Observership Grant

SOCS 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. In light of COVID-19-related concerns, if an in-person mentorship is not possible during this period, funds will be held until in-person engagement will be feasible or an updated detailed budget and justification for the revised expenses can be submitted.


  • 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:

Application Available: August 1
Application Deadline: November 1
The SOCS Observership Grant application for the 2024-2025 cycle will open August 1, 2023.
Recipient Notified: Q1 202


  • 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.


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.


  • 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.

L’Oreal Dermatological Beauty supports the Skin of Color Society Foundation in its mission to promote awareness of and excellence within skin of color dermatology through research, education, mentorship, and advocacy with a financial contribution of $60,000. L’Oreal Dermatological Beauty’s financial support of Skin of Color Society Foundation is not influenced by the purchase of any L’Oreal Dermatological Beauty product* and the Skin of Color Society and its related Foundation do not endorse any L’Oreal Dermatological Beauty product.
*Brands in the L’Oreal Dermatological Beauty portfolio include CeraVe, LaRoche-Posay, Vichy, Skin Better Science.

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Skin of color patients comprise the majority in California, New Mexico and Texas…and soon will be the majority in Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, New York and Florida.

By 2042, more than 50% of the US population will have skin of color.