Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

PBS is deeply committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion within our department and within our field. This includes an active commitment to promoting anti-racism and embracing diversity across race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, immigration circumstances, language, age, ability, and other aspects of identity. This commitment was formalized in August 2019 with the formation of the PBS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. The committee’s role is to catalyze change within the department, in pursuit of more equitable and inclusive approaches to all aspects of our academic work: university service, teaching, mentorship, and scholarship. To this end, our high-level priorities include the following: (1) fostering community commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, (2) diversifying our PBS community, (3) ensuring an inclusive departmental climate, and (4) promoting inclusivity in our teaching, mentorship, and scholarship.

Our initiatives include the following:

  • Make undergraduate students’ access to research more equitable by expanding work study opportunities within PBS research labs (Fall 2021 & ongoing).
  • Develop and pilot a system through which students can anonymously provide feedback to faculty regarding classroom climate and inclusivity (Summer 2021 & ongoing).
  • Design a multi-component approach for deepening undergraduates’ feelings of connectedness to the department and supporting undergraduate career development, with a focus on students of color (Fall 2021 & ongoing).
  • Form a PBS DE&I Undergraduate Advisory Council to ensure that undergraduate student perspectives are reflected in the DE&I committee’s work (Spring 2022 & ongoing).
  • Participate in BU’s annual visit program for prospective graduate students from racial and ethnic backgrounds that are underrepresented in the academy (Spring 2021 & Spring 2022).
  • Attended the 2021 Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM (TIDES) Institute (Summer 2021)
  • Hosted an Emerging Scholars program in which early career clinical psychologists from racial and ethnic groups that have been historically underrepresented in the academy participated in a two-part symposium focused on clinical science (May and October 2021).
  • Held a half-day faculty working session (January 2021) solely focused on DEI; objectives included deepening the departmental commitment to DEI, recognizing how biases shape our work, and identifying ways in which we can actively contribute to diversifying the fields of psychological and brain sciences.
  • Conducted the first in a series of climate surveys of undergraduate and graduate students within the department (December 2020), the results of which are being used to inform best practices and next steps for our DEI-related departmental goals.
  • Examined graduate admissions policies through an equity lens and implemented best practices to increase equity across all stages of the admissions process (Fall 2020).
  • Collated and distributed best practices for curricular changes to increase the representation of diverse voices within courses on psychological and brain sciences (August 2020).
  • Held a departmental town hall to communicate the goals and initiatives of the PBS DEI committee and hear feedback from members of the PBS community (August 2020).
  • Contributed to the BU D&I “Learn More” Series and BU Day of Collective Engagement and held reflection sessions for PBS faculty afterward (June 2020).
  • Interface with and contribute to larger DEI initiatives across the College of Arts and Sciences and BU (ongoing).

If you have comments, questions, or are interested in joining the committee, please reach out to us at PBSDI@bu.edu.