Getting the most out of ISPD

Frequently Asked Questions by Trainees


How much does membership cost for trainees?

Full-time trainees are offered complimentary membership throughout their training period. All types of training are eligible including graduate study, medical trainee, fellowships, postdoctoral and genetic counseling trainees. A one-page attestation of trainee status is needed, signed by a program director each year.

What does membership offer a trainee?

Membership in a society links a trainee not only to resources for themselves but also engagement in a wider community committed to the mission statement of the provision of prenatal genetics and fetal health on a global scale. Such a community encourages continued education, collaborative research and networking. Search the member directory to connect with fellow ISPD members who are at a various stages in their careers.

Trainee resources include a toolbox for career development compiled by the Board of Directors, including their favorite go-to resources on topics such as “how to review an article,” “what are the needed steps (and the components) for a research manuscript,” “how to write a standout abstract,” “tips for power point presentations,” “mentors/mentee guidelines,” and more. Insights from Experts on career development help illustrate the variety of approaches to training and education that are open to individuals with interests encompassed by the ISPD mission statement.

Online access to the Prenatal Diagnosis journal is included with membership, and trainees receive reduced rates for the annual conference.

What is a SIG?

ISPD has several Special Interest Groups (SIGs) which are groups of individuals sharing a common interest such as fetal therapy, laboratory testing and genetic counseling to name a few. SIGs meet in person at the annual conference to discuss upcoming projects, invite speakers and network among a similarly minded group. Communication remains on-going within the SIG through the year with website online communities, participation in the Global Updates newsletter and contributions to the preconference scientific program. Membership in a SIG is open to all ISPD members, including trainees. See the "Join" link on the main SIG webpage. You are also welcome to contact the Co-Chairs who are listed on the webpage of each SIG.

How can a trainee get involved with ISPD?

Opportunities through the year and at the annual conference are designed to engage the trainees. These include networking events such as the small group “dine-arounds” to give trainees social time with leaders in the field, an early career breakfast for peer networking as well as connecting with the ISPD Board, and a trainee/early career platform session.

To stay involved throughout the year, join a SIG, respond to requests for new members on committees and the “early career” seat on the Board of Directors. Submit an abstract to the annual conference and turn it into a manuscript for Prenatal Diagnosis. Let individuals of similar interests know that you would like to turn your research focus into a specialized preconference course or session introduction. Don’t stop at one request; ISPD continually re-evaluates its conferences, preconference courses, and online learning with an eye to involving the next generation.

Should trainees come to the annual conference?

Connecting with like-minded individuals at all career levels is an important aspect of trainee and ongoing professional development. Early career travel grants are made available each year for top trainee/early career abstracts. The Collaboration Corner at the meeting is a good place to meet and discuss areas of interest with other trainees, mentors or professional members of ISPD. Submitting an abstract for a poster or early career presentation provides career growth and a chance to refine communication skills, present ideas and develop new research initiatives.

How can trainees and early career individuals network with one another?

Having colleagues at similar levels of education is a valuable experience. Your cohort will help form the next generation of ISPD members and leaders. We encourage you to take advantage of complimentary trainee membership in ISPD and engage in our online community for trainees.