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Addressing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: the Heising-Simons Foundation Retools a Fellowship Program [Alliance blog post]

Diversity, equity, and inclusion has been a topic of growing interest among members of the Science Philanthropy Alliance. At our recent members’ meeting, Joyce Yen, director of the University of Washington’s ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change, presented members with research on the consequences of bias and some effective practices to address it. Cyndi Atherton, director of science at the Heising-Simons Foundation, shared how the foundation was made aware of bias in the selection process for their 51 Pegasi b fellowship program and how they addressed it to effect lasting change.

Atherton wrote a blog post about how the Heising-Simons Foundation retooled its processes for the fellowship program to make it more inclusive and equitable. With help from Joyce and her team, the Heising-Simons Foundation reviewed evidence-based best practices, gathered feedback and guidance from scientists, and implemented many changes at every stage of the process.

The foundation recently also shared the initiatives they support to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in physics and astronomy.