Over the past year, the VPR office has consulted with staff, faculty, and students across campus to discuss how to make the research enterprise more just and accessible to current and prospective Utah residents of all backgrounds. Here is what the VPR office has done so far to increase opportunities that support equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in research at the U.
What have we done so far?
Institutional Funding Support
Institutional Funding Support is now available for grants proposals that are specifically aimed at funding EDI-related research projects. So far, the U has provided funds to support a $1.1M grant from the National Science Foundation awarded to the REFUGES program. Apply for institutional support here for EDI research studies.
Administrative supplements to recruit and retain diverse researchers
Administrative supplements are available to support the recruitment and retention of research personnel from groups that have been historically excluded from higher education institutions. The U’s administrative supplement program generally follows NSF’s guidelines for the eligible persons, but also broadens the diversity requirements to include LGBTQIA+ eligibility.
Hired a grant development specialist
Dr. Mercedes Ward is the VPR Office’s first grant development specialist to support research strategic planning and grant development specifically in equity, diversity, and inclusion. Dr. Ward will play a pivotal role in nurturing alliancesbetween and among faculty at the U, funding agencies, and communities to develop goals and implementation plans for the institutional EDI research portfolio.
Implement new education and training
The VPR Office has revised and developed new courses through the Office of Research Education to address EDI concerns in human subjects research. This includes a Best Practice Network that will work directly with sexual and gender minority populations in the research context, as well as sessions from the Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center about including diverse populations in research.
Demographics to enhance diversity in research participants
The VPR office will collect demographics to track the diversity of research participants for all studies conducted at the U which will serve as a baseline to assess how effective different community research outreach programs improve access to these novel research interventions. In addition, the VPR office has created a public facing webpage called Study locater that lists studies in need of research participants. The content is written in plain language to address potential health literacy concerns in both English and Spanish. In addition, the VPR Office is piloting new translation contractors to increase the number of studies to recruit non-English speaking participants.