Diversity and Broadening Participation Outline
We believe that developing a new interdisciplinary field will require the maximum possible diversity of viewpoints and backgrounds. We are working to broaden participation and increase diversity primarily at three levels: graduate and postdoc training, mentorship, and strengthening research infrastructure resources for faculty training minority students. At the level of graduate and postdoctoral training, we are pooling our efforts to attract URM undergraduate students to join our graduate programs and, once in those programs, to encourage them to do their studies in center labs. To this end, center members regularly attend the SACNAS and ABRCMS conferences to spread the word about our center to URM undergraduates. We believe that by working actively to increase awareness of our center as an environment that values diversity (and in fact sees diversity as core to its mission), we take at least a first step towards increasing diversity at all levels from student to faculty recruitment.
We believe that mentoring is important for broadening participation. Two of our center faculty, Professors Blake Riggs and Carmen Domingo, have participated in NRMN training (National Research Mentoring Network). At our annual retreat, we held a two-hour interactive training session on mentoring diversity, prepared by Profs. Domingo and Riggs, mediated by Dr. Riggs, following principles of NRMN training.
Within our center’s four academic research institutions (UCSF, SFSU, Berkeley, and Stanford), SFSU has the most diverse faculty and students. SFSU has established a strong research track record and focus even though it has not, historically, received the same level of research infrastructure investment compared to the UC system. Thus, a unique element of our plan for broadening participation is to strengthen the research infrastructure at SFSU. To this end, we have negotiated access to all UCSF technical resources and core facilities for center members at SFSU to support the career success of those center faculty located there, while at the same time providing more access for SFSU students to the widest possible variety of technological resources available.