Resource Library

IGEN and our partners are developing and collecting resources to support individuals and institutions that are interested in equity and inclusion in graduate education.

Type
Audience
  • Article

    After GRExit: Reducing Bias in Geoscience Graduate Admissions

    Michele L. Cooke, Hannah Baranes, Isla S. Castañeda, Jonathan D. Woodruff and David F. Boutt
    Details
    IGEN Bridge Program Application Portal Published in EOS. Science News by AGU, 2022-06

    Dropping the GRE is just a first step toward holistic admissions. To further reduce bias in applicant evaluations, the UMass-Amherst geosciences program has changed the way it assesses students.

  • Mentoring Compacts

    CIMER
    Details
    https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/pictures/370000/velka/people-network.jpg Presented at
    2022 Spring Bridge Department Collaborators Meeting
    , 2022-05

    Align expectations with your mentor, mentee, or project team with these Mentor Compact examples. 

    Revist the subject through regular project meetings. 

  • Workshop

    Mentor Mapping Exercise

    Earth Science Women's Network
    Details
    https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/pictures/370000/velka/people-network.jpg

    Mentor Mapping exercise for Research Mentors and their students. 

  • Article

    Misaligned Visions for Improving Graduate Diversity: Student Characteristics vs. Systemic/Cultural Factors

    Casey Miller
    Details
    Published in PERC 2018, 2018-12 Presented at
    Physics Education Research Conference 2018
    , 2018-12

    Abstract: Physics departments are increasingly working to improve diversity in graduate programs by using more holistic strategies in their admission and retention practices. However, completion rates for traditionally underserved groups are still problematic. By understanding and accounting for faculty and student divergence on challenges faced in retention, graduate programs will be better equipped to enact change. In this study of two graduate programs (one physics and the other astrophysics), faculty and graduate students were asked why graduate students leave their program, and to identify ways to reduce attrition. While the goal of improving retention was shared between faculty and graduate students, their visions for how retention could be improved were not aligned. Faculty believed that retention could be improved by reforming admissions practices to select for students with attributes critical for success in graduate school, such as resilience. In contrast, the graduate students noted more systemic or socio-cultural factors as impacting retention.

  • Report

    IGEN Year 3 Progress - WestEd Evaluation Report Movie

    WestEd
    Details
    WestEd logo

    The mission of IGEN is to broaden the participation of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx students in the physical sciences from the undergraduate level through professional employment. In 2020-2021, IGEN made significant progress toward its four goals summarized in this short movie. 

  • Report

    IGEN Year 3 Progress - WestEd Evaluation Report

    WestEd
    Details
    WestEd logo

    The mission of IGEN is to broaden the participation of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx students in the physical sciences from the undergraduate level through professional employment. In 2020-2021, IGEN made significant progress toward its four goals.

  • Newsletter

    IGEN News Summer 2021

    NSF INCLUDES: IGEN Project
    Details
    IGEN News Published in IGEN News, 2021-09

    Our IGEN Project Quarterly Newsletter highlights the work being done by our alliance members and partners.

     

    Featured in this issue:

    • Introducing Monica Plisch, Interim Director of IGEN
    • National Meeting Highlights
    • Meet Miranda Gallagher, IGEN's new Project Manager 
    • Opportunities to Learn: Equity in Graduate Education Workshops and Virtual Journal Clubs
    • IGEN Partner News
  • Report

    2019 ACS Graduate Student Survey Report

    ACS Education Division
    Details
    2019 ACS Graduate Student Survey Report Cover

    About This Report

    The 2019 ACS Graduate Student Survey was created through the support of the Education Division and its Student & Postdoctoral Scholars Office (SPO) at the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS SPO supports undergraduate and graduate students as well as the postdoctoral scientific community in the chemical sciences by creating relevant career and professional development resources. The results of the 2019 ACS Graduate Student Survey are expected to help chemical science departments to design local programming, allocate resources, support infrastructure that address the needs of trainees, and inform federal agencies about community needs.

     

  • Article

    Rethinking the Race

    Julie R. Posselt
    Details
    Hurdles Race Image Published in Inside Higher Ed, 2021-05

    Hurdles are by definition barriers. You clear them by leaping, or they will trip you up. Who has the freedom to change the types and placement of hurdles in doctoral programs, and on what basis?

     

    Today, people in many disciplines are considering how time-honored hurdles that students must clear on the way to the Ph.D. may 1) threaten mental health, 2) disproportionately eliminate students from underrepresented groups, particularly students of color and 3) fail to substantively contribute to students’ development. As is often the case, the conventional wisdom about what makes a “good” Ph.D. program may be more convention than wisdom.

     

    Qualifying exams are common to Ph.D. programs. They offer a perfect case study of a traditional hurdle that is up for reconsideration concerning its efficacy for student development and success. We have been studying those exams and the broader transition to candidacy in STEM. It’s part of our collective research agenda to analyze, deconstruct and reconstruct established academic practices -- e.g., admissions, teaching and hiring -- in order to advance racial equity in academe.

