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SOCS Mission: To promote awareness of and excellence within skin of color dermatology through research, education, mentorship and advocacy. We are committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in the field of dermatology to advance patient care.

MENTORSHIP: We value mentorship as a leadership development tool to foster a diverse workforce at all levels, developing and empowering future leaders in the field.

SOCS Mentorship Program

The SOCS Mentorship Program is a comprehensive program that connects young physicians and medical students with an approved skin of color expert from SOCS. The Mentorship Program is now open to medical students. Residents can serve as both a mentor (to medical students) AND as a mentee (matched with a practicing dermatologist).

Application Timeline

Applications open in late Summer and are due in the Fall.
Specific dates are TBD.

Mentor-Mentee Benefits

  • Build positive working relationships
  • Acquire and share new knowledge and skills in skin of color
  • Collaborate in research opportunities in skin of color
  • Enjoy networking opportunities with other skin of color experts
  • Share mentorship experience with the SOCS membership and dermatology community

Please review the eligibility criteria before submitting your applications.

Who is eligible to be a Mentee?

Individuals who maintain active membership in SOCS with up-to-date dues payment.


Are either medical students, dermatology residents, or fellows/young dermatologists who have completed their residency within the last three years.

Who is eligible to be a Mentor?

Individuals who maintain active membership in SOCS with up-to-date dues payment.


They should be practicing dermatologists or dermatology residents.

Note: Residents have the opportunity to serve as both mentors (to medical students) and mentees (matched with practicing dermatologists).

Observership Grant

The SOCS Observership Grant awards up to $2,000 USD grants to dermatology residents, medical students (2nd-4th year), and junior faculty to enable study with a SOCS mentor identified by the applicant. Grants are intended for travel, room and board as needed to establish and facilitate the mentoring relationship. 

This observership program is intended to:

  • To enable young physicians and scientists to acquire additional academic or research skills that will further their careers as leaders in skin of color dermatology
  • The grant is to sponsor a 1-4 week rotation
  • Observership is to be completed sometime during March of the year the grant is received through the February of the next year

Application Timeline:

Applications open in late Summer and are due in the Fall.
Specific dates are TBD.

Applicant Eligibility

  • Member or pending-member of the Skin of Color Society. Not a member? Apply today!
  • Dermatology residents
  • Dermatology fellows
  • Young dermatologists fewer than 4 years since completing residency
  • Medical students (2nd, 3rd and 4th year)
  • NOTE: Applicants must disclose if already participating in a paid fellowship at specified location. Failure to disclose may impact application acceptance. Students must prove that they will be engaging in a rotation “unique” to their already established research year. These will be reviewed by the Mentorship Committee on a case-by-case basis.
  • Applicants must identify their observership mentor and location in the application form.
  • Awarded applicants are required to be a member in good standing throughout the observership program period i.e. from application process until completion of the observership. Good standing means the mentee must pay membership dues in the year they are applying as well as the timeframe in which they are receiving mentorship. Disbursement of funds will be held until awardee is in good standing.

Application Process

Applications must include:

  • Completed application form
  • Budget outlining travel, lodging, food, and other expenses to be incurred (up to a maximum of $2,000USD)
  • Statement of purpose
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • A letter from the proposed mentor to include a statement of willingness to provide the time necessary for this mentorship, any significant and pertinent details of the planned mentorship, and a specific mention of whether the time frame and budget are appropriate for the proposed mentorship. Mentor must be a member of SOCS.
    • A letter from the residency program director, department chair or a faculty member attesting to the applicant’s character and potential to benefit from the mentorship.
  • Disclosure if currently participating in a research year or fellowship at the specified observership location. Failure to disclose may impact application acceptance.

Accepted applications:

  • Confirmation, including rotation dates, from both the student and the mentor is required for the disbursement of funds.

Observership Requirements

  • 6-month update to SOCS on status of observership upon request.
  • Completion of short survey (post-observership).
  • A one-page written report by the applicant summarizing the experience and what was learned is required after the mentorship has been completed, along with a photograph of the mentee and mentor together, for possible publication on the SOCS website, annual meeting report, and social media.

