FRI Receives NSF Grant for Innovating Cultural Inclusivity in Graduate STEM Training

Understanding Science as Culturally Situated

The Feminist Research Institute (FRI) and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies (GSW) department received the National Science Foundation Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) grant.  The IGE award will provide graduate students with training to locate their research questions within a larger societal context. This will include how to recognize and address issues of historical bias and cultural complexity. By learning to place their research in a broader context, junior researchers are able to better frame complex research questions, particularly those presented by communities traditionally under-served by science. The curriculum also provides support for interdisciplinary collaborations and the inclusion of diverse voices and approaches in STEM research.  

Co-Principle Investigators Sara Giordano, Kalindi Vora, Sarah McCullough
Co-Principal Investigators Sara Giordano (GSW), Kalindi Vora (GSW and Director of FRI) and Sarah McCullough (Associate Director of FRI)

Co-Principal Investigators on the grant Sara Giordano (GSW), Kalindi Vora (GSW and Director of FRI) and Sarah McCullough (Associate Director of FRI) began this project because they were inspired to connect insights from feminist science studies with STEM fields. Feminist science studies has unearthed the unacknowledged contributions women and people of color have made to scientific discovery. The field has also challenged how scientific knowledge and processes may often rest on histories of patriarchy and colonialism, due to the historical embeddedness of science within culture. Integrating this rich body of research into STEM graduate training promises to introduce greater equity and a more balanced perspective to scientific research.

This three-year grant will include curriculum design in year one and pilot testing in years two and three. The Co-PIs will study the impact of the curricular content on graduate student attitudes and outcomes, as well as different delivery methods. The result will be a graduate training program for cultural inclusion in STEM fields that facilitates cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Students or faculty interested in learning more about how they can take part in this training can contact the Co-PIs at fri@ucdavis.edu.

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