Racism and Bias Initiative (RBI) x Center for Anti-Racism in Practice (CAP) Fellowship for Icahn School of Medicine Students

Racism and Bias Initiative (RBI) x Center for Anti-Racism in Practice (CAP) Fellowship for Icahn School of Medicine Students

Our mission is to support and advance the lifelong pursuit of anti-racism, equity, and racial justice as the organizing principles of medical education at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS).

RBI x CAP Fellows will work closely with ISMMS leaders across all functional areas of the school of medicine and report directly to the co-Directors of the Center for Anti-Racism in Practice. Fellows will serve as an invaluable capacity-building resource for school and institution-wide anti-racism initiatives.


Applications Open: Monday, August 22

Applications Close: Monday, September 5

As a fellow, here’s what you’ll do:

While any of these activities may result in a scholarly product,

the primary purpose of RBI x CAP Fellows is to expand the workforce

focused on anti-racism work for the Icahn School of Medicine

at Mount Sinai. 


Fellow projects for the 2022-2023 cycle are:

Situational Judgment Tests

  • Name of project: Investigating the use of situational judgment tests (SJT) and their use in ISMMS MD and MD/PhD admissions
  • Project supervisor(s): Carrie Ernst, MD, Valerie Parkas, MD, Talia Swartz, MD, PhD
  • Why is this project important?: AAMC is piloting a new SJT (PREview) which will be broadly available in the upcoming academic year. We aim to evaluate how this can be used equitably in assessing our applicants and mapping these assessments to our attributes.
  • Brief description: Situational judgment tests are designed to evaluate applicants based on how they would respond to specific situations as a measure of pre-professional competencies. In this project, we are seeking to Aim 1) review the literature on situational judgment tests with a lens toward equity to understand how racism and bias may manifest or be mitigated by this assessment and Aim 2) map how the ISMMS attributes in successful candidates are measured using SJT.
  • Outcomes/deliverables: Aim 1) to generate a literature review manuscript on racism and bias in SJTs in medical school admissions and Aim 2) to create a scheme understanding how use of the PREview results could inform admissions at the ISMMS. 
  • Responsibilities: Conduct literature review, develop a scheme, draft a manuscript, present work to the admissions team and Selections Subcommittee, and attend meetings.  

Equity Audit

  • Name of project: Conducting an equity audit of student policies 
  • Project supervisors: Leona Hess, PhD
  • Why is this project important? It is critical to identify institutional practices that produce discriminatory trends in data that affect students. 
  • Brief Description: As part of the change target of the school-wide sphere of the RBI’s Guiding Coalition, a protocol was developed to provide a structure for examining existing written policies and institutionalizing a process of developing, implementing, and assessing the impact and outcomes of policies over time. The next phase is to conduct an equity audit with a focus on 15 student facing policies. 
  • Outcomes/deliverables: Aim 1) Equity audit of 15 current student facing policies and Aim 2) a planning document outlining how we will develop, implement/enforce and assess the impact/outcomes of policies to eliminate potential barriers. 
  • Responsibilities: Partner with the Director of Quality, Compliance, & Accreditation and various functional areas of the Dept. of Med Ed.; use the protocol to facilitate one-on-one interviews and small group meetings with students to examine current written policies; contribute to the planning document; and attend planning group meetings and present audit findings.

Anti-Racist Transformation in Medical Education (ART in Med Ed)

  • Name of project: Developing the capacity of eleven medical schools across the country and Canada to dismantle systemic racism and bias. 
  • Project supervisors: Leona Hess, PhD and Chloe Martin, MSW, David Muller, MD
  • Brief Description: Anti-Racist Transformation in Medical Education (ART in Med Ed) is a three-year Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation grant-funded project aimed at implementing and adapting Icahn School of Medicine and Mount Sinai’s (ISMMS) change-management strategy with 11 partner medical schools in the United States and Canada (more info here). The ART in Med Ed team/program has always prioritized elevating the student perspective as a critical aspect of co-creating how we work, learn, grow and change together. This is a great opportunity if you are interested in medical education, administrative leadership, teaching, and/or gaining skills related to organizational change management. It’s also a great way to get exposure and network with health professionals across the country.
  • Outcomes/deliverables: Aim 1) sustain the community of practice among students; and Aim 2) assist in developing the capacity of medical schools to dismantle systemic racism and bias in their work and learning environments.
  • Responsibilities: Participate in regular team meetings with the ART in Med Ed team (can be flexible based on student schedule); facilitate monthly coaching sessions for students; analyze project data and report findings in collaboration with the ART in Med Ed team; work independently to develop change management content, session materials, and other program-related tasks (with support available); and identify projects of interest. 

