Awards & Grants

Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship (JEMF)

Full Member Award

Overview of the Award

The Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship (JEMF), established in 1991 as an award of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. (NSGC), is an ongoing tribute to Jane Engelberg, who graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1973 with a master's degree in human genetics. During her 15-year career as a genetic counselor in New York City-first at the National Genetics Foundation, and then at Beth Israel Medical Center and Long Island Jewish Medical Center-Jane developed expertise in counseling patients on issues related to hemophilia and prenatal diagnosis. In response to the special needs of Spanish-speaking clients, Jane became a bilingual genetic counselor. The human qualities of insight, compassion, and dedication that always will be associated with Jane and her contributions to the field resulted in part from the fact that Jane was under treatment for advanced Hodgkin's disease from 1969 until her death in 1988. Her physicians originally gave her little hope of living even long enough to obtain her master's degree. The JEMF is funded by the Engelberg Foundation, established in 1990 by Jane's husband, Alfred B. Engelberg. The Engelberg Foundation is a charitable trust that supports a wide range of activities in the fields of health care, science, and education.

Ojectives, Requirements and Terms 


The purpose of the JEMF is to encourage and fund initiatives by board-certified genetic counselors who are members in good standing of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) and by genetic counseling students enrolled in ACGC accredited training programs. It is the intent that the Full Member awards will enable one or more genetic counselors each year to pursue research, writing or exploration of new interests. Successful projects will contribute to the body of knowledge in the field of genetic counseling, or expand professional roles and skills. Funded projects will have the prospect of significant impact beyond the personal interests or work setting of the applicant. 

Amount of the Award

An award of $70,000 (in U.S. dollars) will be provided for a 2-year project. This project may be submitted by an individual genetic counselor or group of genetic counselors who will share the award. Funding will apply to the period commencing January 1 following the announcement of the award at the NSGC Annual Education Conference. Funding will be released to the awardee quarterly. The JEMF is under no obligation to make awards in any given year if the advisory group deems that no proposed projects meet the guidelines for funding.


The principal investigator of a JEMF proposal must be a genetic counselor who is a full member in good standing of the NSGC and is certified in genetic counseling by the American Board of Medical Genetics (ABMG), the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC), or the Canadian Association of Genetic Counselors (CAGC). Individuals who have been granted active-candidate status by the ABGC or CAGC are also eligible to apply for the JEMF. Individuals who do not have active candidate status should contact the American Board of Genetic Counseling for instructions regarding the expedited review process. These requirements do not apply to co-investigators.   PIs and Co-PIs of awarded JEMF proposals are not eligible to be key personnel again in future submissions. 

Requirements of Proposals Eligible for Funding

A basic requirement of the JEMF is that the recipient produce results of sufficiently broad interest and high caliber to warrant professional publication or presentation. Recipients may wish to explore new interests, enhance present skills, answer a specific research question, or develop expertise in areas related to genetic counseling. All work completed through the JEMF must have application beyond the practice of the applicant such that it broadens the base of knowledge in the professional community concerned with genetic counseling. For example, a project may affect the diverse practices of novice or seasoned counselors, contribute to the existing resources for genetic counseling students, or develop new professional opportunities by helping the recipient acquire expertise in areas related to genetic counseling. Applicants may use the funds for projects that will be accomplished through various combinations of study, research, or writing. All funded work must be accomplished in a scholarly manner. Proposals must include objectives that satisfy the criteria of the JEMF. The methodology must be scientifically sound and evaluation procedures must demonstrate how the applicant will measure the success of the objectives. Projects such as the development of a book or patient-education materials-outside of a research protocol-are not fundable by the JEMF.

Terms of the Fellowship

The recipient may use fellowship funds to reduce the time commitment of a full-time position or to fund a leave of absence or sabbatical from a full-time job. The fellowship cannot, however, support activities that already are a remunerated part of a recipient's job (for example, duplication of salaried hours, attending weekly seminars and conferences, or teaching genetic counseling students). The recipient is expected to be present to receive the award at the next NSGC Annual Education Conference and to present an overview of the completed project at the Annual Education Conference of the following year. The JEMF cannot provide travel support for those meetings.

The recipient must:

  • Provide annual financial accounting to the NSGC and agree to certain terms and conditions of payment and accounting as determined by the NSGC
  • Provide quarterly reports of progress to the JEMF advisory group
  • Have completed and submitted the final product and/or evaluation of the project no later than one (1) year from the completion of the funded fellowship year
  • In addition, presentations and publications based on work supported by the JEMF must include the following credit: "This work has been supported by the Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship, an annual grant from the Engelberg Foundation to the National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc."

Submit A Proposal

To submit a JEMF Full Member Award Proposal, please review the JEMF Proposal Instructions and Checklist. Click the links below to download instructions and templates for completing the required elements of the JEMF proposal. 

Applications for the Full Member award are due May 1*. 

*if May 1 falls on weekend, then proposals are due the first business day following May 1.

JEMF Mentor Member Directory

Mentor Name Contact Past Grantee? (Y/N) Past Board Member (Y/N) Research Expertise
Judith Benkendorf Y Y qualitative methods,  discourse analysis, public policy/legislative experience
Joseph McInerney N Y education
Barbara Biesecker N Y Application of health behavior theories in study design Quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods approaches toassessing client quality of life, well being and adaptation Role of uncertainty in decisions to undergo genome sequencing, client/patient centered outcomes, decision making, scale development 
Jehannine Austin N Y RCTs, case control studies,  qualitiative study design, mental illness, outcomes of genetic counseling-type studies, psychometric scale development
Toni Pollin N Y diabetes, lipids, genetic epidemiology, translational/implementation research
Robin Benett Y Y cancer genetics, adult genetics, neurogenetics, presymptomatic testing, consanguinity 
Barbara Bernhardt N Y qualitative research; mixed methods research; patient and provider surveys
Andrew Faucett N Y genetic testing, government projects, building collaborations

Questions? Contact Melanie Myers, Chair JEMF Advisory Group,

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