February 15, 2019

Formation of the Inclusive Environments and Metrics in Biology Education and Research (iEMBER) Network: Building a Culture of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

By Miguel Valdez Soto

Abstract

The Inclusive Environments and Metrics in Biology Education and Research (iEMBER) network is a newly forming national community of practice that engages diversity, equity, and inclusion stakeholders in interdisciplinary collaborative projects. iEMBER was initiated with incubator funding from the National Science Foundation program for Research Coordination Networks in Undergraduate Biology Education. In June 2017, biology education researchers, social scientists, biologists, and program and policy administrators, all with interests in diversity, equity, and inclusion, met to lay the foundation for the iEMBER network. iEMBER provides a distinct forum to coordinate efforts through networking, professional development, and the initiation of collaborative research. iEMBER advances science, technology, engineering, and mathematics reform focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion through the initiation of research teams at the iEMBER biennial conference and outreach efforts at discipline-specific meetings and conferences. The focus of iEMBER is on understanding how to create inclusive, supportive, and engaging environments to foster the success of all biology students and trainees. This report focuses on the structure of the iEMBER network, two takeaways that emerged from the 2017 conference (interdisciplinary networking/collaboration and intradisciplinary broadening participation strategies), and ways for prospective members to engage in ongoing dialogue and future events.

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