     

    We conducted a survey to understand the range of exam structures in physics, chemistry and geosciences; then, we used the results to identify programs that recently changed their exams. We conducted in-depth case studies of two programs’ change processes and the outcomes. The case studies examined the cultural significance of the transition to candidacy and how many faculty members think about altering conventional exams in favor of more developmental, lower-stakes assessments.

     

    Research participants shared stories about rethinking exams as part of broader Ph.D. program improvement efforts. Over and over, they told us that programs “got rid of” the GRE and a traditional qualifying exam because they viewed the costs to equity and well-being as outweighing benefits for selection and learning.

     

  • Recording

    The Science of Mentorship

    The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
    Details
    The Science of Mentorship: A STEMM Podcast

    SUMMARY

     

    In this series from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, you’ll hear personal stories about mentorship experiences from STEMM leaders, in their own words, to help you learn how evidence-based mentorship practices can help you develop the skills to engage in the most effective mentoring relationships possible.

     

    SHOW NOTES

     

    Welcome to The Science of Mentorship, a 10-episode podcast from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that introduces you to the evidence-based practices for effective mentoring told through the personal stories of leaders in science, tech, math, engineering, and medicine.

    You'll hear from notables like iconic physicist Dr. Jim Gates, groundbreaking physician Dr. Vivian Pinn, advocate mathematician Dr. Richard Tapia, and Twitter phenom immunobiologist Dr. Akiko Iwasaki. They share the ups and downs of their own mentorship journeys from the beginning of their careers to today, to help you develop the skills to engage in the most effective STEMM mentoring relationships possible.
    Mentorship is essential to the development of anyone in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or medicine.

    If you are a mentor, a mentee, or have a role in mentorship, this podcast is for you. Listen to The Science of Mentorship to learn, practice, and optimize mentorship for you and your colleagues, and visit https://nas.edu/mentoring for more.

     

    WHAT IS THE SCIENCE OF MENTORSHIP?

     

    Mentorship is essential to the development of anyone in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or medicine, but did you know mentorship is a set of skills that can be learned, practiced, and optimized?

    In this 10-part series from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, you’ll hear the personal mentorship stories of leaders in academia, business, and the media, in their own words. Learn how evidence-based mentorship practices can help you develop the skills to engage in the most effective STEMM mentoring relationships possible.

    If you are a mentor, a mentee, or have a role in mentorship, this podcast is for you.

     

  • Presentation Materials

    Virtual Journal Club - Article Summary - Support Structures

    IP Hub and Research Hub
    Details

    Departmental support structures for physics graduate students: Development and
    psychometric evaluation of a self-report instrument
    By Diana Sachmpazidi and Charles Henderson
    Date & Time of Journal Club: Monday, June 27th 2022 at 12pmPT/3pmET

    Article PDF

    Summary
    The American Physical Society’s Bridge Program (APS-BP) has significantly higher persistence rates than
    physics graduate education across the country (90% vs 60%). Motivated by this early positive outcome,
    the researchers aimed to explore and offer empirical evidence as to what aspects of the Bridge Program
    contribute to these higher persistence rates. This paper describes the development and psychometric
    evaluation of a survey instrument, the “Aspects of Student Experience Scale (ASES)”, that was designed to
    evaluate physics graduate students’ experiences related to different forms of departmental support that
    may have made the APS-BP successful, namely: (a) mentoring and research experience, (b) professional
    development, (c) social and academic integration, and (d) financial support. This paper supports the
    ongoing development and validation of this survey tool.397 physics graduate students across 19
    programs participated in the study. The initial findings reported here reveal that graduate students
    experience adequate mentoring and financial support, but have limited social and academic integration
    or professional development. Practitioners may be able to use ASES to identify, based on students’
    perspectives, which practices they may need to address to better support the student experience.

  • Presentation Materials

    Virtual Journal Club - Article Summary

    IP Hub and Research Hub
    Details

    The intersectional privilege of white able-bodied heterosexual men in STEM.
    By Erin A. Cech
    Date & Time of Journal Club: Tuesday, October 18th, 2022 at 10amPT/1pmET

    Article PDF

    Summary


    One way that discussions and work toward equity may vary from diversity or inclusion is in attention to
    power and privilege. When we don’t pay attention to these issues, people are more likely to experience a
    hostile or chilly climate day to day, career trajectories and opportunities are negatively impacted, and
    inequalities are reproduced. But what really is privilege and how does it work? This paper can help STEM
    community members become more attuned to how privilege operates and how they can interrupt it in
    support of more equitable learning and work environments. Using survey data from 25,324 STEM
    professionals in the STEM Inclusion Study, “this study examines whether, in the aggregate, [white,
    able-bodied, heterosexual men] WAHM experience intersectional privileges compared with members

