Women's Leadership Development Program
The Women's Leadership Development Program provides emerging women leaders within the ARVO membership a highly interactive, year-long learning experience focused on leadership skill development and facilitating leadership opportunities and networking within ARVO. The program started in 2016 and hosts 9-12 participants and their mentors (men and women) each year.
Eligible participants include early- to mid-career female scientists who are in a faculty/tenure-track (or equivalent) position for not more than 10 years and who have been ARVO members for at least three consecutive years at time of application.
2021 - 2022 program timeline
The application for the 2020 - 2021 program year is now closed.
- Application opens Sept. 1, 2020
- Application closes Oct. 31, 2020
- Applicants notified Dec. 2020
- Program begins Apr. 30, 2021
- Program concludes Apr. 2022
In-person kick-off program and alumni reception
Participants meet their mentors and past participants in the program in person the Friday before the ARVO Annual Meeting
Monthly discussion topics facilitated by guest speakers
Includes live video chats with well-known leaders in the field and supplemental web-based written discussion.
Topics include themes such as:
- Finding Your Strengths
- Building and Maintaining Your Network
- Time Management & Maximizing Your Productivity
- Positioning Yourself Internally and Externally
- People Management
- ARVO Service Opportunities
One-on-one guidance from a mentor
Participants meet monthly with their assigned mentors for individualized support during the program year.
The Women's Leadership Development Program aims to prepare more women to serve in leadership roles within ARVO and within their academic insititutions.
- After participating in the program, 73% of the 2018-2019 class plans to pursue a leadership role at their institution within the next two years.
- Of current program alumni, 62% are currently serving on an ARVO committee.
Who should apply to be a participant/mentee?
Early- to mid-career female scientists who are:
- In a faculty/tenure-track or equivalent position for not more than 10 years
- Have been ARVO members for at least three (3) consecutive years at time of application (i.e. active membership in 2018, 2019, and 2020) and who will maintain active membership throughout the program
- Interested in future leadership positions within ARVO
- Eager and able to commit to active participation in the program, including:
- Attending a day-long face-to-face kickoff program the Friday before the ARVO 2021 Annual Meeting (April 30, 2021 in San Francisco, CA)
- Monthly or more frequent interactions with her assigned mentor
- Engaging and collaborating with program class and program alumni via topical discussions in a dedicated ARVOConnect community
- Requesting their institution's support of the $500 program fee
Program fee for particpants:
To help support the operating costs of the program, mentee participants’ home institutions are expected to support their faculty with a $500 participation fee and the costs associated with the extended/early stay at the ARVO Annual Meeting that is required for the kick-off program.
A brief letter of support from the mentee’s department chair, or other appropriate institutional representative will be requested within the application form that acknowledges the program fee and mentee’s participation in the program.
There is no cost to apply for volunteer mentors.
Who should apply to be a mentor?
Any ARVO member (men and women) who:
- Have been an active ARVO member for at least five (5) past consecutive years who will maintain active membership throughout the program
- Have served in ARVO volunteer/leadership roles, such as committee, or editorial board service
- Want to help develop future ARVO leaders with the goal of gender parity in ARVO leadership
- Can commit to attending a face-to-face kickoff program the Friday before the ARVO 2021 Annual Meeting (April 30, 2021 in San Francisco, CA); ARVO will reimburse one night’s hotel stay for each mentor
The 2020-2021 Women's Leadership Development Program is sponsored by Aerie Pharmaceuticals through the ARVO Foundation with additional support from the Ramesh and Brenda Tripathi Vision Research Fund and funds raised at the annual Women in Eye and Vision Research (WEAVR) Luncheon.
2020-2021 Program Sponsor
With additional support from:
Stela Vujosevic, MD, PhD, FEBO, Year 1 Participant
"This program was a great opportunity to meet leaders in ARVO, and to increase my network of colleagues and friends in the ARVO community. You will learn to take risks, celebrate overcoming certain mindsets, and how to approach doubt. You can enhance your short and long term goals using advice from your mentor and the other participants in the program. There is such value in having an open space to share and learn from a range of women’s different experiences."