As a program and department we are committed to creating a communicative and nurturing environment that promotes kindness, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The priority of mentors is to actively promote a diverse and inclusive work environment and the commitment to fostering a diverse community in which all individuals are welcomed, respected, and supported to achieve their full potential.

We believe that training in science, specifically our network of Stanford Biosciences is the strongest when the trainees feel supported and included while immersed in diversity. We define diversity broadly, at all levels, spanning from ideas to disciplines to technology to, most importantly, people. Embedded firmly within our training program and embraced by all participating faculty are the values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI). We share these values with the School of Medicine and Stanford University, as a whole. We recognize that to turn those values into practice requires action at every level and that every group, including students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty must engage with conviction and energy. We, as a graduate program and department, are continually working to integrate culturally aware recruitment, training, mentoring, and career advancement that is individualized. Incoming students arrive with diverse backgrounds, education, and experience and we work to tailor the program outlined below to optimize the training of each student. 

We have taken several steps to foster inclusivity, diversity, and success in our training program. These efforts range from recruitment and outreach (e.g., participation in SSRP URM-focused summer research program; sending Program delegates to diversity focused national conferences); to addressing application barriers (e.g., fee waivers, elimination of GRE requirement); to application review (e.g., unconscious bias training, implementation of rubric for admissions scoring); to numerous retention efforts (e.g., ADVANCE, DARE, IDP, BioAIMs programs).

JEDI Reading and Discussion Group

Trainees and mentors jointly maintain this reading and discussion group with the goal to enhance the training of scientists at all levels within the Department and Program. This effort explores the role of scientists, as individuals and as part of larger Department and Program contributions, in promoting a more equitable and inclusive scientific community. This year, the group will meet for 5 1-hour sessions each quarter to discuss selected reading materials. The group is organized and led by graduate students and a Preceptor. This year’s topics will include “diversifying academic spaces”, “mentorship as a tool for resisting negative forces in academia”, and “finding and maintaining joy in academic spaces.” The discussion group engages the program in larger campus conversations, such as a virtual conversation with Ibram X. Kendi (author and Professor, Boston University) held in Fall of 2020. The group has created a database and lending library where educational materials on racial injustice and other JEDI topics can be compiled, accessed, and shared. This group has served as a catalyst for an ongoing conversation in our program to learn, reflect, grow, and act as individuals and together as a community.