  • Report

    Change Management: Teamwork in a Stressed out Society: Recognizing and Managing Task vs. Relationship Conflict

    Julie Posselt
    Details

    Equity in Graduate Education Change Management Nuggets

  • Article

    Grappling with barriers in geosciences from the lens of two Latina geoscientists

    Julia Cisneros & Aída Guhlincozzi
    Details
    Published in Journal of Geoscience Education, 2022-09

    Abstract: "This article reviews our shared experience as two minoritized graduate students, encapsulating what the barriers we encountered were, and identifies the impacts of a personal disinterest by geoscientists and institutional disinvestment in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues in the geosciences. Specifically, in this article we advance the concept of disinvestment in the academy, and how disinvestment and disinterest reveal themselves in the ways the geosciences as a field interact with service and outreach to impact the abilities of minoritized geoscientists to create and sustain diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Through evaluating the case of our creation of a geosciences camp for problems with disinvestment and disinterest by the academy, we identify barriers we faced and solutions created to address them through the framework of navigating a road, and typologizing them as roadblocks, detours, and alternate routes. The multiple barriers we experienced cumulatively amount to considerable time and effort lost, resulting in harm against us and our careers. We find the disinterest and disinvestment we experienced disincentivizes service and outreach work that is pivotal in improving DEI in geosciences. Our current systems and expectations need modification so we can move away from disinvestment and create engaged support structures."

  • Article

    Gender and Racial Bias in Radiology Residency Letters of Recommendation

    Lars J Grimm, Rebecca A Redmond, James C Campbell, Ashleigh S Rosette
    Details
    Published in Journal of the American College of Radiology, 2019-09

    Abstract

    Objective: Perceptions of agency and communality vary by race and gender, which may be contributing to the persistent gender and racial inequality in radiology. The objective of this study was to determine if there are differences in the use of agentic and communal language in letters of recommendation for radiology residency programs based on the demographics of the applicant and letter writer.

    Methods: We retrospectively reviewed letters of recommendation for 736 diagnostic radiology residency applicants to Duke University from the 2015 to 2016 interview season. We then used computerized text analysis software to calculate the frequency of agentic and communal terms and multilevel negative binominal regression to compare differences in count by applicant and letter writer demographics.

    Results: We analyzed 2,624 letters of recommendation, comprising 976,489 words. The majority of applicants were male (75%, 549 of 736) and white or Asian (77%, 565 of 736). Letter writers, who were mostly male (75%, 1,979 of 2,624) and of senior rank (50%, 1,313 of 2,624), described female applicants as more agentic than men (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.08, P < .05) and described blacks and Latinx applicants as less agentic than whites and Asians (IRR = 0.932, P < .05). Secondary analysis showed that female letters writers described applicants as more agentic (IRR = 1.09, P < .05) and more communal (IRR = 1.12, P < .01) than did male writers, and senior rank faculty used agentic (IRR = 0.95, P < .05) and communal (IRR = 0.88, P < .01) language less often than did junior faculty.

    Conclusion: The extent to which agentic and communal language is used in letters of recommendation for diagnostic radiology residency programs differs by applicant and letter writer demographics.

    Keywords: Bias; gender; letters of recommendation; race.

  • Article

    Race and Gender Bias in Internal Medicine Program Director Letters of Recommendation

    Neil Zhang, Sarah Blissett, David Anderson, Patricia O'Sullivan, Atif Qasim
    Details
    Published in Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 2021-05

    Abstract

    Background: While program director (PD) letters of recommendation (LOR) are subject to bias, especially against those underrepresented in medicine, these letters are one of the most important factors in fellowship selection. Bias manifests in LOR in a number of ways, including biased use of agentic and communal terms, doubt raising language, and description of career trajectory. To reduce bias, specialty organizations have recommended standardized PD LOR.

    Objective: This study examined PD LOR for applicants to a cardiology fellowship program to determine the mechanism of how bias is expressed and whether the 2017 Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) guidelines reduce bias.

    Methods: Fifty-six LOR from applicants selected to interview at a cardiology fellowship during the 2019 and 2020 application cycles were selected using convenience sampling. LOR for underrepresented (Black, Latinx, women) and non-underrepresented applicants were analyzed using directed qualitative content analysis. Two coders used an iteratively refined codebook to code the transcripts. Data were analyzed using outputs from these codes, analytical memos were maintained, and themes summarized.

    Results: With AAIM guidelines, there appeared to be reduced use of communal language for underrepresented applicants, which may represent less bias. However, in both LOR adherent and not adherent to the guidelines, underrepresented applicants were still more likely to be described using communal language, doubt raising language, and career trajectory bias.

    Conclusions: PDs used language in a biased way to describe underrepresented applicants in LOR. The AAIM guidelines reduced but did not eliminate this bias. We provide recommendations to PDs and the AAIM on how to continue to work to reduce this bias.