This program is being supported by:

spectrum logo elta

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Diversity in Clinical Research Mentoring Program

The Skin of Color Society, in conjunction with the NMA Dermatology Section, is proud to present the Diversity in Clinical Research (DiCR) Mentorship Program.

This mentorship program is intended to:

  • Develop the skills of the dermatology investigators of tomorrow
  • Offer support to the underrepresented minority (URM) investigators
  • Propel the career development of mentee
  • Provide an experience that mirrors conducting industry-sponsored research
  • Acquire the knowledge needed to run a successful and high-quality research program

DiCR Mentorship Program Overview

We believe a diverse research workforce is essential, as it builds trust for clinical research in underserved populations.

The DiCR Mentorship program will select 7-10 board-certified dermatologists (mentees) from racial/ethnic groups underrepresented in medicine with little or no clinical trials experience. They will receive a didactic online course (Phase I) an in-person 8 hour training (Phase II), and longitudinal mentorship experience (Phase III) .

Mentees will be required to successfully complete Phase I of the program in order to move onto subsequent phases.

Phase I: Online Course (NMA Dermatology Section): April 6-July 20, 2024

Mentees will participate in an 8-part online course (Foundations & Principles of Clinical Trials). These 2-hour sessions will run every Saturday from April 6th through July 20th.

Topics include:

  • Introduction Basic Clinical Research
  • Drug Development Process
  • FDA Code of Federal Regulations
  • International Council of Harmonization: Good Clinical Practices
  • Institutional Review Board/Independent Ethics Committee
  • Investigational New Drug Safety Reporting
  • Implementing Protocols and working with Clinical Research Associates
  • Dermatology Protocol Review

Phase II: In-Person Training/Meet Your Mentor: Friday, August 2, 2024 | New York, NY

After successful completion of Phase I course work, mentees will attend an 8-hour in-person training on August 2nd at the New York Hilton Midtown & Sheraton in New York, NY.

Travel stipend: SOCS will provide a travel stipend to cover airfare and 2 nights hotel accommodation, provided selected mentees submit their travel expenses. Mentees will be responsible for booking their own airfare and hotel for the in-person training. 

Phase III: Longitudinal Mentorship (Skin of Color Society): August-December 2025

Mentees will have the option to continue professional development through longitudinal mentorship until December 2025.
Mentors and mentees will have access to a 12-week curriculum as a reference guide/tool-kit.

Topics include:

  • Clinical Research Site Terminology and Basic Research Site Concepts
  • Finding Studies/Sponsor-Clinical Research Organizations (CRO)
  • Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement/Feasibility Questionnaire/Protocol Synopsis
  • Pre Study Site Selection Visit/ First Interaction with Study Monitor
  • Study Start Up Procedures, Clinical Trial Agreement/Study Budget
  • Site Initiation Visits (SIV)
  • Protocol Implementation and Execution at the Clinical Research Site
  • Study Vendor Details and Subject Recruitment
  • How to work with Study Monitor/ First Interim Monitoring Visit
  • Study Maintenance
  • Close Out Visits
  • Audits

Call for Applications

The Skin of Color Society, in conjunction with the NMA Dermatology Section, is seeking board-certified dermatologists (mentees) from racial/ethnic groups underrepresented in medicine with little or no clinical trials experience to participate in the DiCR Mentorship program.

Mentee Eligibility Criteria:

  • Participants must be existing members of NMA Derm Section or SOCS (in-progress applications will be considered)
  • Applicants are required to provide a letter from their institution confirming that one day per week or 25% of their time is allocated for protected research activities. For academicians, .2 FTE or 20% of their time must be protected.
  • Has limited clinical trials experience (<2-3 trials completed)
  • Must be interested in establishing or expanding their clinical research program
  • Must have completed GCP/CITI or equivalent training
  • Can have previous experience with NMA/NMF/other Clinical Research Certification program
  • Must be a board-certified or board-eligible dermatologist

Application: CLOSED