Anyone have some language? | eePRO @ NAAEE

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Anyone have some language?

Hi All,
I am writing an advertisement/recruitment post/course description for a summer field research course aimed at undergraduates (from 2 or 4 year schools) who are just getting their feet wet in science (completed at least one semester/quarter-long science course), who think they might be interested in science research, and are a part of/belong to groups that are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields. We would like to include a diverse audience in the course - diversity in gender, race, ethnicity, ability/disability, first generation college, no age limit/requirement, etc.

Does anyone have some eloquent language (that they don't mind me stealing!) to use in such a course description to communicate that a diverse set of participants is desired and encouraged to apply?

On a side note, has anyone tinkered with their language over the years and seen a difference in applicants that seems to correlated to the language used in their advertisements/course descriptions? I have heard of such correlations, but can't find where I saw that.
Thank you,

Hi Gwen- Thanks for your question. I do hope other Diversity eePro Group members will chime in if they have experience and insight you could benefit from.

You may want to visit the webpage of the TALON program conducted by the Audubon Society of Portland. This is a training and employment program for young adults, ages 16-20 years old, of diverse backgrounds. In fact, it looks like last year's application is still posted. You can try contacting Gladys Ruiz at for more information on this program that is about three years old.

You may also want to visit the Ecological Society of the America (ESA) website. Teresa Mourad, Director of Diversity and Education Programs has been operating the SEEDS (Strategies for Ecological Education, Diversity and Sustainability) program to advance and diversify the ecology profession by connecting with undergraduate students of diverse backgrounds. This program celebrated its 20th anniversary this year! Teresa can be reached at Their Committee on Diversity and Education completed their strategic plan last year and is posted for viewing too.

Good luck with your effort! I'd love to hear how it goes!

Hi Gwen and eePro community! I'm excited to hear what other folks have tried and consider best practices when it comes to language on recruitment materials.

My former employer, Education Outside, included a statement at the bottom of their job postings and applications saying that the organization 'seeks to reflect the communities it serves', and then named some groups (which are under-represented in the organization) that were especially encouraged to apply. Does your org/school have a statement on diversity, inclusion, and equity? If so, make sure to link it in the post.

At my former org, we were able to get a more diverse pool of applicants, and then staff, by broadening our recruitment efforts in addition with working on inclusivity at an organizational level. We also reached out to other organizations working in a similar context (but not necessarily in EE) to share and brainstorm recruitment/application best practices.

I'm excited to hear what you try and how it goes!

Hi Gwen! In my organization we added the following to our job descriptions.

"CBFS is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic staff committed to teaching and
working in a multicultural environment and strongly encourages minority applicants."

I feel like it has made a difference and increased diversity in our applicant pool.

Gwen, here is the language we include in job postings. It includes our board-approved diversity statement, and an explicit invitation to address it within application materials. I think it's also useful to write the position description to include specific ways that embracing equity, diversity, and inclusion will be a part of expectations. I have attached a recent communications position we posted that does this so you can take a look.

"The Aldo Leopold Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and recognizes that just as a healthy ecosystem depends on biodiversity, cultural and social diversity are also essential to a healthy human society. We are committed to expanding the conversation on land ethics by acting to achieve a rich diversity of staff, board, volunteers, members, supporters and those we seek to engage with our programming. We encourage applicants to address this foundation goal in their application materials."

File communications_and_marketing_coordinator_final.docx200.88 KB

Thank you, everyone, for all the great suggestions! I will be busy reading and editing my course description in the next few days.

And I realize that *where* I advertise this course is a different topic and I think I have the beginnings of a good list for that, but would love to hear how folks get the word out. I know I'll be contacting SACNAS for help, AISES, community colleges, we'll ask past student participants to spread the word, and I have some friends who run programs or know people who run programs for first generation college students. I'm sure there are others on the list as well (I have only been with C-DEBI for a month, so I'm still catching up on things!).

"C-DEBI’s mission is to explore life beneath the seafloor and make transformative discoveries that advance science, benefit society, and inspire people of all ages and origins."

and USC's Mission Statement:

Also, I believe that we have data from past years on who has applied, the old course description is on the web, and there should be somewhat of a record of where the application was advertised, so I should be able (theoretically) to pull together a comparison of demographics of applicants and advertising materials/means from last year vs. this year and certainly for the next few years.

Here's what's going live on Monday:

Global Environmental Microbiology (GEM)
Summer Course 2017

The Center for Dark Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) is a Science and Technology Center funded by the National Science Foundation started in 2010 with the mission to explore life beneath the seafloor and make transformative discoveries that advance science, benefit society, and inspire people of all ages and origins.

C-DEBI seeks to train a diverse generation of undergraduates within an integrated and collaborative multidisciplinary community.  We are committed to improving access and support for members of underrepresented and marginalized groups to be able to succeed in STEM fields.

You are mainly microbe - much like Earth’s biodiversity. Microbes are everywhere and we are still learning about who they are, what they do, and how they do it. The GEM course is an introductory microbiology field course for undergraduates who are contemplating a career in scientific research. The course creates a wonderful learning atmosphere by combining classroom time with field research. Students learn laboratory and field techniques in addition to developing their presentation skills, all in a real world setting.

Taught by Drs. John Heidelberg and Eric Webb, the 2017 hands-on course will be three weeks (June 11-30). Students will spend the first part of the course at the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles, California and the remaining time at the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Santa Catalina Island.

Course expenses, travel, room, and board are paid for C-DEBI, funded by the National Science Foundation.

Ideal candidates are:
• Interested in a science (or STEM field) career
• Scientifically curious and willing to explore scientific research
• Open to new experiences
• Dedicated learners
• Able to commit to attending the entire three-week course (including weekends)
• U.S. citizens or permanent residents
• Enrolled in college, early career undergraduates (ideally first or second year students)
• Have completed at least one semester/quarter-long science course at a 2 or 4-year college/university (biology, chemistry, physics, geology, etc.)

We strive to recruit participants that reflect the diversity of students at the community college and university level with varied science learning and life experiences.  We encourage students from groups underrepresented in STEM fields as well as first generation college students to apply.

Application Instructions:
1. Read and complete the online application form.
2. Submit an unofficial transcript to Gwen Noda (
3. Provide one letter of recommendation, preferably from a professor or instructor. Please ask that your letter be emailed directly to Gwen Noda at Please see online application for more information and recommendations for the contents of the letter.

Applications are due Wednesday, February 1, 2017 by 5:00pm Pacific Standard Time.