Anti-Oppressive Curriculum Revamp

  • Name of project: Scaffolding curriculum content to achieve anti-oppressive Medical Education Program Objective (MEPO) 
  • Project supervisors: Leona Hess, Phd, Ann-Gel Palermo, DrPH MPH, Rainier Soriano, MD and Joe Truglio, MD 
  • Why is this project important? We are currently undertaking a curriculum revamp and this is the time to ensure our existing course content is aligned and scaffolded to achieve the new anti-oppressive MEPO. 
  • Brief Description: Over the years there has been an intentional effort to map existing course content across four-years of the curriculum that focuses on health disparities, social determinants of health, race, diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-racism, structural competency, race-based and race-conscious medicine, etc. The next step is to take the map and identify any gaps, remove redundancies, and ensure the content is aligned and scaffolded to achieve the new anti-oppressive MEPO. The goal is to inform the new curriculum that will roll out in the academic year 2024-2025.
  • Outcomes/deliverables: Aim 1) updated curriculum map with scaffolded content, including learning objectives and measurements/assessments. 
  • Responsibilities: Collaborate with project supervisors to develop scaffolding framework, collect and assess existing course content, identify content gaps, meet with students/student groups to gather feedback and content requests, attend curriculum revamp meetings, attend meeting with pedagogy expert, present work to curricular affairs and CAP, etc.

Student Sphere

  • Name of project: Leading the student sphere of the RBI’s Guiding Coalition 
  • Project supervisors: Alia Barnes, MPH and Leona Hess, PhD 
  • Brief Description: As part of the Racism and Bias Initiative’s (RBI) change management plan, our commitment is to establish a diverse guiding coalition of faculty, staff, leadership, and students to determine the change targets, identify options for implementation, make decisions about where energy and resources should be focused, determine how to hold people accountable, and manage resistance in the medical school and beyond. The guiding coalition is made up of seven spheres or functional areas: Admissions, Curricular Affairs, Student Affairs, Clinical, Resources, Medical School-Wide, and Student.  
  • Outcomes/deliverables: Aim) Oversee and monitor the change targets in the student sphere; Aim 2) Oversee student involvement in Chats for Change, Orientation, and other RBI Sphere work. 
  • Responsibilities: Attend two 1-hour Guiding Coalition meetings a month; participate in the guiding coalition planning process for 2023; recruit and convene students and student groups in the change target development and implementation; track and monitor change over the year; and meet with guiding coalition leadership.

Propose Your Own Project

  • This year we are offering an opportunity for a fellow to propose and execute an innovative project of their own. In the application you will have the opportunity to submit a potential project name, supervisors, description, outcomes/deliverables, and responsibilities. We are looking for a project that is:

    • Aligned with our mission to nurture a visionary community of students, staff, faculty and leaders who are committed to advancing exceptional clinical care and science that is free of racism and oppression in all its forms;
    • Designed to address a gap or concern related to our learning environment;
    • Achievable in 8 months; and 
    • Innovative and doesn’t duplicate or complete with the current twenty-four change targets 

Fellows will:

  • be closely mentored by Med Ed leadership and CAP
  • work with or be a liaison to other relevant medical school administrators, students, and partners including but not limited to the Office for Diversity & Inclusion and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
  • be part of a Fellows community of practice and mutual support
  • learn anti-racist and anti-oppressive teaching, facilitation, and reflection practices
  • learn leadership, communication, and conflict resolution skills
  • have opportunities to develop projects into scholarly products
  • develop the capacity to design and facilitate equity programming beyond medical school, in residency training and their professional careers
  • when applicable, manage a modest programming budget and submit required documentation to Med Ed administration
  • receive a stipend of $5,000 for every year that they serve as a fellow

Fellow Requirements:

  • Approximately 20 hours/month for the eight-month commitment.
  • Fellows may apply to renew their commitment in subsequent years, up to their full tenure at ISMMS.
  • Student on Scholarly Year may not apply for a RBI x CAP Fellowship
  • Participate in two training/program planning lunches each semester that will bring together all Fellows.
  • Complete one scheduled check-in per semester with the Dean for Medical Education.
  • Fellows will present their work to the RBI Guiding Coalition, Senior Leadership Committee, and other key stakeholders in a “re-CAP” presentation at the close of the Fellowship
  • Up to six fellows will be selected to participate.

Application Process

Candidates will be required to submit their CV and answer the following questions in a total of 500 words or less.

Submitted applications will be reviewed and scored by a selection committee comprising of members of the Racism and Bias Initiative Guiding Coalition (Medical Education faculty, staff, leaders, and students). The committee will also conduct one round of interviews with all eligible applicants. Each reviewer will consider your alignment with the School’s vision and values, and your track record of contributions/leadership in addressing racism and bias.

Ready to apply?

Submit all applications by Monday, September 5.