  • Guide

    Intersectional Privilege Article Summary

    Research Hub
    Details
    IGEN Research Hub

    Intersectional Privilege Article Summary

    The intersectional privilege of white able-bodied heterosexual men in STEM.

    By Erin A. Cech

    Date & Time of Journal Club: Tuesday, October 18th, 2022 at 10amPT/1pmET

  • Learning in the Wild: Fieldwork, Gender, and the Social Construction of Disciplinary Culture

    Julie R. Posselt & Anne-Marie Nuñez
    Details
    Published in The Journal of Higher Education, 2021-09

    ABSTRACT

    This paper examines the creation and negotiation of disciplinary culture, through ethnographic fieldwork about socialization in a critical learning environment: scientific fieldwork. Field-based science has received scant research attention relative to its importance as a degree requirement, a professional rite of passage, and a site where sexual harassment and assault are disturbingly commonplace. We conducted a comparative ethnographic case study of two field-based geoscience courses, one each for undergraduate and graduate students. The data include 264 hours of participant-observation and 34 interviews with students and faculty. Three prominent qualities of the culture — eroding temporal and spatial boundaries, navigating challenging conditions, and normalizing alcohol — reflect and/ or reinforce disciplinary norms of informality, togetherness, and toughness. We observed these qualities and norms could be leveraged for exclusion or inclusion; they are tools that, together, create a gendered disciplinary culture. Some women resisted the narrow definition of these norms, reframing toughness to include mental toughness, for example. Implications for course design and field leadership, as well as the possibilities and limits of disciplinary cultural change, are discussed.

  • Report

    Educational Pathways for Black Students in Science, Engineering, and Medicine

    National Academies of Science
    Details
    Educational Pathways for Black Students in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: Exploring Barriers and Possible Interventions: Proceedings of a Workshop

    National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022.

    Educational Pathways for Black Students in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: Exploring Barriers and Possible Interventions: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

  • Workshop

    Reducing Financial Barriers for Black Students in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: A Workshop

    National Academies of Science
    Details

    "A planning committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will organize a virtual public workshop to examine the financial barriers – including educational debt burden – preventing Black people from entering or continuing education in science, engineering, and medicine (SEM). The workshop will also identify policies and practices that perpetuate those barriers and lay a foundation of knowledge for others to be better positioned to engage on these issues."

    3 part workshop, 9 hours total. 

  • Funding Resources & Ideas guide from SACNAS

    SACNAS
    Details
    Fundraising

    "Use this guide to help you create a budget, find funding support, and save on your own. There are many options to look for funding, and we encourage you to be creative, flexible, and resourceful. Don't be afraid to ask your professors, chapter advisors, or mentors for help!" - SACNAS.org

  • Presentation Materials

    Systemic Shocks & Systemic Change: What Graduate Education Leaders Can Do

    Julie Posselt
    Details
    Presented at
    Annual Meeting of the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools Critical Junctures in Graduate Education
    , 2022-02

    Change typically comes slowly in higher education, but these are not typical times. Most systemic change comes about precisely through exogenous shocks.

  • Workshop

    Laboratories of the Future: Laboratory Mentorship across all Career Levels and Types

    Details
    Published in DOE Science, 2022-02

    This DOE Laboratories of the Future (LOTF) workshop covered mentorship at the laboratories as a mechanism for creating successful environments and inclusive cultures across all career levels and types.

    Melissa McDaniels, a CIMER co-investigator, was the first individual to be invited to participate in this workshop series in two separate academic years. 

  • Guide

    Dos and Don’ts for Submitting a Successful AGU Bridge Partner Proposal

    American Geophysical Union
    Details

    Dos and Don’ts for Submitting a Successful AGU Bridge Partner Proposal. 

    Remember that the goal of the AGU Bridge Program is to improve equity in geoscience graduate education, representation will follow. Seek equity first rather than focusing solely on numbers of historically marginalized students. Consider reasons behind low representation of historically marginalized students in your department

  • Article

    Mentoring Could Improve Diversity and Inclusion in STEMM But Needs More Attention in Colleges and Universities, Says New Report, Which Identifies Effective Mentoring Practices

    National Academies
    Details

    National Academies of Science News Release | October 30, 2019

    "WASHINGTON – U.S. colleges and universities should take a more intentional, inclusive, and evidence-based approach to mentoring students in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine) – a shift that could engage and help retain a broader group of students in these fields, says a new report* from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine."

    "The report was released along with an online interactive guide to support institutions, departments, and faculty members in implementing the report’s recommendations."

