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

    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.

     

  • Guide

    Better Letters: Equitable Practices

    IGEN Research Hub
    Details
    Better Letters Cover Image Published in Equity in Graduate Education - University of Southern California, 2020-11

    When graduate admissions committees meet to review applicant files, letters of recommendation are one component of the holistic review process that provides information about the applicant’s previous work, personality, and potential for success as a doctoral student. In order to ensure that letters of recommendation are effective tools for enhancing equity, we must critically assess how we write, read, and solicit letters of recommendation. This is especially important because numerous studies have demonstrated the presence of implicit biases in letters of recommendation (Dutt et al, 2016; Madera et al., 2019; Trix & Psenka, 2003). The presence of these biases in letters of recommendation can influence how prospective students are evaluated by admission committees and therefore may produce and reproduce racial and gender inequality in doctoral education.

     

  • 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.

     

  • 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.

     

  • 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.

     

  • Book

    The Privileged Poor

    Anthony Abraham Jack
    Details
    The Privileged Poor Published in Harvard University Press, 2019-03

    Getting in is only half the battle. The Privileged Poor reveals how—and why—disadvantaged students struggle at elite colleges, and explains what schools can do differently if these students are to thrive.

     

    The Ivy League looks different than it used to. College presidents and deans of admission have opened their doors—and their coffers—to support a more diverse student body. But is it enough just to admit these students? In The Privileged PoorAnthony Jack reveals that the struggles of less privileged students continue long after they’ve arrived on campus. Admission, they quickly learn, is not the same as acceptance. This bracing and necessary book documents how university policies and cultures can exacerbate preexisting inequalities and reveals why these policies hit some students harder than others.

     

    Despite their lofty aspirations, top colleges hedge their bets by recruiting their new diversity largely from the same old sources, admitting scores of lower-income black, Latino, and white undergraduates from elite private high schools like Exeter and Andover. These students approach campus life very differently from students who attended local, and typically troubled, public high schools and are often left to flounder on their own. Drawing on interviews with dozens of undergraduates at one of America’s most famous colleges and on his own experiences as one of the privileged poor, Jack describes the lives poor students bring with them and shows how powerfully background affects their chances of success.

     

    If we truly want our top colleges to be engines of opportunity, university policies and campus cultures will have to change. Jack provides concrete advice to help schools reduce these hidden disadvantages—advice we cannot afford to ignore.

     

  • Website

    AGU Ethics and Equity Center

    American Geophysical Union
    Details
    AGU Ethics and Equity Center

    Advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in science

     

    AGU’s leadership in establishing the Ethics and Equity Center will help promote greater diversity, equity, inclusion and integrity in scientific work and research environments. Delve into our newly redesigned site for tools to act and institute more inclusive practices in your workplace or organization.

     

  • Website

    AGU Pathfinder: Learn and Develop

    American Geophysical Union
    Details
    AGU Pathfinder: Learn and Develop

    Finding and Following Your Path

     

    No matter your career stage, professional and career development are important to advancing yourself and helping guide others. AGU Pathfinder provides career and educational resources, webinars, mentoring services, and support for students and professionals at all levels in Earth and space science.

     

    At AGU, we’re especially committed to inspiring and educating present and future generations of diverse, innovative, and creative Earth and space scientists. We know that the impact of our science grows when individuals and groups who aspire to contribute to science are welcomed and supported and when we have a strong pipeline. By helping all people at any stage of their careers, and through a commitment to creating ethical, inclusive and diverse work environments, we can strengthen the global Earth and space science community and broaden its positive impact on society.

     

  • Website

    Graduate & Postdoctoral Chemist

    American Chemical Society
    Details
    GP Chemist Magazine Published in GP Chemist,

    A FREE online magazine for Graduate Students & Postdocs, the GP Chemist focuses on career advice, wellness, career paths, lab life, awards, fellowships, and general topics related to grad student and postdoc life. 

     

  • Website

    Georgia Tech Student Opens Up About Pursuing an Advanced Degree as a Vietnamese American

    American Chemical Society
    Details
    Thomas Pho Published in inChemistry, 2020-09

    "There is such a lack of diversity in STEM graduate school when it comes to ethnicities, especially when it comes to the Vietnamese community. Having more people within the Vietnamese community represented in STEM allows graduate school in STEM to be more accepted and normalized to Vietnamese who are considering a career in STEM. Read more to learn how Thomas Pho overcame this challenge as he pursues his PhD in the chemical sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology."

     

    Excerpt taken from inChemistry article [September 22, 2020]

     

  • Website

    Grad Student Isel Rivera Turns a Difficult Beginning into a Steady Stream of Growth

    American Chemical Society
    Details
    Isel Rivera Published in inChemistry, 2021-02

    "With help from the ACS Bridge Program, a preparatory program designed to support and mentor students from underrepresented minorities in their pursuit of graduate education, Isel Rivera, now a second-year doctoral student at Indiana University studying the interaction of nanoparticles, shares how she landed on a path to success."

     

    Excerpt taken from inChemistry article [February 24, 2021]

     

  • Newsletter

    IGEN News Winter 2021

    NSF INCLUDES: IGEN Project
    Details
    IGEN News Published in IGEN Newsletters, 2021-02

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

     

    Featured in this issue:

    • 2021 IGEN National Meeting Save The Date! & program planning.
    • Launch of IGEN's new website 
    • Opportunities to Learn: Equity in Graduate Education Virtual Journal Clubs
    • Bridge Program News
  • Presentation Materials

    Bridging Physics Talent: Discovering lost capability, building an inclusive landscape

    Ted Hodapp
    Details
    Bridging Physics Talent: Discovering lost capability, building an inclusive landscape Published in York University Online Presentation, 2021-01

    The complete presentation is available in PDF for download.

