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Mission & Goals

The mission of the Immunobiology Working Group on Diversity & Inclusion is to create a more diverse, inclusive, informed, and engaged community. We work to ensure that all members of the department are treated with the utmost respect and are supported to create an exceptionally collegial environment. This collaborative environment fosters high-quality research and success of its members.

We work to build practices that increase diversity, inclusion, and equity at all levels in the department. We currently have seven subcommittees (see tab) and some of their goals are the following:

  • To foster knowledge on issues relevant to diversity and inclusion is important at all levels of the training pipeline and is a goal of the Equity subcommittee.
  • To develop initiatives in which members of the Immunobiology community engage with high school and undergraduate students is a goal of the Outreach subcommittee.
  • To facilitate the transition of first-year graduate students in New Haven and the department by providing a graduate student and faculty member as buddies is a goal of the Trainee Transition subcommittee.
  • To enhance the sense of belonging and promote networking among graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members is a goal of the Postdoc/Social subcommittee.
  • To establish practices that promote DEI, such as town halls, workshops, DEI speakers, and involvement of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in faculty hiring, are goals of the Executive subcommittee.
  • To promote the wellbeing of members of our community is a goal of the Well-Being subcommittee.
  • To create community and engagement in a large department is a goal of the Engagement subcommittee.

Long-term goals:

  1. Reward URM faculty/trainees who engage in teaching, mentoring, outreach, and DEI efforts by:
    • reducing their administrative demands or offering fellowships/funding
    • prioritizing these efforts in hiring and tenure/promotion decisions
    • financially compensating those who attend conferences to promote the department and recruit new members
  2. Encourage more URMs to consider STEM careers and apply to grad school by:
    • promoting our values and available opportunities via video and social media
    • encouraging and funding local URM students to work in IBIO labs
    • waiving the BBS application fees and allowing need-based deadline flexibility
    • allowing trainees to attend more conferences to assist faculty with recruitment efforts
  3. Build a more inclusive culture and sense of community by:
    • ensuring that our recruitment efforts reflect our values and avoid negative stereotypes
    • making DEI education and discussions routine at town halls and annual retreats
    • increasing awareness of microaggressions and providing bystander intervention training, and holding perpetrators accountable
    • Increase awareness of unintentional bias and implementing tools to break the habit of bias
  4. Prioritize hiring more URM faculty (ideally in clusters) by:
    • explicitly stating the department’s values and encouraging URMs to apply in job postings
    • devoting research/salary funding specifically for URM faculty
    • hosting a symposium for URM trainees, offering travel awards and honoraria for selected speakers and using this as a recruiting opportunity
    • developing new evaluation criteria to assess and reward (e.g. hiring and promoting) those who excel at mentorship, teaching and outreach
  5. Recruit and retain more URM trainees by:
    • evaluating how we recruit postdocs and create a department-wide set of best practices
    • enhancing research/administrative/institutional support for parents of small children
    • conducting periodic “stay” (as opposed to “exit”) interviews with faculty and trainees
    • increasing trainee access to URM mentors through a sabbatical program that facilitates external URM faculty to spend time in the department
    • Establish a committee to help facilitate transition to working and living in New Haven