Since the 2017-2018 academic year, DIBS has supported seminars and symposia on timely topics related specifically to increasing diversity and translating that diversity into authentic inclusion in neuroscience, as well as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
Our first programs grew out of a grassroots effort led by junior faculty and postdoctoral fellows to discuss gender-equity issues in the Duke neuroscience community. DIBS subsequently received a Faculty Advancement Seed Grant from the Duke Office for Faculty Advancement to pursue equity issues more formally. The award letter noted the proposed programming, “exemplifies the innovative and promising faculty development activity that the seed grant program is meant to support.”
In March 2020, COVID-19 restrictions required significant programming alterations. The planning group quickly pivoted to virtual events addressing the new, stressful realities for faculty, students, and staff. Since the first DIBS workshops, more than 500 individuals have participated in one or more in-person or virtual programs. Pre- and post-session surveys indicate that most attendees felt they gained knowledge about the subject matter covered. We are pleased Faculty Advancement continues to support the now-annual series.
Scientists Promoting Equity and Knowledge
DIBS also collaborates with other campus groups looking at equity issues. One of those is Scientists Promoting Equity and Knowledge (SPEAK), a group of early-career researchers at Duke University who are committed to grappling with issues of equity and power in academia and promoting a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment. SPEAK is supported by the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, Departments of Neurobiology and Psychology & Neuroscience, and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and recently featured in Nature Careers.
Several grassroot programs have been developed by DIBS community members that aim to increase the pool of diverse scientists in STEM, especially neuroscience, by providing paid research opportunities for students at both the high school (DUNE), and undergraduate (CNRI) level.
Duke University Neuroscience Education
The Duke University Neuroscience Experience (DUNE) provides high school students with a paid cutting-edge research experience in neuroscience laboratories at Duke University and encourages participation by students from underrepresented minority groups in STEM. Learn more about DUNE here.
Cognitive Neuroscience Research INTERNSHIP
The Cognitive Neuroscience Research Internship (CNRI) is a fully paid semester-long research internship for Duke undergraduate students who want to learn how to conduct research on human behavior and cognition. Learn more about CNRI here.