Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences embraces and celebrates diversity in its broadest forms. This includes recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty and student body, developing and maintaining an environment that fosters mutual respect, understanding and inclusiveness among all members of our community.

students touring a local neighborhood

DEI Mission

We affirm that Black lives matter.

We join together towards a common goal of achieving social and racial justice in our school, community, and society. It is our mission and responsibility to create a school and community that, in composition and authority, seeks to be as diverse as the society in which we live.

We strive to live and learn in an equitable community where every member of the community is valued, accepted, and included.

We pledge to listen to and uplift within our community voices that have been historically oppressed; to transform our words into action; to take responsibility for our mistakes towards becoming a more diverse, equitable, inclusive and just school.

Anti-Racist Working Group

To help GSBS address issues related to DEI, the school formed an Anti-Racist Working Group. The group is made up of students, faculty and staff.

Meeting on a monthly basis, the group works to to brainstorm initiatives, plan events, and discuss issues.

They also oversees distribution of GSBS’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion fund, designating funds for new initiatives, student groups, speaker honoraria, and other items relevant to DEI.

group of students discussing issues
trainees in the lab

Working to be Sure Our Application Process Matches our Values

A committee made up of faculty, students and staff focused on our application. They sought to mitigate the challenges faced by applicants who might not have access to friends or family members with graduate degrees, or counselors who can help them show themselves in the best light.

The review aimed to make the application easier to navigate and more friendly to applicants from underrepresented groups.

The most significant changes made were to the essay questions; by splitting the previous, general essay question into an Academic Statement of Purpose and a Personal Statement, and providing much more detailed prompts for both, the new application can help applicants craft an essay that highlights particular aspects of their experience and interests and appeals to an admissions committee.

Curriculum Review

The curriculum review committee focused on reviewing two of the school’s foundational courses – Graduate Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology – through an anti-racist lens.

Their subsequent recommendations were compiled into a set of course guidelines that include suggestions for integrating anti-racism into GSBS courses; updated diversity statements for syllabi to set a tone of inclusion, equity, and anti-racism; and a checklist that can be used by course directors to ensure their courses meet the standards set out in the guidelines.

The guidelines also include resources for instructors and course directors; specific examples of content, such as figures highlighting health disparities and examples of overlooked scientists from underrepresented groups; and vocabulary guides to help instructors utilize terms correctly.

As of the Fall 2022 semester,  all GSBS courses are required to use these guidelines in crafting syllabi.

student writing in notebook