Call for nominations

The Annual BiasWatchNeuro Award for Equity and Inclusivity


Diverse voices and ideas deserve to be heard equitably in science. Since 2015, BiasWatchNeuro has worked to increase the representation of women in neuroscience and related fields, emphasizing in particular the representation of women as invited speakers at conferences. However, women are not the only group that is confronted with implicit biases and systemic obstacles in science. Minoritized groups are severely underrepresented at every level of the academic career path — from undergraduate education to faculty. Attempts to diversify departments have increased, but the reality is that many universities and institutions still embody and perpetuate both the historical influence of being established by men of privilege, and the persisting effects of systemic racism in our society. Even as more diverse student bodies are recruited, the culture in many departments and institutions is not welcoming to and supportive of those that belong to minoritized groups. Intersectionality adds another layer of disadvantage, with minoritized women being especially underrepresented and unsupported.

It is time to change this reality and build a new one, in our departments and institutions. Black scientists matter. Latinx scientists matter. LGBTQAI+ scientists matter. First generation scientists matter. Low income scientists matter. Intersectionality matters.

BiasWatchNeuro is excited to announce a new Annual Award for Equity and Inclusivity, awarded to a neuroscience or neuroscience-related department, institute or program that demonstrates the exceptional creation of a culture where individuals underrepresented and/or marginalized in STEM feel integral to the community and thrive. 

We recognize that no department/institute/program is perfect. However, some are doing much better than others, and should be recognized for this. Nomination letters for winners and runner ups will be made public (without the list of signatories, which will remain confidential), to showcase successful methods for creating an inclusive and equitable culture, and to provide prospective trainees at all levels with information that can inform their decisions of where to apply to. We hope that this will help us all improve our practices and move toward a day in which all neuroscientists feel seen, respected, and supported. 

Nominations for the 2020 award will be accepted through August 31, 2020. Awards will be announced in September. 

Letter of nomination signed by one or more trainees (current and/or alumni; including post-bacc/RAs; faculty cannot nominate their current program) should be sent to biaswatchneuro@gmail.com. Letters should describe in detail specific actions and elements that promote inclusivity and equity, and their impact on underrepresented/marginalized groups. More than one letter and/or letters with multiple signatories will be viewed favorably.

Names of the nominating people will remain confidential and will not be seen by anyone except a small award committee, who are committed to confidentiality.  The letter itself will be made public only with permission and after redactions as warranted to maintain the confidentiality of the nominators.