Commitment to Diversity


Novel insights, transformative ideas, and biological innovation all come from the interplay of individuals from varied disciplines and with differing perspectives.  In the Department of Biological Sciences we are committed to attracting, mentoring and promoting a diverse community of scholars in an environment conducive to excellence for students, postdocs and faculty from all backgrounds (race, religion, culture, national/geographic origin, physical ability, age, sexual orientation, and others).


We strive to achieve diversity in all missions of the Department and across all stages of a biologist’s career using an integrated model of research, teaching, and outreach. Weaving mentoring into all facets of our Department promotes diversity, which we believe is critical to the vitality of our scientific community.


The Department has established a Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity to promote our mission.  Members of the Task Force represent all branches of the Department, including our secondary school outreach program, faculty and advisors specializing in undergraduate programs, and faculty focusing on graduate student admissions, education and research. 


Educational and research opportunities for students and postdoctoral scholars from groups traditionally underrepresented in biology are available, and supplemental to those opportunities broadly available to members of the department.

Guidelines for Inclusive Academic Practices

The academic world has become increasingly diverse over the past few decades. However, many of us have unconsious biases against certain groups of people, and common practices in evaluating merit have flaws that can perpetuate these biases. Members of the Intersectionality Initiative within the 2019-2020 eLife Community Ambassador program, lead by Sarah Hainer, have identified five current practices that are fundamental to academic science that may be hindering inclusivity in science. These practices include hiring, mentoring, writing reference letters, and reviewing grants and manuscripts. To try and level the playing field and increase inclusivity in science, these Ambassadors have compiled a guideline for each of these practices that are intended to help inform scientists, mentors, funders, and journals on ways to mitigate biases. The overall goal of these guidelines is to make science more inclusive and to limit bias in these core features of academic science.

These materials are hosted on GitHub and OSF. These resources are meant to be used, modified, and shared within the scientific community.