Promising Leaders Program Scholarship

Promising Leaders Program

The Society of University Surgeons (SUS), the Society of Black Academic Surgeons (SBAS), the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST), and the Society for the Surgery of the Alimentary Track (SSAT),  have come together to collaborate on a leadership training program with the goal of increasing underrepresented minorities in medicine (URMM) in leadership roles in surgery and medicine.  To accomplish this, we will support a total of 5 individuals to participate in a 2-year program built around professional coaching and 3 separate leadership courses.  Over the two years, fellows will participate in the SUS Mid-Career course, the SBAS Leadership and Faculty Development Institute, and the SUS Leadership Agility Program. Participants may need to attend additional events at the discretion of the sponsoring society.  In addition to these offerings, the participants will engage in professional coaching.  The total cost of participation will be $12,000 per individual.  The group will offer 5 awards of $6,000 each with the expectation that the sponsoring institution will match funds to cover the remaining costs as well as travel and lodging at the various meetings.

This program is funded with support from SUS, SBAS, SAGES, and EAST.


  • Eligible applicants are any individual who by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or any other personal identification is an underrepresented voice in academic surgery.
  • Be an academic surgeon appointed at the Assistant or Associate Professor level at least seven years out from terminal training program at time of award.
  • Actively maintain leadership-related career goals.
  • Demonstrate commitment with support from Department Chair to complete all program requirements.

 Program Requirements

  • Complete program orientation via webinar (April 2022).
  • Attendance and participation as a participant/speaker/discussant/advisor to participants at SBAS Leadership and Faculty Development Institute on September 15, 2022 AND 2023 (date TBD).
  • Attendance at the SUS Leadership Agility Program in Chicago, IL in September 20-23, 2022 or attendance at the Leadership Agility Program in 2023 (date to be announced).
  • Attendance at the EAST Leadership Development Workshop on January 17, 2023 (required for EAST participant, optional for other fellows).
  • Attendance at the SUS Mid-Career Academic Surgery Professional Development Course on February 6, 2023.
  • Virtual Final Wrap Up in Early 2024.
  • Active engagement in mentoring process.
  • Active engagement in executive coaching process including assessments and monthly coaching meetings.
  • Completion of all program evaluations and long-term follow-up.

The award funds (including the matching institutional funds) are meant to cover: Registration, lodging and transportation fees for all of the above courses, participation in the executive coaching program, and SUS processing and administrative fees. Please note that the registration fee for the SUS Leadership Agility Program includes lodging and meals but participants are required to provide their own transportation for this course.

Apply - Deadline April 15, 2022

1. Complete online application form - CLOSED - Deadline was April 15, 2022
2. 300 word essay describing interest in the program, accomplishments to date and personal goals
3. Letter of support from department chair confirming commitment for release time to fulfill program requirements
4. One additional recommendation letter
5. Curriculum Vitae

EAST Scholarship Recipients

2022 - Jennifer Hartwell, MD
2019 - Dirk Johnson, MD