CSN UIUC All-hands 24_EDIT_THIN

The NSF Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology (CSN) values diversity and is committed to maintaining a supportive and inclusive climate within our research community. We value diversity in all forms, including but not limited to national origin, language, race, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, veteran status, educational background, and family structures. We conduct all center activities, including recruitment, retention, personal and professional development for a diverse group of faculty, postdoctoral fellows, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, in a manner consistent with these values.

Operations within the CSN seek to develop and implement “best practices” for research and workforce training. Our efforts to build a diverse workforce of scientific leaders are enhanced by four primary activities:

  1. Recruiting. The CSN seeks to attract a diverse pool of scientists into the center. Some of the mechanisms we use include:
  • The CSN Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) and Research Experience for Veterans (REV) Programs
  • Working with McNair and other diversity-oriented programs on our individual campuses
  • Providing resources to CSN faculty to attract a diverse pool of outstanding talent to our program
  • Providing support for CSN members to give talks at four-year colleges, minority-serving institutions.
  1. Training and awareness. The CSN provides training opportunities for graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and staff with the goal of creating the next generation of scientific leaders. Opportunities include:
  • Seminars and workshops aimed at career advancement for all CSN participants.
  • Development of written and oral communication skills emphasizing how to communicate to non-scientists and diverse audiences.
  • Short DISC (Diversity Innovation Safety Communication) moments at each weekly CSN seminar
  1. Supporting and retaining. The CSN supports all CSN members in their efforts to become the next generation of scientific leaders. Strategies for support and retention include:
  • Creating and maintaining a welcoming climate
  • Monthy enter-wide and small-group professional development opportunities
  • Networking opportunities
  • Supporting new CSN members through “buddy” program and on-boarding committee
  • Support/mentorship by faculty, staff and students.
  1. Assessment. The CSN evaluates the effectiveness of our programs and uses this information to develop and implement “best practices” in our goal of developing and training a diverse workforce to carry out cutting-edge multidisciplinary science. Some of the tools we use for assessment include:
  • Annual surveys of center climate
  • Evaluations of each professional development opportunity
  • Biannual evaluations of each research project

We believe that the best possible decision-making occurs when all voices are heard. We are committed to the long-term goal center of center membership that reflects the diversity of the US population.

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