Diversity and Culture of Inclusion Overview

PreMiEr prioritizes diversity and culture of inclusion (DCI) recognizing that our ERC cannot maximize impacts without intentional efforts to foster both and promote an equitable environment where all can thrive. PreMiEr grew out of an existing 5-year partnership between Duke (HWI) and North Carolina A&T (HBCU).  This partnership taught both universities lessons on the practical implementation of diversity and culture of inclusion. The addition of North Carolina State (NCSU), UNC Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), and UNC Charlotte (UNC-C) to this team has provided us with an even greater opportunity to institutionalize DCI in every aspect of PreMiEr’s function.

PreMiEr is dedicated to building a diverse faculty and trainee population as a means to broaden participation in STEM.  This will be achieved by leveraging recruitment of underserved populations across all campuses and working to develop research pipelines between Duke, UNC-CH, UNC-C, NCSU and NCAT. We see the key to this effort stemming from PreMiEr advancing a bold and reimagined research agenda that not only benefits the historically privileged but also addresses the needs of historically marginalized communities.  We recognize that while diversity is known to impact creativity by fueling innovation, diversity without an inclusive culture and equitable framework can significantly limit creativity and decrease participants’ commitment levels. Thus, our primary goal is to develop an inclusive and equitable culture where voices from diverse stakeholders are acknowledged and all participants are treated with respect and their ideas evaluated with the highest standards of scientific integrity.

PreMiEr’s commitment to DCI is evidenced by the composition of our ERC.  Our leadership team is composed of 60% females and 20% URM faculty, while our senior personnel is composed of 43.6% females and 12.8% faculty from racially marginalized communities. We are committed to promoting an equitable academic and social environment where minority scholars can flourish.  This will be achieved through leadership development for ERC leaders/mentors including effective communication strategies, fostering a thriving & engaging environment, and promoting an inclusive environment; and 3) feedback from PreMiEr’s advisory boards to our Executive and Steering Committees.

The four Diversity and Culture of Inclusion goals are to:

  1. Continue to prioritize and increase diversity, equity and inclusion across PreMiEr’s institutional ecosystem
  2. Promote an equitable academic and social environment where minority scholars can flourish
  3. Prioritize the recruitment and retention of diverse trainees
  4. Broaden participation in microbiome sciences