Diversity

Postdoc Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

MIT PDA DEI logo

Mission Statement

We seek to address all aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) for postdocs at MIT. By leveraging the existing globally diverse population of postdocs, we hope to create an even more inclusive, diverse, and collaborative environment for all at MIT, and to prepare postdocs to be leaders in DE&I efforts both here and at future workplaces. By maintaining this standing committee, we aim to enable its members to provide new opportunities for training, to assemble resources, and to advocate for awareness and institutional changes.

The committee is run primarily by the DE&I Chair of the PDA, presently Kyle Diederichsen, but many postdocs have contributed to getting the committee going!

If you would like to be involved, join by signing up through this form. Keep an eye out for emails about meetings and other events! We have ongoing book and journal clubs open to any postdoc.

We will use this website to keep track of resources that would be useful to postdocs related to DE&I efforts. There are numerous groups on campus that overlap and support related goals, but we hope to be a central resource for postdocs to help promote these sometimes separate areas. This website is still a work in progress, and we would love to hear your suggestions!

Activities of the DE&I Committee

Postdoc Hiring and Recruitment at MIT
We have recently finished a report on postdoc hiring and recruitment at MIT.
Read a summary and access the full report →
Book and Journal Clubs
We run DEI-focused book and journal clubs. All postdocs are invited to attend, learn about relevant research and join the discussion.
Fill out this form to join →
Talks and Panel Discussions
We organize various DEI-related talks and panel discussions.

Bias in Academia – Prof. Gibor Basri (UC Berkeley)

Prof. Gibor Basri is an astrophysics professor at UC Berkeley. He received his PhD in astrophysics from University of Colorado at Boulder. During his academic career, he has worked extensively on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. He also served as the vice chancellor for equity and inclusion of the UC Berkeley campus. The talk covers his reflection on diversity, equity, and inclusion practices in academia and tips for postdocs on how to become future mentors and leaders.
The recording of this talk is available on YouTube →

Picture a Scientist – Move screening and panel discussion

Picture a Scientist follows three researchers, biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring, exploring their experiences in the sciences that range from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights. The virtual screening of the movie was followed by a panel discussion to delve into questions about the challenges that women face in science today, particularly in our own academic communities at MIT.

Postdoc Groups

qtPhD’s, a group supporting the LGBTQ+ community, as well as their allies
Access Page →
Black Postdoc Group
Access Page →
Postdoc Women Engaged in Research (POWER) Group
Access Page →

Resources

MIT Offices and Groups

Institute Community and Equity Office (ICEO)
The Institute Community and Equity Office (ICEO) is the primary source for DE&I related efforts at MIT. The ICEO also maintains an extensive list of offices, committees, people, and other resources related to their mission. The Committee on Race and Diversity (CRD) also offers a Grant Program intended to promote diversity and inclusion initiatives at MIT, and to help offset the costs of such events and programs.
Human Resources
Human Resources provide many training courses (including on bias-free practices, everyday leadership and pivotal conversations). Postdocs may also wish to join Employee-Led Resource Groups formed around common interests, common bonds, or similar backgrounds.
MLK Visiting Professors and Scholars Program
MIT established the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor Program to enhance and recognize the contributions of outstanding minority scholars.
MIT One Community Room
MIT’s One Community Room (8-219) is a private and safe space intended to help build community at MIT. It may be reserved by individuals or by groups whose focus is fostering a sense of belonging and unity on the MIT campus.

Other Resources

National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN)
The NIH has a trans-institutional National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) to develop, implement, assess, and disseminate innovative and effective approaches to engaging, training, and mentoring students; enhancing faculty development; and strengthening institutional research training infrastructure to enhance the participation and persistence of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds in biomedical research careers.

qtPhD’s, the PDA, the Committee on Race and Diversity, and the School of Science Quality of Life Program have sponsored several Inclusive Classrooms workshops, keep an eye out for future times during IAP and during the year! Several resources compiled by the workshop creators, Darcy G. Gordon, Ph.D., and David S. Bergsman, Ph.D. are reproduced below.

MIT’s own Professor Drennan has put together a guide to reducing stereotype threat in students and mentees
Access Resource →
Cornell University’s Center for Teaching Innovation has a nested set of resources on various aspects of inclusive teaching
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The Teaching Center at Washington University at St. Louis has a series of resources and references for setting ground rules, reducing stereotype threat, having difficult conversations, and more
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The University of Pittsburgh has helpful guidelines for gender–inclusive language
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Life Sciences Education (LSE) has a wonderfully thorough guide to improving your inclusive teaching, linking to supporting educational research
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The folks over at Accessible Syllabus have created a wonderful set of guides with references to help ensure the accessibility of syllabi
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The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning Network have a collection of articles, posters, and other media on the topic of inclusive teaching
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A guide to creating and setting ground rules is made available by Paul Gorski, see links on this page for other equity-based classroom ideas
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A graphic organizer summarizing Universal Design for Learning Guidelines are made available by CAST
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