One of the main objectives for the existence of the Medical Science Liaison (MSL) Society is to foster the professional growth of the Medical Science Liaison Society. In support of this goal, the MSL Society recently created a professional board certification for the MSL profession that validates core cognitive competencies for the MSL role. In addition, MSL professionals with extensive professional experience, academic credentials, and documented contributions to the profession deserve a pathway for recognition for their achievements that is external to their employer. Consequently, the MSL Society has designed a Fellows program to allow qualified and approved candidates to achieve the Society’s highest level of professional recognition, namely the achievement of Fellows Status and the designation of Fellow in the Medical Science Liaison Society (FMSL). This designation would serve as the pinnacle accomplishment for a career in the MSL arena, recognizing the elite leaders and professionals who have met the rigorous criteria for designation as a Fellow.
Requirements for MSL Fellowship
The Academy of the Medical Science Liaison Society will formally award the designation of Fellow to professional MSLs who meet the criteria for admission into the Academy. The following are the required items for acceptance into the Academy of the Medical Science Liaison Society:
- Professional experience as a Medical Science Liaison for a minimum of eight (8) years
- A minimum of a Master’s Degree from a regionally accredited educational institution
- Two recommendations from current MSL Fellows
- Submission of a completed application
- Payment of the application fee for Fellows consideration
- Paid, active membership of the Medical Science Liaison Society
- Demonstrated leadership in the MSL profession as evidenced by documented contributions to the MSL Society, the journal, and other professional advocacy issues relates to the profession
- Current certification as a MSL-BC from the Medical Science Liaison Society
Candidates approved by the Fellows Committee will be awarded the designation of FMSL for five years, after which time renewal will be required. All accepted Fellows will be inducted formally at the annual conference held in the US in the Fall.
The process for an MSL to apply for fellowship status begins with the self-assessment, which must be completed before the candidate can apply. This self-assessment allows each professional to evaluate their current professional situation with regards to the MSL profession (i.e. years of experience, academic education, continuing education, title with employer, etc.) and to ensure he or she meets the criteria for the designation as a fellow. If the candidate does not meet the specified criteria, then he or she can create an action plan to develop the content areas with opportunities for improvement. The application may be resubmitted after meeting certain criteria detailed above. Candidates who meet the criteria to apply may submit a formal application along with all required supporting documentation. Upon receipt, the application will be reviewed by a committee of three existing MSL professionals who have already achieved Fellows status within the Academy of the Medical Science Liaison Society. The committee will vet all applications, and a formal vote will be taken regarding the acceptance or denial of each application within 90 days of receipt of the initial application. All applicants will be provided with a response in writing of the committee’s decision. Candidates that are approved for Fellow’s status will be provided with the appropriate details on the proper use of the designation and the credential FMSL.
Maintenance of Fellows Designation
Professional designation of as a Fellow in the Academy of the Medical Science Liaison Society requires an ongoing commitment to the Society and to the profession itself. As a result, professionals wishing to maintain their designation must meet the following criteria,:
- Continuous, active membership in the MSL Society
- Maintenance of MSL Certification through the MSL Society
- Leadership contributions in the form of webinars, journal submissions, participation in the Advisory Board, and related activities in support of the MSL Society
- Payment to the MSL Society for renewal of the Fellows Designation every five (5) years
Professional Certification is an important means of demonstrating professional and cognitive competency. The new availability of Fellows status within the Medical Science Liaison Society will enable tenured MSLs and MSL managers and executives to achieve the highest level of professional recognition from the Society and to demonstrate their commitment to the profession. The MSL Fellows program will be launched officially in the fourth quarter of 2015, along with the new professional board certification. For more information, please visit www.themsls.org.