience in diversity, equity and inclusion, including reflections on lived experience; Applicant should address these questions in no more than 1,000 words:

      a) Please describe your professional and or personal experience in diversity, equity and inclusion. Please feel free to reflect on your lived experience.
      b) How do you see your career in medical illustration evolving from this Fellowship?
      c) What is your vision for expanding racial diversity in medical illustration?

  • Portfolio featuring five work samples (Demonstrating diversity of skin color in samples is encouraged but not required.)
  • Two professional and/or personal references who can speak to the applicant’s work as a medical illustrator and experience with diversity, equity and inclusion, as applicable. (They may be colleagues, supervisors, mentors, faculty members, etc.)
  • References should address these questions in no more than 500 words.

      a) What impact has the applicant made to medical illustration?
      b) For what reasons do you think the candidate would be ideal for this fellowship program?

Eligibility Criteria and Review of Applications

The fellowship aims to increase the number of illustrators in the profession from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. We strongly encourage professionals from these identity groups and other underrepresented groups to apply. Students are not eligible due to time commitment requirements. (Those enrolled as students as of September 1, 2023 are not eligible to apply.) 

  1. All are welcome to apply (except students)
  2. Must be over 18 years of age.
  3. Must be highly proficient in English.
  4. Graduation from a medical illustration program and/or a minimum of 1-year of professional illustration experience required. Professional illustration experience is defined as an individual who receives compensation from medical illustration on a full- or part-time basis. Professional members are actively involved in the development and production of visual communications for medicine and the life sciences. Medical illustration may include not only direct production of visuals (illustrations, animations, models, interactive media) but also consultation, content creation, education, direction, and administration.
  5. Ability to participate fully for 15-20 hours per month (virtually and in-person) in the AMI Diversity Fellowship program including virtual training and mentorship opportunities, attendance at the 2024 AMI Annual Conference in July 16 – 20, 2024 and participation in or contrribution to other AMI activities during the fellowship year. Examples include writing a newsletter articles or participating in a webinar discussion about your experience in the fellowship.There is flexibility in how you might choose to contribute or participate in the AMI. Your individual contributions must be pre-approved by the  program manager for the fellowship.
  6. Ability to commit the time necessary to meet required monthly illustration milestones and deadlines during the fellowship period. A total of ten illustrations will be required to be produced over the year.
  7. Willing to comply with the J&J Copyright License Agreement  while participating as an AMI Diversity Fellow.
  8. Openness to learning, cooperation, and collaboration with medical reviewers.
  9. Must align with the principles and values of AMI and with the Fellowship's purpose and vision as more fully described in the  AMI Code of Ethics

Selection

Fellows will be selected based on the qualitative and quantitative criteria assigned to score the quality of the portfolio submitted, two professional and/or personal references, and responses to particular questions addressed in a personal statement. 

Applications will be reviewed by the AMI Diversity Fellowship Advisory Council composed of medical illustrators, esteemed members of the medical community, and representatives of affiliated organizations. The council will consist of five AMI members and five members outside of AMI.

If you need any reasonable accommodation to support your participation in the recruitment and selection process, please include this information in your application.

Expectations of Fellows

  1. Fellows will be expected to manage their own time for completing the illustrations monthly in coordination and collaboration with medical reviewers. The first illustration will be due by October 15, 2023. After that, one illustration will be due each month, resulting in the delivery of nine illustrations by June 30, 2024.
  2. You will be partnering with a clinical expert who will provide guidance on the medical content of illustrations. A medical review will be required for each illustration at the sketch phase.
  3. Fellows will be expected to abide by the values and principles of AMI along with the Fellowship’s purpose and vision in all aspects of the Fellow’s conduct including, without limitation, the Fellow’s use of social media and any other public appearances and communications.
  4. Illustrations will be featured on the dedicated J&J website on a rolling basis as they are completed.
  5. An AMI technical advisor will be available to offer guidance if an illustrator would like that support.
  6. Once selected, Fellows will be asked to depict certain diseases or health conditions in their 10 illustrations based on a list provided by J&J.
  7. Fellows will be expected to deliver illustrations as specified by J&J for the digital library.

Illustrations and the Digital Library

Over the Fellowship year, each Fellow will be expected to complete 10 illustrations to be featured in J&J’s new digital library.

Fellows will be asked to depict certain pathologies or conditions in their 10 illustrations based on a list provided by J&J.

  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology
  • General Health
  • GI-Hepatology
  • Maternal Health
  • Oncology
  • Rheumatology

Specifications

Completed illustrations will need to meet the following specifications:


fellowship portfolio image specifications

Promotion

Announcements about the application period will appear in AMI’s HUB, social media, and press releases, among other communications. AMI and J&J will share information about the AMI Diversity Fellowship within their established networks.

Important Deadlines

Application: The AMI Diversity Fellowship application will open on June 20, 2023 and will close on August 1, 2023 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time Fellowship Application

Announcement of Fellows: AMI Diversity Fellows will be announced in early September 2023.

Illustrations Due: For applicants who are selected as an AMI Diversity Fellow, the first illustration will be due by October 15, 2023 . After that, one illustration will be due each month, resulting in the delivery of nine illustrations by June 30, 2024. You’ll be partnering with a clinical expert who will provide guidance on the medical content of illustrations. A medical review will be required for each illustration at the sketch phase.

Onsite Recognition: Fellows will be recognized formally at the 2024 AMI Annual Conference on July 16 – 20, 2024.

Contacts

Press and organizational inquiries: Jill Gregory, AMI President, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Press and organizational inquiries: Jennifer Duckworth, AMI Executive DIrector, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Application and eligibility inquiries: Julie Sutter, AMI Program Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FAQs

For more information please review the FAQs here.