Fall 2021 Diversity Updates

► Steps Towards Dismantling Systemic Racism and Anti-Blackness in UCSF Basic Science PhD Programs Task Force Recommendations Report is now available. Chaired by Dr. D'Anne Duncan, the work of this task force was responsible for (1) describing the recommendations for action in two critical areas: graduate program policy and education and training; (2) detailing progress to date in the Graduate Division, and (3) describing additional infrastructure needs that are essential to the growth and sustainability of DEI efforts for graduate learners.

► The Graduate Division Dean's Office is excited to continue to offer the very popular GRAD 202: Racism in Science course for our incoming basic science PhD students this Fall! Learn more about GRAD 202: Racism in Science.

 After being on hiatus during the 2020-21 academic year, the Graduate Division is excited to announce that we will be participating as an exhibitor at the SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Digital Conference (October 25-29, 2021) and the digital Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (November 10-13, 2021). Please stop by and say hello at our booth where you can learn more about the graduate programs, the summer research training program, and more!

The Graduate Division Dean’s Office received two DEI-related petitions from UCSF graduate students in 2020. See a timeline linking points in each petition to outcomes and initiatives. Further responses and milestones will be added over time as events and plans come to fruition. 


► See anti-racism resources for awareness and action, and wellness resources for BIPOC students.

► Check out The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Team Monthly Picksan invitation for you to read (or watch, or listen) along and enter into dialogue with our team members.

The Graduate Division is committed to cultivating an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at UCSF. The following events and programs are aimed at administering DEI efforts in four key areas: community building, mentorship and advising, career and professional development, and campus climate. Please note that programming and events may be modified this year due to COVID-19. 

Scroll down or click on your area of interest in the grid to see more about...

link to programslink to annual eventslink to series and recurring eventslink to training and professional developmentlink to recruitmentlink to researchlink to committeeslink to student-led initiatives


NIGMS/IMSD Fellows and Affiliates Program
The National Institute for General Medical Sciences Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (NIGMS/IMSD) Fellows and Affiliates Program at UCSF is designed to support historically underrepresented and marginalized PhD students in basic science graduates programs in their first two years of their studies. In addition to financial support for 18-21 students per year, IMSD fellows are offered a variety of professional development and sociala group of five young people smiling for a photo activities throughout the year. Funded by NIGMS and the Graduate Division.

Summer Research Training Program
UCSF’s major outreach program to recruit historically marginalized students to basic science PhD programs. Undergraduate students selected for the Summer Research Training Program (SRTP) spend up to 10 weeks working with UCSF faculty members on research projects. Participants in the program take part in seminars, lectures, and social events, creating a cohesive and supportive community. At the end of the program, students give presentations of their research and get valuable feedback from students, postdocs, and faculty at UCSF.

Annual Events

Series and Recurring Community Building Events

Black Unity Program 
The Graduate Division offers quarterly social gatherings and activities to network, share experiences and resources, and build a stronger community for Black PhD students at UCSF.

International Pronouns Day
International pronouns day seeks to make asking, sharing, and respecting personal pronouns commonplace. Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Co-sponsored by the UCSF LGBT Resource Center, the Graduate Division, and other campus partners.

LGBT Community Social at SPARK  
Community building social event for LGBT graduate students and postdocs, and allies at SPARK Social SF at Mission Bay.

Postdoc Pop-up Lunchpostdoc pop-up lunch logo
Community building lunch for postdoctoral scholars. Co-sponsored by the Graduate Division Dean's Office, Office for Postdoctoral Scholars, and UCSF IRACDA Scholars Program.

First Generation to College​: Are you the first person in your family to graduate from college? The events below help build community and offer support and visibility for first generation (First Gen) to college students. All events are co-sponsored by the Graduate Division Dean's Office and UCSF First Generation Support Services.

First Gen Story Circle at Mission Bay 
a dandelion gone to seedWhat was your transition to graduate school and UCSF like? The First Gen Story Circle is an informal discussion group for UCSF first generation to college students. Make connections, share your experiences and learn to survive and thrive. 

First Gen Paint night
Join other first generation to college graduate students for a night of community, wellness and art. 

First Gen Welcome Dinner
Community building evening, featuring a keynote address by a first generation to college graduate student, faculty, staff or alumni, for graduate students who are first generation to college.

Training, Education, and Professional Development

On-Campus Recruitment

Diversity and Allyship Breakfasts plate of pancakes
The Graduate Division Dean's Office and the UCSF SACNAS Chapter co-host these yearly breakfasts during PhD recruitment weekends. Graduate students and the diversity dean serve as panelists to discuss the climate at UCSF, and campus DEI resources, such as the IMSD program, are highlighted. Over the past few years, these breakfasts have been re-imagined by Tetrad alum Joselyn Del Cid, Biomedical Sciences alum Raul Torres, Biomedical Sciences alum Melissa Spear, Biomedical Sciences PhD Candidate Ramiro Patiño, Tetrad PhD Candidate Robert Efraín Díaz, and Assistant Dean for Diversity and Learner Success, Dr. D'Anne Duncan.

Diversity Network Initiative
Launched in 2018, the Diversity Network Initiative aims to connect current and prospective PhD students from similar backgrounds to build a professional network and community, share experiences, and provide insight into diversity and inclusion at UCSF. Currently, seven basic science graduate programs participate in the Diversity Network Initiative, including: Tetrad, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, the Medical Scientist Training Program, Neuroscience, Biomedical Informatics, Biophysics, and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics. Contact Dr. D'Anne Duncan if you'd like your graduate program to participate. This program was developed by Tetrad PhD Candidate, Roberto Efraín Díaz, and Dr. D'Anne Duncan.

Learn about additional outreach activities in the Graduate Division.


The Graduate Division is committed to providing programming and support for historically underrepresented and historically marginalized students in science. Research indicates numerous reasons why underrepresented and historically marginalized students continue to be excluded from scientific careers (Gibbs and Marsteller, 2017). Education research, funded by the NIGMS Initiative for Maximizing Student Development grant, is being conducted by the Graduate Division to better understand factors of identity and belonging in order to improve the campus environment for historically marginalized students. This research will directly inform how different interventions are developed to improve the PhD experience for historically marginalized students, and this work may extend to postdoctoral researchers. 


Faculty-Student Diversity Committee
This group of graduate students and faculty work together to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, focusing on recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations in science. The Faculty-Student Diversity Committee meets once per quarter.

► View the task force report: Steps Towards Dismantling Systemic Racism and Anti-Blackness in UCSF Basic Science PhD Programs

Faculty-Dean's Office Task Force
This group of faculty and Graduate Division Dean's Office staff will specifically focus on understanding DEI goals and strategies and identifying gaps at the institutional levels in the Graduate Division. View the meeting notes of the faculty-dean's office task force. *Note: As of October 21, 2020, this Task Force has been dissolved. Recommendations were identified and they will be included in the work being completed by the Student-Faculty Task Force.

Student-Faculty Task Force 
This group of graduate students and faculty will work across programs to examine DEI strategies to be adopted in common by all programs. View the meeting notes of the student-faculty task force.

Student-Led Initiatives

four people jump in the air on the campus quad
Queer Alliance members at the Fall Celebration, 2018