Updated October 21, 2019

Program summary:  The ASPB Ambassador Program was established to involve students, post-docs and industry scientists in communicating ASPB’s mission to plant biologists and to the general public.  The program provides opportunities for networking and development of leadership and science communication skills.

The Ambassador program will become self-governing starting in January 2019 by a committee called the Ambassador Alliance.  Officers for the first year will be appointed by the Membership Committee, but will be elected by Ambassadors after that.  By-laws for the program provide more detail about the Ambassador Alliance.

Program Requirements.  The Ambassador program is open to members of ASPB who are students, post-docs or work in Industry.  Ambassadors must complete at least 2 activities to encourage people to engage with ASPB and/or to communicate the importance of plant sciences, such as ones described on the list below.  In addition, they must complete a leadership training (1-hour webinar or similar training) and provide a 1-2-page report at the end of the year.

Partial list of approved activities (pick 2 or suggest an alternative).  Note:  The starred activities will be counted as 2 activities.

  • Attend and volunteer at the Plant Biology annual meeting or an ASPB section meeting
  • Start or contribute to a discussion in the Ambassador’s network on Plantae
  • Start or contribute to a discussion on Plantae within any network
  • Serve on an ASPB committee*
  • Serve on the Ambassador Alliance (described in the bylaws)*
  • Contribute a blog post to the ASPB Plant Science Today blog
  • Participate in at least one education or outreach activity
  • Participate in at least one activity with the goal of spreading ASPB’s mission and recruiting new members
  • Write an article for ASPB News, i.e. Luminaries, Member Corner, etc.
  • Create a video or podcast on a science related topic to be available through Plantae*
  • Recruit new ambassadors
  • Other activities can be used with prior approval of the ASPB staff and/or Membership Committee
  • REQUIRED: Participate in at least one leadership training opportunity provided by ASPB (see below).
  • REQUIRED: Maintain ASPB membership – Ambassadors must be current ASPB members
  • REQUIRED: Submit a 1 page report detailing activities and what was learned. Reports will be due mid-November each year from all ambassadors that have been an Ambassador for at least 9 months.  Newer Ambassadors may submit reports if they have done anything they wish to report on.  Reports will be written statements submitted to the Ambassador Secretary, who will combine them into one report for review by the Membership Committee and ASPB staff.  A checklist on what to include in the report will be provided (attached).

Recognition

For each year that the Ambassador completes the required activities, they will receive a certificate of participation and a chance to compete for Ambassador of the Year.  The Ambassador of the Year will receive a travel grant to attend the next Plant Biology meeting as well as 1 year of free ASPB membership.  ASPB staff can also supply a reference letter for Ambassadors when requested.

The following opportunities will be available to Ambassadors (some are available to a limited number of participants, and will be assigned on a first-come basis):

  • An official ASPB Ambassador name badge to use when representing ASPB.
  • Free registration to one ASPB regional section meeting.  At each section meeting, Ambassadors in attendance may be asked to give a presentation, assist or manage a table/booth of ASPB materials or otherwise be a representative from ASPB.  These tasks will be shared by the Ambassadors present.
  • Discounted registration (50% off) to the Plant Biology Annual meeting.
  • Hands-on learning programs that include leadership training sessions, mentoring and workshops to develop leadership skills and an understanding of organizations and how they are managed.
  • Opportunity to prepare a science/research related video or podcast to be available on Plantae.  Topic and timing must be approved prior to beginning work.
  • Individual Virtual mentoring/resume review session with an established plant science professional.  ASPB staff will make connections between Ambassadors and professionals as requested by the Ambassador
  • Private online group network for ongoing discussions and Q&A.
  • Opportunity to serve on one ASPB committee – this is not a guarantee that all Ambassadors can serve on a committee, but we will assist those who are interested in working with the committees to find a place for them. There is a goal of having an Ambassador on each appropriate committee, this may take time and is up to the discretion of the presidents and committee chairs.
  • Opportunity to submit an article to the Plantae blog for editorial feedback and support, with the possibility of publication, especially regarding their activities as a leader in the plant science community or a representative of ASPB.
  • Opportunity to interview established professionals for the Luminaries articles in ASPB News.
  • Opportunity to apply for some funding to assist with Ambassador activities.  A limited budget will be available that the Ambassador Committee will be able to provide to individual Ambassadors.

Application process:

Applications may be submitted through the online application system and will require the following information/documentation.

  • 2 recommendation letters that address leadership skills and academics; one must be from the major professor (academic) or current supervisor (industry).
  • A current CV or resume
  • Responses to the following questions:
    • What do you hope to gain from the Ambassador program?
    • Give an example of a time you showed leadership
    • Give an example of a way you could help spread the ASPB message and brand
  • Sign an agreement to adhere to the conditions and rules of the program

Applications to the program will reopen in December 2019.  They will be reviewed by the Ambassador Alliance together with the Membership Committee Chair and the appropriate ASPB Staff.