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The following are frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to the AMI Diversity Fellowship of 2023-2024, a partnership with Johnson & Johnson called Illustrate Change.

Purpose & Background

What is the purpose of the AMI Diversity Fellowship?

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. Ten illustrators will be selected for the Fellowship program, and each will be responsible for producing ten medical illustrations (not photographs) reflecting certain pathologies or conditions. Fellows will have some flexibility to choose the pathologies and conditions to focus on.

Illustrations produced by the ten Fellows will be featured on a dedicated website hosted by J&J called Illustrate Change and illustrators will be recognized by J&J and the AMI during the fellowship year.

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

  • Seed the creation of a digital library 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.
  • 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.

How did AMI learn about the opportunity to apply for a Johnson & Johnson grant?
In October of 2022, AMI was approached by Dr. Susan Nicholson, former VP Health of Women with Johnson & Johnson. J&J had recently finalized plans for the launch of Illustrate Change and were looking for a partner with widespread reach and expertise to support the expansion of the illustrations on the website and help promote the awareness of the need for illustration diversification within the field.
Who is eligible to apply for the Diversity Fellowship?
Generally, the AMI Diversity Fellowship is open to AMI members and nonmembers who are professional medical and scientific illustrators, defined as those who receive compensation from medical illustration on a full- or part-time basis. Please see the full list of requirements below.
What are the benefits of the AMI Diversity Fellowship?

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.
  • 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. (Registration fees, travel and accommodations for Fellows to attend the AMI Annual Meeting in July 2024 will be included in the fellowship.)
  • 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
Will there be funding for a second cohort of AMI Diversity Fellows in 2024?
We do not have funding for a second cohort of fellows for 2024-2025. It is not known whether additional funding will be available.
The AMI Diversity Fellowship is Phase Two of the Illustrate Change project, what does the rest of the project entail?

J&J’s Illustrate Change Initiative is part of their larger program, Our Race to Health Equity, a five-year commitment by J&J to invest in health equity and to chart a course toward a more equitable healthcare ecosystem. Specifically, J&J has partnered with AMI given our shared vision to expand diversity within medical illustration. J&J is partnering with other illustrators, medical associations, universities, innovation consultants, publishers, internet search engines, large event producers and others to ensure that the diversification of medical illustrations is a widespread movement that initiates long-term change. The AMI Diversity Fellowship is only one component of J&J’s efforts to make diverse images readily available to educators, students, and patients.

The AMI is proud to play an integral part in the collaboration by providing esteemed illustrators an opportunity to showcase their diverse work and gain invaluable training, networking, and exposure opportunities through the AMI Diversity Fellowship.

Where is the money coming from? Will any of my membership dues go toward the project?

AMI received an initial grant of $300,000 to develop and administer the AMI Diversity Fellowship. Another commitment of funds in excess of $150,000 is anticipated as phase 2 funding from J&J. None of the costs to administer the grant come directly from AMI, and the proceeds of the grant cover all other expenses associated with administering the program including but not limited to:

  • Strategic consultant fees
  • Advisory council stipend
  • Administrative execution
  • Awards
  • Application software
  • Marketing and public relations costs
  • Video promotion of Fellows
  • Technology needs
  • Affiliated speaking events
  • Training and education costs
Who is overseeing the AMI Diversity Fellowship?
To ensure the AMI Diversity Fellowship is created with the utmost fairness, and executed to the highest level, a portion of the grant funding was provided to hire a strategic consultant to provide oversight of the fellowship’s development. The consultant has extensive experience in creating philanthropic programs with a focus on equity and social change and has vast knowledge of how to create and execute diversity fellowships across various sectors. The strategic consultant has worked with the AMI Executive Director and Program Manager to develop and execute the Diversity Fellowship program.

Eligibility Requirements, Expectations & Applying for the AMI Diversity Fellowship

What are the requirements to be eligible for the AMI Diversity Fellowship?
Fellowship Eligibility Criteria

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 contribution 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 preapproved by the program manager.
  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 licensing agreement while participating as an AMI Diversity Fellow. Preview the license agreement here.
  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 describes in the AMI Code of Ethics.
How do you apply for the AMI Diversity Fellowship?

To apply, please complete an online application at https://awards.ami.org/.