     

  • Website

    The Graduate Adviser - Monthly Advice Column

    Leonard Cassuto
    Details
    Graduate Adviser Image Published in The Chronicle of Higher Education,

    This resource links to The Graduate Adviser archive by Leonard Cassuto at The Chronicle of Higher Education.

     

  • Presentation Materials

    Progress Overview: Disciplinary Societies

    IGEN
    Details
    Progress Overview: Disciplinary Societies

    This slide, taken from IGEN's Reverse Site Visit 2020 presentation, highlights individual disciplinary society's progress made in year 2 towards project goals.

    [RSV Presentation Part 2, slide 6]

  • Article

    US Geoscience programmes drop controversial admissions test

    Virginia Gewin
    Details
    Nature Article Photo Published in Nature, 2020-07

    Geoscience graduate programmes across the United States are increasingly dropping a controversial standardized test from their admissions requirements.

    The graduate record examinations (GRE), which was introduced in 1949, aims to measure verbal and quantitative reasoning, analytical writing and critical thinking. In recent years, academic researchers and others have criticized the test, claiming that it unfairly weeds out capable students and restricts the flow of women and people from minority ethnic groups into the sciences.

    Geosciences departments began to eliminate it as an admissions requirement last year. The trend, dubbed GeoGRExit, has gained impetus as programmes seek to maintain numbers of graduate applications in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. But the geosciences have trailed behind other scientific disciplines. So far, more than 300 biology and biomedical graduate programmes have dropped the test, according to a list maintained by Joshua Hall, director of graduate admissions for the biological and biomedical sciences programme at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Some 62 US geosciences programmes no longer require applicants to submit GRE results, according to a database maintained by Sarah Ledford, an urban hydrologist at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Around half of those have dropped the requirement since 4 June, when the American Geophysical Union’s weekly news magazine, Eos, published an opinion piece calling for the test to be abandoned. It argued that eliminating the GRE could help to boost diversity in one of science’s most exclusive disciplines.

     

  • Presentation Materials

    Diversity in Graduate Mathematical Sciences

    Theodore Hodapp
    Details
    paraDIGMS-IMSI Conference Presented at
    paraDIGMS Fall Conference
    , 2020-11

    Theodore Hodapp, Director of the NSF INCLUDES: IGEN Project presents the hard facts which show the disparities of equity in graduate programs across STEM disciplines. Hodapp hares how IGEN and its disciplinary society parters and bridge program institutions are tackling this issue and making a difference in increasing equity in graduate STEM education through a bridge program model offered at partner institutions.

     

  • Report

    Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: 2020 Supplement

    American Council on Educations
    Details
    ACH | Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: 2020 Supplement

    This report examines over 150 indicators, looking at academic experiences and outcomes, and how these educational journeys differ, by race and ethnicity.

     

  • Workshop

    Getting Ready For Advanced Degrees (GRAD) Lab

    The National GEM Consortium
    Details
    GEM Grad Lab

    The National GEM Consortium’s, GRAD Lab offers underrepresented students exposure to the benefits of research and technology careers in a highly interactive one-day event.

    Speakers may range from current graduate students to senior managers to faculty and senior administrators. They are selected from diverse communities and disciplines to present on the following topics:

    • “Why Graduate School”
    • “How to Prepare for Graduate School”
    • “Understanding the GEM Fellowship”, and
    • “Voices From the Field: Real Life Research and Internship Experiences”

    GRAD Lab encourages young people of color to consider graduate engineering or science education and applying for the GEM fellowship. Focusing on the global importance of research and innovation, life-long career benefits, and real world role models the symposium will help each student envision his or her future as a technology leader, successfully apply for a GEM fellowship, and gain entry to a graduate program. GRAD Lab is GEM’s portable and scalable solution for developing diverse technical talent with advanced degrees.

     

  • Website

    Pathways To Science Resource Toolbox

    Institute for Broadening Participation (IBP)
    Details
    Pathways to Science Toolbox-Hammer

    The Pathways to Science Resource Toolbox has many resources to support students as they prepare for and apply to graduate school.  Students will find great suggestions for preparing their applications and faculty & staff will resources to help them be better support their students.

     

  • Website

    Planning for Graduate Work

    American Chemical Society
    Details
    ACS Planning for Graduate Work Banner

    Successfully preparing for, finding, and transitioning into a graduate program requires an investment of time and effort. Central to this process is the on-going consideration of your goals, strengths, and opportunities. The contacts in your network will also provide information, advice, and support. Remember that great resources for learning about graduate school are undergraduate advisers, graduate faculty, and graduate school events held as part of undergraduate programming at ACS meetings.

  • Guide

    Graduate School Reality Check

    American Chemical Society
    Details
    Graduate School Reality Check Guide Cover Published in Graduate School Reality Check Second Edition,

    If you’re considering graduate school, there is a lot you can do to ensure your success... and it’s never too early to start. Most important is completing a rigorous undergraduate curriculum, such as one that meets the requirements of an ACS-certified degree. Since chemistry research is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary, taking electives in other scientific areas of interest can be good preparation for interdisciplinary graduate work.

     

  • Guide

    APS Bridge Program Induction Manual

    American Physical Society
    Details
    APS Bridge Program Induction Manual

    The APS Bridge Program Student Induction Manual documents effective practices for inducting new students into graduate programs, as identified and described by APS Bridge Sites. It also includes specific strategies for developing a solid foundation for students before and well after their arrival on campus.