Leaders at the Institute for Basic Biomedical Science (IBBS) are committed to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in basic science and providing a nurturing and supportive environment. Your support is critical to these initiatives, and the following opportunities are available for philanthropic support and funding. Contact our Development Office for more information.
The IBBS Emerging Investigator Fellowship
A major challenge that all graduate programs face with respect to diversity and inclusion is the need outcompete rival programs in attracting highly talented Ph.D. applicants. We aim to create a dedicated funding mechanism that can be used to help basic science graduate programs recruit outstanding diverse candidates that also are highly sought-after by peers. To have a widespread impact, we would be looking to support 15-20 such fellowships across all graduate programs in the basic sciences each year.
Industry/Philanthropy-Sponsored Underrepresented Minority Graduate Scholarships
Underrepresented minorities applying for undergraduate or graduate slots often have not had the opportunities afforded to their more privileged peers, and thus can be inappropriately considered to have fewer qualifications. In a head-to-head match against more ‘typical’ students for a limited number of coveted admission slots, underrepresented minority applicants from less traditional background will frequently lose out to applicants that attended the ‘right’ schools or established high-level connections through pre-doctoral research. Although persistent cuts to basic science funding over the past two decades have exacerbated this problem into a zero-sum game, programs should not be faced with having to make a decision between an intriguing ‘non-traditional’ underrepresented minority candidate and a ‘sure-fire’ non-underrepresented minority candidate. A key solution to alleviating this problem is to create student support exclusively for non-traditional diversity applicants. We seek to cultivate either private donors or industry sponsors to create named studentship fellowships that would support the full stipend of such candidates.
Basic Science Outreach Programs/Initiative for Careers in Science and Medicine
Careers in Science and Medicine is a pipeline program that develops students (‘scholars’) from low-income and educationally under-resourced backgrounds into successful professionals. Scholars specifically have an interest in pursuing health care, biomedical and STEM careers. Pre-doctoral outreach programs are an essential to building healthy diversity in the graduate ranks. Basic science faculty in the eye VBS currently manage several such programs, which consistently face difficulties in raising funds to maintain viability. The annual costs of these programs vary depending on their size and the types of opportunities they afford. Specific details can be provided on request.
The IBBS Underrepresented Minorities Fellows Program
Research Fellows’ programs take the place of a traditional post-doctoral fellow position to enable the best and brightest talents to independently pursue their research ambitions straight from graduate school before seeking a faculty research position. Established Fellows programs (e.g., Harvard, UCSF, Berkeley Miller) have a record of nurturing some of the most creative and exciting young scientific minds in the field; however, there currently exists no such program exclusively focused on supporting this talent from diverse or underrepresented groups. We seek to create an IBBS Underrepresented Minorities Fellows Program that would provide salary support for up to five individuals of outstanding promise and potential at any one time. Fellows would conduct independent research straight out of graduate school in a sponsor’s lab for a period of 3-5 years in lieu of a traditional post-doc.
Basic Science Cluster Hire
Creating an inclusive, multi-racial and multicultural environment in our institution requires attention not just on trainees, but on the professoriate as well. There is a pressing need for bold action to advance diversity and inclusivity among basic science faculty. Although efforts are being made to improve diversity at the level of single faculty hires, it is difficult to attract outstanding candidates to environments where they might be the only underrepresented minority in the department or organization. One proven way to counteract this problem that simultaneously helps rapidly rebalance representation is to hire diverse faculty in small clusters. To this end, we seek funds to support the hiring of four underrepresented faculty at the assistant professor level in one search across all nine basic science departments.