Current Projects

  • The faculty, staff, and trainees on the Genetics Advocacy Committee (GAC) are taking these specific actions to work towards creating an anti-racist, equitable department. This is not an exhaustive list of the actions necessary to achieve this goal, but we hope that the stated projects will provide the foundation for change. We will continue to update this page as we develop additional projects.
  • See list of all projects (SUNet ID required) for contact info for team leads and links to relevant project folders and Slack channels.
  • 1. Campus police reform
  • Critically discuss and consider supporting the petition put forward by the BLSA about campus police reform.

Stanford police patrol campus.

2. Training camp

Redesign the department's training camp, a week-long program for incoming PhD students, to introduce fundamental skills for their success in the program. Evaluate new topics for inclusion in the training camp curriculum including self-advocacy training, information about student support resources, and discussions about the societal impact of genetic research.

3. Retention and wellness

Maintain a centralized, easily accessible repository of mental health resources for trainees, staff, and faculty. Increase awareness of the importance of mental health maintenance in the PhD through talks at training camp, retreat, and other visible avenues. Advocate for more mentorship and management training for faculty. Install a genetics-specific ombuds person in the department that has the power to enact change when they are presented with issues.


Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) are available on campus at Vaden Health Center.

5. Department conversations

Foster ongoing conversations about diversity-related issues in the department. Invite speakers who study issues related to justice and inequality to speak at our Current Issues in Genetics seminars on a monthly basis, and in department-wide workshops. Host quarterly Town Halls and start a monthly lunchtime discussion group for diversity and inclusion-related issues and experiences, to serve as a listening and support group as well as action-planning when appropriate.

6. Ethics

Ensure ongoing education of trainees, faculty, and staff on ethical issues within the field of genetics. Focus on the ethics of (1) the conduct of genetic research involving vulnerable and underrepresented populations, both past and present; and (2) the contemporary use of personal genetic data in healthcare and the consumer sphere. Develop persisting frameworks to provide education in a classroom, seminar, and/or discussion.

Students and staff read and virtually discussed over a Zoom session, "White Fragility" by Robin DiAngelo in June, 2020.

7. Student tracking

Understand why interview candidates may choose other schools and follow the trajectory of current and former students in order to address issues related to graduate retention. Collect and analyze data about applicants, those who accept offers, and those who matriculate to provide identify the shortcomings of our diversity and advocacy initiatives.

8. PhD admissions process

Identify areas for improved equity in graduate admissions with respect to applications, application review, recruitment/interview weekend, and direct communication and support for applicants.

9. Anti-racism education

Coordinate department-level anti-racist education facilitated by the Genetics Department and the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity, most likely in three phases. The first phase would involve a faculty-only structural racism 101, in an attempt to recognize existing oppressive structures and the effect on trainees. The second phase would be a virtual-retreat for the department as a whole, including incoming students. The third phase would involve ongoing discussions and education.

10. Seminar series

Increase diversity of speakers at Stanford Genetics seminars. Increase the diversity of speakers and attendees of conferences held at Stanford.

11. Resource curation

Curate resources and project information that can be shared on an outward-facing portal to benefit advocacy efforts in other departments and institutions. This includes updating the department website to include anti-racism efforts and content. Coordinate internal organization of advocacy efforts.

12. Service requirement (Completed)

Enact a service requirement for Genetics PhD program.


Contact Us

Email the Genetics Advocacy Committe’s leadership team, or find contact info for project leads in the Stanford-view-only list of current projects.

Genetics Department Student Academic Diversity Officer, Robert Monroy.

Slack workspace

Join us on Slack! Anyone affiliated with Genetics is welcome to join, participate in discussions, and/or sign up to work on specific projects.

  1. Search for “geneticsadvocacy” at, or follow this link. SUNet ID required.

  2. Click "request to join". 

  3. Say hi in the #general channel! There is also a pinned post in #general with info on other channels you can join.