    *Registration required on NAS website for free download

  • Presentation Materials

    The Inclusive Graduate Network March Meeting 2022 Session Y28

    Monica Plisch
    Details
    APS logo 2022

    The Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN) is an NSF INCLUDES Alliance that seeks to advance equity in graduate education across the physical sciences. The IGEN Alliance is led by the APS, other professional societies in the physical sciences, and social scientists who provide critical expertise needed to build toward systemic change in graduate education. IGEN goals are to (1) increase the fraction of students from underrepresented groups who complete doctoral degrees in the physical sciences to match fraction at the bachelor's degree level, (2) catalyze the adoption of evidence-based inclusive practices toward a more equitable graduate education enterprise, (3) conduct relevant research and propagate results, and (4) establish sustained, cross-sector partnerships that support the advancement of underrepresented students from undergraduate studies through professional employment. In the first three years of the project, the American Chemical Society and the American Geophysical Union successfully launched Bridge Programs modeled on the APS Bridge Program, and collectively these three programs placed over 200 students on a path toward earning a doctoral degree. Over 65 workshops attended by more than 1700 participants have promoted inclusive practices for graduate education and postdoctoral mentoring. Relevant social science research results have been disseminated and translated for the benefit of practitioners. A broad and growing network of Alliance partners has been established, including 5 disciplinary societies, 4 minority serving organizations, 100 graduate programs, 15 national laboratories, and 5 corporate sponsors.

  • Article

    New View of Expanding Perspectives in the Geosciences

    Humberto Basilio
    Details
    Published in Eos. Science News by AGU, 2021-08

    "Earth and environmental sciences have some of the least diverse racial and ethnic representation in academia. To face profound future challenges, the fields need to address the inequities of the past and how they inform the present."

  • Article

    Ten simple rules for building an antiracist lab

    V. Bala Chaudhary and Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
    Details
    Published in PLOS Computational Biology, 2020-10

    Abstract: Demographics of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce and student body in the US and Europe continue to show severe underrepresentation of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). Among the documented causes of the persistent lack of diversity in STEM are bias, discrimination, and harassment of members of underrepresented minority groups (URMs). These issues persist due to continued marginalization, power imbalances, and lack of adequate policies against misconduct in academic and other scientific institutions. All scientists can play important roles in reversing this trend by shifting the culture of academic workplaces to intentionally implement equitable and inclusive policies, set norms for acceptable workplace conduct, and provide opportunities for mentorship and networking. As scientists are increasingly acknowledging the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in science, there is a need for clear direction on how to take antiracist action. Here we present 10 rules to help labs develop antiracists policies and action in an effort to promote racial and ethnic diversity, equity, and inclusion in science.

  • Five reasons graduate programs reject stellar applicants

  • Journal Article

    Departmental support structures for physics graduate students: Development and psychometric evaluation of a self-report instrument

    Diana Sachmpazidi and Charles Henderson
    Details
    Published in Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2021-03

    Abstract: High attrition rates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines are an ongoing problem. Graduate student attrition, in particular, is understudied. Most past studies have focused on students’ attributes, undergraduate preparation, and mentoring relationships. Emerging results from the implementation of the American Physical Society Bridge Program (APSBP) suggest that departmental support structures could lead to increased retention. However, there are no validated instruments to measure students’ experience of the departmental support structures. This paper describes the development and psychometric evaluation of the aspects of student experience scale (ASES). Items were developed based on prior literature and the APSBP recommendations, revised based on APSBP feedback, and subjected to psychometric evaluation. Principal components analysis of data from 397 students at 19 physics graduate programs (2 M.S. and 17 Ph.D.) across the U.S. resulted in four distinct factors: (a) mentoring and research experience, (b) professional development, (c) social and academic integration, and (d) financial support. ASES meets the standard criteria for divergent validity, discriminant validity, and internal consistency. Results of students’ ASES response ratings are discussed, along with comparisons between students enrolled at APSBP and non-APSBP affiliated graduate programs. On average, we find that physics graduate students experience adequate mentoring and financial support; however, they report experiencing limited social and academic integration and a lack of professional development. We also find that students in APSBP affiliated programs report better experiences on all four factors than students in non-APSBP affiliated programs, with higher differences in social and academic integration and financial support. This study is a starting point for the refinement process of this instrument.

  • Journal Article

    Analyzing admissions metrics as predictors of graduate GPA and whether graduate GPA mediates Ph.D. completion

    Mike Verostek, Casey W. Miller, and Benjamin Zwickl
    Details
    Published in APS Physics, 2021-09

    As physics graduate admission committees across the country consider eliminating GRE scores from consider- ation when evaluating applicants [1,2], it is important to continue examining the GRE’s ability to predict success in graduate school in order for programs to make informed policy choices. Although GRE scores are among the numeric metrics that best predict admission into U.S. graduate programs [3,4], there are significant disparities in typical GRE performance between students of different demographic backgrounds [5]. Combined with the fact that physics remains one of the least diverse of all the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields [6], the prospect that GRE tests limit the ability of certain students to enter graduate school has led researchers to begin questioning the utility of GRE exam scores in the graduate admissions process in comparison to other quantitative metrics such as undergraduate GPA (UGPA) [1,7,8]. Among some of the findings in this body of work are indications that earning high marks on the GRE Physics (GRE-P) test fails to help students “stand out” to admis- sions committees who would have overlooked them due to an otherwise weak application [8], and that typical physics Ph.D. admissions criteria such as the GRE-P exam fail to predict Ph.D. completion despite limiting access to gradu- ate school for underrepresented groups [1].