The application contains different sections. You will need to be prepared to submit:

  • A brief resume or curriculum vitae that describes your experience as an illustrator. It may not be more than three pages.
  • Five samples of illustrations - Please be prepared to submit a portfolio containing 5 samples of your work. Demonstrating diversity of skin color in your samples is not required but is encouraged.
  • Two references: Please share these questions with your references so they have time to prepare their responses. Your references will be expected to address these questions in no more than 500 words: (1) What impact has the applicant made to medical illustration? (2) For what reasons do you think the candidate would be ideal for this fellowship program
  • A personal statement - Please be prepared to describe why you think you should be selected for this Fellowship within a 1,000-word limitation: Please describe your professional and or personal experience in diversity, equity and inclusion. Please feel free to reflect on your lived experience. i.e., How do you see your career in medical illustration evolving from this Fellowship? What is your vision for expanding racial diversity in medical illustration?
  • Acknowledgement that you have read and understand expectations as laid out in certain documents:
    1. AMI Code of Ethics: You will be asked to sign an acknowledgment that you have read this document and understand that each applicant’s values are expected to align with the values of the AMI Diversity Fellowship and with AMI as demonstrated by the applicant’s behavior in using social media and in engaging with other public media.
    2. Copyright licensing agreement that each selected Fellow will be required to sign regarding rights to the illustrations in J&J’s digital library. You can view that agreement here.

In addition, you will be required to identify social channels pertaining to your professional work and career, as applicable. Broadly, the AMI Diversity Fellowship seeks to improve medical education and the clinical training of health care providers, address enduring racial biases in medicine, and promote health equity. If selected as a Fellow, you will be expected to model behaviors consistent with respect for and tolerance of others regardless of age, gender, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin or religious beliefs.(Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Website)

How long is the AMI Diversity Fellowship?
The fellowship year is one year in length. It begins on September 1, 2023 and concludes on August 31, 2024.
What is the deadline to apply for the AMI Diversity Fellowship?
The AMI Diversity Fellowship application will open on June 20, 2023 and will close on August 1, 2023 at 5 pm Eastern Time.

Review of Applications & Selection Process

How will the Diversity Fellows be selected?

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. Two appointed co-chairs will lead and facilitate the Advisory Council.

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

Will the Advisory Council members be paid?
Yes, with the exception of the staff and AMI BOG representatives, AMI Diversity Fellowship Advisory Council members will be paid a stipend in exchange for the time and expertise required to participate. It is AMI’s primary goal to establish a reputable program, grounded in fairness and prestige. A portion of the grant funding be provided as a stipend to participating council members.
When will Fellows be selected and announced?
AMI Diversity Fellows will be selected and announced in early September 2023.
May members of the Advisory Council serve as AMI Diversity Fellows?
No, members of the Advisory Council are not eligible for the Fellowship.

Deliverables Under the Fellowship -- Illustrations & Technical Specifications

Will the illustrations provided by the Diversity Fellows be reviewed?
Yes, J&J will provide a medical reviewer/clinician to review submitted artwork and ensure the accuracy of illustrations submitted. A portion of grant funding is allocated to medical review to ensure the timely and quality inspection of illustrations. Fellows will have the opportunity to collaborate and confer with an AMI technical advisor if they would like guidance as they are developing the illustrations.
When will the Diversity Fellows need to complete their illustrations?
Selected AMI Diversity Fellows will be announced in early September. The first of 10 illustrations must be completed by October 15, 2023. At least one additional illustration must be submitted each month. A total of ten illustrations will be due by June 30, 2024. (A medical review will be required for each illustration at the sketch phase.)
If I am selected as an AMI Diversity Fellow, what rights to my illustrations will I be giving to Johnson & Johnson?
A copy of the license agreement outlining rights provided to J&J is available here. Applicants are strongly encouraged to carefully review the agreement prior to submitting an application.Preview the license agreement here.
How long is the AMI Diversity Fellowship?
The fellowship year is one year in length. It begins on September 1, 2023 and concludes on August 31, 2024.
What are the requirements for producing the illustrations for the J&J digital library, Illustrate Change?
Fellows will be expected to deliver illustrations under specifications outlined by J&J for presentation on the digital library, Illustrate Change: fellowship portfolio image specifications
What are the deadlines governing the AMI Diversity Fellowship?

There are several important deadlines in place:

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

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. AMI will cover expenses for Fellows’ airfare, hotel accommodations, and meal expenses to attend this conference.

Where should I direct questions related to the Diversity Fellowship?
Questions about the Fellowship should be directed to AMI's Diversity Fellowship Program Manager, Julie Sutter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..