The Department of Neuroscience at Hopkins is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in neuroscience at all levels.
We recognize the need for diligent, continuous efforts to create and support a diverse community of neuroscientists in order to generate the most creative and innovative science.
More than a decade ago, the department instituted a Chair of Diversity and Cultural Competency, a faculty member who spearheaded efforts to encourage people of diverse backgrounds to come to Hopkins for graduate school, postdoctoral fellowships, staff and faculty positions. These initial efforts have evolved and grown. Today, Hopkins Neuroscience hosts two engaged committees, the Department of Neuroscience Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) and the Student Diversity Committee (SDC). The CDI consists of faculty members, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students and meets approximately every two months to plan and coordinate various initiatives. The SDC, which consists entirely of graduate students, was founded in 2017 to organize the large number of students committed to diversity. The SDC works jointly with the CDI as well as independently on its own initiatives, all with the common goal of improving diversity in Hopkins Neuroscience as well as in the broader scientific community. The committees also coordinate outreach efforts to the broader community around Baltimore and to area schools.
We believe that the most creative communities include representatives from a broad range of perspectives who actively support and learn from one another. We strive to tackle challenges faced by groups such as underrepresented races and ethnicities in science, LGBTQ+ individuals, persons from low socioeconomic status, persons with disabilities, women, immigrants, and international students, among others. We welcome you to join our program and further our commitment to a diverse and inclusive community.
We in the Department of Neuroscience are horrified and deeply saddened by recent events that highlight the longstanding racism entrenched in our society. Shocking episodes of racial violence across the nation have galvanized efforts to root out the systemic biases that enable these atrocities to recur. We strongly support these goals.Learn more
SIP supports students from underrepresented racial and economic backgrounds and students with disabilities to conduct research in laboratories at Johns Hopkins as part of an immersive 10-week program. The Department of Neuroscience and the Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute support these summer internships for undergraduate students considering graduate studies in neuroscience and related areas. NeuroSIP students intern in laboratories of primary faculty members in the Department of Neuroscience; Kavli SIP students intern in laboratories of Kavli NDI faculty. SIP students are guided by faculty mentors in independent research projects and present their work at a poster session at the end of the summer as part of an institution-wide symposium. The projects that SIP students take on are an opportunity to learn about the research process and give students a sense of ownership of their original work. Many go on to present their summer research at national conferences such as ABRCMS, SACNAS, and LANS, among others.Learn more
PREP provides post-baccalaureate students from underrepresented groups or from disadvantaged backgrounds with the support to work full-time in a laboratory at Hopkins. PREP students spend one or two years strengthening their research background and increasing their competitiveness for PhD applications via exam preparation, scientific writing workshops, once-a-month chalk-talks, and “mini-thesis” meetings with their research mentors and the PREP director. Graduate students in our department also serve as peer mentors for students in the PREP program and help guide the students both in and out of the lab. Learn more.Learn more
DDP is a post-baccalaureate program in the Initiative for Careers in Science and Medicine pipeline. Students from diverse or low-income backgrounds who are interested in pursuing an MD, PhD, MD/PhD or other biomedical research careers build their research skills and network for two years in the DDP. Students not only work in the laboratory, but also receive coursework in scientific writing as well as exam preparation and the opportunity for shadowing at the Hospital. Additional information about the program can be found here.Learn more
JHNSP is a multi-year program dedicated to mentoring underrepresented minority (URM) and deaf or hard-of-hearing (D/HH) undergraduates. It provides students with an in-depth exposure to neuroscience research as they prepare for a career path toward a PhD or MD/PhD in neuroscience. Participants attend professional development workshops, perform 10 weeks of intensive summer research, and network with other students. Throughout the academic year, scholars receive individualized advising. Additional information about the program can be found here.Learn more
The JHIBS program aims to increase the pool of qualified underrepresented professional candidates from Baltimore interested in neuroscience and mental health medicine through an eight-week summer research internship for high school juniors and seniors. The program provides the necessary exposure, knowledge, and career-long mentoring to help propel students toward a trajectory as a STEM professional. Additional information about the program can be found here.
The Neuroscience Department co-hosts the Second Look/Accepted Applicant’s Visit for URM students accepted across Hopkins’ Graduate Biomedical Education Programs. The main goal of this event is to present what Johns Hopkins and Baltimore have to offer, discuss student life with current students, and continue networking with faculty and students in each applicant’s respective graduate program. Students from underrepresented/minority backgrounds that have been extended an offer to join the Neuroscience Graduate Program are invited to attend this event.
Faculty and graduate student representatives attend SACNAS, ABRCMS and the BP-ENDURE Meeting at Society for Neuroscience to:
- Meet prospective applicants and give information about our summer and graduate programs
- Advise on what a successful application looks like and often offer to read applications
- Provide fee waivers to students who need them. Students who meet the following eligibility criteria automatically qualify for fee waivers.
In 2019, the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion named eight faculty members to the role of “Graduate Life Advisor,” a mentorship role designed to improve the breadth of graduate student mentorship. These faculty members nominated by students provide advice on everything graduate-school related beyond lab work - this can include navigating professional relationships, maintaining healthy work-life balance, and broader career strategies.Learn more
In May 2019, the Student Diversity Committee hosted an Underrepresented Minorities Panel and Happy Hour where professors and students shared their experiences and discussed their perspectives as minorities in science. Students and faculty then were able to casually chat afterwards. Future panels will address topics such as applying for job positions as an URM, creating more diverse workforces and environments, and implementing personal and institutional level initiatives to increase diversity.Learn more
Students from the Neuroscience Department partner with Cientifico Latino as consultants in their graduate school application preparation initiative. This program offers one-on-one guidance for graduate school applications of minority students, including revision to personal statements and CVs, mock interviews, advice on selecting programs and applying for fellowships and more.
In August 2019, Dwight Bergles, Professor of Neuroscience and Director of the Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute offered the seminar “Oligodendrocyte dynamics in the adult CNS” to professors, graduate students and undergraduate students at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. Furthermore, students from the NIH BP-ENDURE Fellowship, MARC, RISE, and NeuroBoricuas had the opportunity to learn more about the PhD programs, post-bac programs and summer internships available at Johns Hopkins.