     

  • Journal Article

    First-year graduate courses foster inclusion

    Michele Cooke, Mya Breitbart, Emily Cooperdock, Naomi Levin, Nathan Niemi, Christopher Bell, Liane Stevens & Karen Viskupic
    Details
    Published in Nature Geoscience, 2021-07

    To the Editor – Recent studies have highlighted the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in geoscience1 and the failure to increase diversity of students earning geoscience PhDs in the United States for more than 40 years2. In response to this crisis, programmes are working to expand diversity through graduate recruitment efforts3. However, our discipline will not become more diverse without making our graduate programmes more inclusive and sustainable for those who enter them. As part of our inclusive practices, we, as US professors and mentors of graduate students, have built courses for first-year graduate students that seek to make transparent the tacit knowledge needed to succeed in our discipline4, sometimes called the hidden curriculum of graduate school.
     

  • Journal Article

    Disrupt and demystify the unwritten rules of graduate school

    Jennifer Pensky, Christina Richardson, Araceli Serrano, Galen Gorski, Adam N. Price & Margaret Zimmer
    Details
    Published in Nature Geoscience, 2021-08

    To the Editor – A graduate school curriculum can be viewed as an iceberg the tip of which is focused on tangible skill development, such as data collection, analysis and publishing.

     

     

    Image removed.

  • Journal Article

    An actionable anti-racism plan for geoscience organizations

    Hendratta N. Ali, Sarah L. Sheffield, Jennifer E. Bauer, Rocío P. Caballero-Gill, Nicole M. Gasparini, Julie Libarkin, Kalynda K. Gonzales, Jane Willenbring, Erika Amir-Lin, Julia Cisneros, Dipa Desai, Maitri Erwin, Elisabeth Gallant, Kiara Jeannelle Gomez, Benjamin A. Keisling, Robert Mahon, Erika Marín-Spiotta, Leiaka Welcome & Blair Schneider
    Details
    Published in Nature Communications, 2021-06

    For an organization to be anti-racist and equitable, it needs to ask and answer some difficult yet important questions: Who is in the organization? Who benefits from the status quo? Who holds power, and who feels safe? Who is left out, who is powerless, and who feels unsafe? And ultimately, Why? Why do these differences exist? In considering these questions, this group—consisting of BIPOC, white, LGBTQ+, straight, disabled, abled, immigrant, non-immigrant, women, men, and genderqueer individuals—identifies 20 concrete actions that organizations must take to become anti-racist. These 20 actions are organized around six constructs—identityvaluesaccessinclusionequity, and justice—vital for anti-racist thinking (Figs. 1 and 2).

     

  • Guide

    Considerations for Reference Letter Writers

    APS Bridge Program
    Details

    The American Physical Society Bridge Program has compiled these tips for drafting an effective letter of recommendation for a student seeking
    admission into a graduate program.

  • Report

    Equitable Exchange: A Framework for Diversity and Inclusion in the Geosciences

    AGU Advances
    Details
    AGU logo

    Abstract

     

    We highlight a mechanism for the coproduction of research with local communities as a means of elevating the social relevance of the geosciences, increasing the potential for broader and more diverse participation. We outline the concept of an “Equitable Exchange” as an ethical framework guiding these interactions. This principled research model emphasizes that “currencies”—the rewards and value from participating in research—may differ between local communities and geoscientists. For those engaged in this work, an Equitable Exchange emboldens boundary spanning geoscientists to bring their whole selves to the work, providing a means for inclusive climates and rewarding cultural competency.

     

    Key Points:

     

    • We need new mechanisms to broaden participation in the geosciences

    • Co-production of science with local underrepresented communities may improve societal relevance and diversify geosciences

    • The Equitable Exchange creates an ethical framework for coproduction and inculcates skills related to cultural competency and attention to inclusive practices into the geosciences

     

  • Newsletter

    How To Land Your First Job: An Email Guide

    C&EN
    Details
    C&EN's How To Land Your First Job Published in c&en, 2021-07

    Are you trying to navigate the job search and feeling lost? C&EN’s 7-step guide on How to Land Your First Job might just be the roadmap you’re looking for! Subscribe for tried-and-true advice from your peers in academia, industry, and other careers. Then, twice a week, we’ll email you advice from these experts on how to find the career path that’s right for you, grow your network, find out where the jobs are, put together an impressive CV or resume, craft a winning cover letter, ace the interview, and negotiate the job offer. In your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday.

