Dear Biomedical Graduate Education (BGE) Community,
Recent events have given us pause to reflect on historical racial injustices against the black community — injustices that have long transcended academic institutions. We have work to do.
The School of Medicine recently announced the formation of the GUSOM Racial Justice Committee for Change (RJCC) to assess and formulate recommendations. Complementary to the work of the RJCC, we will create an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisory Council (EDI-AC) to the Senior Associate Dean for BGE, composed of BGE administrators, BGE faculty, graduate student group leaders, and Postdoctoral Association group leaders. In consultation with the EDI-AC, Biomedical Graduate Education will engage in activities that work toward eliminating structural barriers toward diversity, equity, and inclusion, and improve recruitment and retention of marginalized graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
To Begin This Important Work:
- We will collaborate with programs explicitly focused on diversifying the scientific workforce (ie, NIH PREP, Leadership Alliance, McNair Scholars) to recruit more diverse applicants for our graduate programs.
- We will pursue funding to design cohorted undergraduate research immersion programs, focused on developing a diverse community of scholars and a targeted applicant pool for our graduate programs.
- We will collaborate with our NIH-funded training programs to host an annual Postdoc Preview, a targeted postdoc recruitment event that brings diverse senior level PhD students to Georgetown to engage our community and meet with potential faculty mentors.
- We will develop resources and programming to educate our graduate admissions committees on the implications of implicit bias and how to mitigate those biases in their selection process and criteria.
- We will be asking our graduate program leaders to reassess their admissions criteria (such as reliance on standardized test scores) to determine whether the metrics are screening out trainees who could succeed in the program.
- We support the decision of our Medical Center Graduate Student Organization (MCGSO) to establish an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (whose co-chairs will sit on EDI-AC) to develop programs and facilitate racial justice dialogue topics pertinent to the graduate and research community.
- We will expand our One Step Ahead Mentoring program to facilitate additional mentoring interactions, including: alumni with current students/trainees, and current PhD students/Postdocs with current masters students.
- We will host speakers from diverse backgrounds to discuss biomedical career pathways in the biomedical sciences.
- We will generate and maintain a list of diverse scientists that our programs can reference when scheduling guest speakers.
- We will collaborate with our NIH-funded training programs to facilitate mentor training in diversity and inclusion practices for faculty.
- In an effort to track our progress, we will annually collect and analyze aggregated PhD admissions, enrollment, and outcomes data, and analogous data for Postdocs, in accordance with the taxonomy generated from the Coalition of Next Generation Life Sciences.
Anna T. Riegel, PhD
Senior Associate Dean for Biomedical Graduate Education
Cecilia Rudman Fisher Professor of Oncology and Pharmacology
Caleb C. McKinney, PhD
Assistant Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Training & Development, BGE
Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine