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Postdoc Application DEI Instructions

The Astronomy Department and Steward Observatory values a culture of collegiality, respect, and collaboration among its members. We welcome candidates who will contribute to this positive climate and to our ongoing efforts toward increasing the inclusivity, equity and diversity (DEI) of our community and in STEM1 fields broadly. 


We request that applicants for the Bok Fellowship and the Brass Fellowship submit a document divided into two categories:

  1. DEI Statement: A max one page statement about the applicant’s plans to advance diversity, inclusion and/or equity, as defined below, at UArizona and/or in STEM broadly. Please include a discussion of how you will measure the success of your plan.
  2. Past Activity(ies): If applicable, please list up to 3 activities the applicant has conducted to advance diversity, inclusion and/or equity, as defined below. 
    1. We recognize that individuals may come from backgrounds with different cultural expectations and/or are applying soon after graduate school, and thus may not have an extensive list of past activities. As such, the committee will primarily evaluate the DEI statement. However, the DEI statement can be strengthened by demonstration of the applicant’s experience and commitment to the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion through past Activities. 
    2. Each described past Activity must follow the below format with these listed headings:  
      • Title of Activity 
      • Description of Activity (2-3 sentences)
      • Describe your role in this Activity (2-3 sentences)
      • Identify the communities that are impacted by this Activity (e.g. graduate students, the general public, your institution, etc.) (1-3 sentences)
      • How did this Activity further Diversity, Equity and/or Inclusion, as defined below? You must address at least one of these terms. How did you quantify the success of this Activity? (< 300 words)


As outlined in the image below, we define: 

Diversity to mean the various types of (marginalized) social identities that represent and reflect the different societal experiences of individuals and groups. We define individuals from underrepresented minority groups (URM) in STEM within the U.S. following the NSF definition, which focuses on three racial and ethnic groups—Blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians or Alaska Natives2. Activities to advance diversity can address efforts to increase the representation of a broad range of marginalized communities within STEM, including, but not limited to, female, URM, BIPOC3, LGBTQIA+4, non-binary, neurodiverse, international, and disabled scholars and intersections of these identities. 

Inclusion to mean the intentional involvement of diverse people and groups into the fabric of one’s overall purpose, goals and objectives. Activitys to advance inclusion can include plans for how you will/or have built inclusive spaces for scientific discourse/research in research groups, seminars, classrooms, and as part of student advising.

Equity to mean the centering of historically marginalized social identities in an effort to create a more fair and socially just environment. Activitys to advance equity can include plans for how you will/have advocate(d) for marginalized scholars or challenge(d)/build(t) institutional structures to help marginalized scholars succeed. 


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Graphic courtesy of Visceral Change LLC:

We offer the following references to support candidates in preparation of their DEI statement: 


1 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. This statement can refer to plans for any community (undergraduate/graduate student researchers, K-12, general public, higher education, etc).

2 Women, Minorities and Persons with Disabilities in Science & Engineering Report, 2017, NSF

3 Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, where “People of Color is an umbrella term for non-white people, especially as they face racism and discrimination in a white dominant culture”  

4 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Plus



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