     

    By completing and submitting this form, you are subscribing to C&EN’s How to Land Your First Job. You understand and agree that use of American Chemical Society (ACS) websites are subject to the ACS Terms of Use and ACS Privacy Policy, including the fact that ACS can contact you based on the information provided. In order to process your registration completely, you understand that your information will be transferred to ACS’ affiliates globally.
     

  • Article

    100 inspiring Hispanic/Latinx scientists in America

    Christina Termini
    Details
    100 Inspiring HISPANIC_LATINX Scientists in America Published in CellPress, 2020-09

    Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor once said, "Until we get equality in education, we won't have an
    equal society." Though aimed at society as a whole, her words also apply to our scientific society.

     

    Until the scientific community makes dedicated efforts to include minority scholars, science will never be an equal society. While the Supreme Court recently ruled to block attempts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the fight against systemic racism is a long journey that extends far beyond this case. We must all work to ensure scientists from all walks of life are supported and welcomed into the scientific community in order to build a landscape that more accurately represents the makeup of society.

     

    In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we're showcasing 100 of the most inspiring Hispanic/Latinx scientists working in the United States. This list—selected based on scholarly achievements, mentoring excellence, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion—represents only a subset of the scientific role models in the community. Our aim in assembling these names is to put an end to the harmful myth that there are not enough diverse scientists to give seminars, serve as panelists, or fill scientific positions. We highlight scientists encompassing careers within academia, government, and biotech and showcase individuals committed to serving diverse student populations at Hispanic-serving institutions. Although we understand this list is not fully representative of the Hispanic/Latinx scientific community, we hope it will help to change the perception of what a scientist looks like and makes our collective image more representative of society at large.

     

    ***To read the entire article, please click on the link above.***

     

    NOTE: "100" List includes Christine Ortiz, PhD, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and  IGEN National Advisory Board Co-Chair.

     

     

  • Report

    AGU’s Ethics Annual Report 2020

    American Geophysical Union
    Details
    AGU Annual Ethics Report 2020 Published in AGU Annual Ethics Report 2020, 2021-04

    Introduction

     

    In 2020, we witnessed unprecedented societal challenges and calls to action impacting the entire Earth and Space Sciences (ESS) community. The global COVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionately impacted racial and ethnic minorities, coincided with an additional clarion call to address systemic racism, initiating a global movement to reexamine past and current diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices across all major institutions. From a DEI point of view, 2020 can be summed up as a year of coping, reckoning and addressing significant new challenges. However, 2020 was also a year of DEI opportunity, advancement and innovation at AGU. Much of that opportunity, innovation and advancement is based on AGU’s new strategic plan, adopted in April 2020, with a key goal to build, cultivate and support an inclusive science community that builds on past DEI strategic plan initiatives.

     

  • Journal Article

    Sell yourself and your science in a compelling personal statement

    Andy Tay
    Details
    Sell yourself and your science in a compelling personal statement Published in Nature, 2021-04

    Don’t get bogged down in technical details, and balance the professional and the personal.

     

    Personal statements — essays highlighting personal circumstances, qualities and achievements — are used extensively in science to evaluate candidates for jobs, awards and promotions. Five researchers offer tips for making yours stand out in a crowded and competitive market.

     

    Applicants should also tailor their personal statements to their audience. For instance, students applying to graduate schools and scholarships will often send generic personal statements with their applications. If applicants want an academic institution to invest in them, then their personal statements need to reflect a genuine interest in the organization they’re applying to. The candidates with better statements usually include details of labs they are interested in working in and specifics about research topics they find fascinating.

     

  • Recording

    Supporting mental health and well-being of STEMM graduate students

    American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    Details
    ASBMB Virtual Event Published in American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2021-04

    Highlights from the National Academies’ report

    April 7, 2021 | Duration: 1 hr. 2 mins.

     

    Student well-being is foundational to academic success. One recent survey of postsecondary educators found that nearly 80% believed emotional well-being is a "very" or "extremely" important factor in student success. While dealing with stress is a normal part of life, for some students, stress can adversely affect their physical, emotional and psychological health, particularly given that adolescence and early adulthood are when most mental illnesses first manifest.

     

    Join us for a conversation on supporting the mental health and well-being of STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) graduate students. Building on the recently released report "Mental Health, Substance Use, and Wellbeing in Higher Education: Supporting the Whole Student" from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, study authors Frances Leslie and Julie Posselt and study director Layne Scherer explore the key takeaways from this report related to graduate education.

     

    This webinar is part of a series of events co-organized by scientific societies committed to enhancing the professional development of early-career scientists. This event is hosted by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, with media partners American Chemical SocietyAmerican Geophysical UnionAmerican Physical SocietyAmerican Society for Cell Biology, and Professional Development Hub.

