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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Our Values

The Department of Biological Sciences is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion among its faculty, students, and staff. We believe that our intellectual environment is improved by incorporating perspectives that derive from a range of ethnicities, races, genders, sexual orientations, political and religious beliefs, abilities, and life experiences. To support this vision, we stand against discrimination and harassment and we strive to create an environment where all individuals are respected and appreciated for their unique identities.

Our department actively works to create, support, and participate in initiatives that reflect our values.

  • Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) at Vanderbilt – The NIH-funded MARC Scholars Program provides funding and mentorship for juniors and seniors from diverse backgrounds to help prepare them for research careers in the biomedical sciences.
  • STEM Transition and Retention (START) Advisory Groups – Freshman and sophomores interested in STEM majors are invited to join small groups led by graduate student and postdoctoral mentors to learn about research opportunities, discuss career paths in the STEM disciplines, and develop a sense of community at Vanderbilt.
  • Learning Assistants (LA) Program – The department is working to innovate the undergraduate curriculum and make it more equitable, welcoming, and engaging by incorporating learning assistants. Learning assistants are undergraduates trained in pedagogy who work as peer instructors in classes they have already taken, thereby serving as a source of academic and social support to currently enrolled students.
  • HHMI Inclusive Excellence 3 (IE3) and Driving Change Learning Communities – Members of the department have received grants to participate in these two initiatives through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. These initiatives promote institutional and curricular change and create a sense of belonging for all students, particularly those historically excluded from the STEM disciplines.
  • Inclusivity in the BioSciences Association (IBA) – IBA includes faculty, students, and staff from the Biological Sciences department as well as other groups. The goal of the association is to organize and participate in initiatives that promote inclusivity and education outreach.

We hold all members of our community accountable to our values. If you are experiencing discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual misconduct: