Diversity is not only an ideal towards which our University strives, but a core institutional value. We are dedicated to creating an environment where people of different backgrounds feel valued and where their ideas and contributions can flourish. Other academic and non academic institutions are similarly recognizing the fundamental importance of enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) across all aspects of their missions. Gaining experience in the DEI arena is thus a valuable form of professional training for PhD students. To recognize the importance of such training for any career path and the benefits of mentorship, either by professionals in the DEI field or by faculty or others who are knowledgeable in DEI, as well as the intrinsic value of DEI efforts, BSD is piloting a new ‘Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) assistantship’ program, or DA-ship, in the 2021/2022 academic year.
The DA-ship program, similar to the TA-ship program, is a mentored and evaluated experience for academic credit. Effort is expected to be equivalent to a TA-ship (~100 hours total), although unlike a TA-ship the 100 hours may in some instances be completed over more than a single quarter. Registration should be for the quarter in which the experience concludes.
Please note that, to meet their degree requirements, all BSD students must complete two terms of professional preparation, at least one of which must involve serving as a Teaching Assistant to a UChicago course. The second requirement may be met with a second TA-ship, a DA-ship, or by participating in the TA training course.
DA-ships may take a variety of forms, with the key attributes being:
- A valuable professional development opportunity in DEI issues and practices as applied to STEM that prepares the student for a spectrum of career opportunities.
- Mentorship by an individual or small team experienced in DEI issues and approaches. Mentors might be staff members in relevant University offices, faculty members with relevant expertise, or external professionals who are approved for this role by the standing DEI-ship Committee.
- Evaluation will be by the mentors and through self-evaluation, paralleling the TA-ship program. The evaluation package will be reviewed by the Dean for graduate affairs or their designate, who will serve as the instructor of record for the DAship program.
FAQs for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Assistantships