     

    DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION

     

  • Article

    Events Code of Conduct

    NSF INCLUDES: IGEN Project
    Details

    IGEN Events Code of Conduct

     

    The Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN) exists to create a more equitable future for the physical sciences, and an inclusive climate is a foundation of that future. As we gather for meetings, we are committed to holding ourselves and each other accountable to standards of respectful behavior that enable full engagement, productive connections, and learning. Therefore, it is IGEN’s policy that all participants, including attendees, vendors, IGEN project members, volunteers, and all other stakeholders at IGEN events will conduct themselves in a professional manner that is welcoming to all participants and free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

     

  • Article

    Guidelines for Social Media and Photography

    NSF INCLUDES: IGEN Project
    Details

    About the Guidelines

     

    The IGEN Meetings Code of Conduct provides overall guidance for all meeting attendees and participants who participate in any sanctioned event. However, IGEN has specific guidelines for the use of social media and photography at all IGEN or IGEN Alliance planned meetings. We ask all meeting participants to follow the guidelines outlined below.

     

  • Presentation Materials

    INCLUDES Joint Alliances Joint Leadership

    Ted Hodapp & Cathy Mader
    Details
    INCLUDES Joint Alliances Joint Leadership Cover Image

    NSF INCLUDES Alliance: IGEN

    Vision - Advance equity in graduate education in the physical sciences

     

    Equity can be defined in a variety of ways. Our working definition is: reconfiguring structures and cultures in the system of graduate education to empower marginalized groups and close disparities.

     

    • Immediate: Establish Bridge programs to accelerate enrollment to erase BS-PhD gaps.

     

    • Long term: Institutionalize inclusive, evidence-based practices as the new normal to create more equitable, inclusive communities.

     

  • Report

    Postdoctoral Hiring & Equity Issues in STEM: Employment Trends, Policy and Research

    Jill Huynh and Kimberlee Shauman
    Details
    Research Hub STEM Hiring Report Cover Image

    BACKGROUND

     

    Inequities in postdoctoral hiring reflect and contribute to inequities in the scientific labor force more broadly. Although their positions are usually temporary, postdoctorates comprise a substantial proportion of the STEM research workforce and conduct a large share of the work generating laboratory productivity.

     

  • Article

    ACS Bridge Fellow Danica Gressel on the Importance of Community and Representation in Grad School

    American Chemical Society
    Details
    Published in inChemistry, 2020-11

    "Like many students who apply to grad school, Danica Gressel wondered if she had what it takes to be successful. With help from some great mentors, faculty, and the ACS Bridge Program, she was able to put her doubts to rest and grow in confidence, professionalism, and skill."

     

    Excerpt taken from inChemistry article [November 12, 2020]

     

  • Article

    ACS Bridge Program makes an impact

    Linda Wang
    Details
    Joe Rodriguez, PhD student at the Ohio State University Published in c&en, 2021-03

    Mentorship is key to the program’s success in diversifying the chemical sciences

     

    Launched in 2018, the ACS Bridge Program is part of the ACS Bridge Project and aims to increase the number of Black, Latino, and Indigenous students earning doctoral degrees in the chemical sciences. The program is part of the NSF INCLUDES Alliance: Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN) and is supported by a grant from the US National Science Foundation, with additional funding from the Genentech Foundation. The ACS Bridge Program is modeled after the successful American Physical Society Bridge Program, which matches students accepted into the program with partner institutions that provide individualized mentoring and support.

     

  • Book

    Book Discussion Guide | Equity in Science: Representation, Culture, & the Dynamics of Change in Graduate Education

    IGEN Inclusive Practices and Research Hubs
    Details
    Book Discussion Guide | Equity in Science

    OBJECTIVES

     

    1. Reflection: This guide can help you as an individual reader assess

      • understanding of key themes and ideas in the book and

      • implications for your thinking, behavior, & your organization’s policies & practices.

         

    2. Discussion: You and your colleagues can use this guide to get on the same page about the science of social change, so that you can more effectively apply it. Research shows there is a critical role for collective sensemaking in the change process, especially as a group encounters new and different ideas.

       

    3. Action Planning: The guide will support you in applying lessons from the case studies by a) articulating specific actions that you or your organization might take,

      • assessing the adequacy of efforts already underway or needs to course-correct,

      • coordinating with others who hold complementary perspective and expertise.

     

  • Website

    Connection First

    Connection First
    Details
    Connection First

    Our Mission

     

    We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Our mission is to create spaces where people are seen, heard, and valued. To do this, the organization will use Nonviolent Communication and restorative practices to counter the effects of epidemic trauma in all systems: government, education, business, industry, and homes.

     

  • Website

    URGE: Unlearning Racism in Geoscience

    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Details
    URGE Website

    URGE's primary objectives are to:

     

    1. Deepen the community’s knowledge of the effects of racism on the participation and retention of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people in Geoscience
    2. Draw on existing literature, expert opinions, and personal experiences to develop anti-racist policies and strategies, and
    3. Share, discuss, and modify anti-racist policies and strategies within a dynamic community network and on a national stage.

     

    Read URGE's summary here.