The University is engaged in the work of creating a more diverse and inclusive academic community, as evidenced by Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University. The document formalizes and expands upon diversity and inclusion efforts articulated in Brown’s Building on Distinction strategic plan. The Graduate School is represented on the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) Implementation Working Group.
Diversity and Inclusion
Brown’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan
Brown’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) aims to develop a diverse graduate student body by:
- Expanding graduate fellowships to departments to diversify the pipeline
- Investing in enhanced graduate education through programs
- Developing research opportunities for aspiring Ph.D. students
- Expanding residential summer programs for aspiring PhD students
- Hiring staff who are dedicated to recruiting diverse graduate students (Step completed)
One of the goals is to double the number of graduate students from historically underrepresented groups.
The Graduate School’s Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion
The Graduate School is committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive academic community and educating and training a distinguished and diverse cohort of master’s and doctoral students. Exposure to a broad range of perspectives, views, and outlooks is key to fostering both breadth and depth in intellectual knowledge.
At Brown, the term “diversity” is used in the broadest sense to encompass many things such as race, color, religion, age, national and ethnicity origin, caste, disability, status as a veteran, language, socio-economic background, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political ideology, theoretical approach, and the list can go on. It is through the interaction among individuals from a diverse set of experiences, histories, and backgrounds that true intellectual diversity is achieved.
Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity
The University's Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED) provides leadership for the formulation and oversight of University policies related to pluralism and equity, and initiates programs and practices that promote diversity, inclusion, and fair treatment of all members of the community. The University designates officers who are responsible for issues of compliance and who are available to answer questions and provide advice.
Recruiting and Admission
The Graduate School actively recruits students who are and have been traditionally underrepresented in graduate education, including but not limited to underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, women, and people with disabilities. The associate dean for diversity initiatives works in partnership with individual departments and programs at Brown and cultivates relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).
Mae Williamson Simmons Fellowships
The Graduate School offers fellowships to assist in the recruitment, enrollment, and retention of students in doctoral programs who will contribute to the diversity of the graduate student body. Mae Williamson Simmons Fellowships provide a higher level of stipend support funding for three years and a one-time $1,000 research fund. The fellowships are named after Mae Belle Williamson Simmons, who earned her Ph.D. in psychology from Brown in 1962 — the earliest known Black woman to earn her doctoral degree from the University.
The Graduate School works closely with the Leadership Alliance to identify potential graduate program applicants among the pool of undergraduate students who are conducting research at Brown for eight weeks during the summer. Similarly, the Graduate School works in close partnership with students from Tougaloo College who spend time at Brown throughout the year while participating in various aspects of Brown-Tougaloo Partnership programming. The Graduate School also recruits at various annual meetings and conferences around the country.
Every spring, the Graduate School invites newly admitted underrepresented minority students to attend a one-day campus visit called “Super Monday.” Throughout the day, students are exposed to various aspects of graduate student life at Brown through interaction with faculty, staff and students from their prospective departments, deans of the Graduate School, and representatives from various centers and offices on campus. The day ends with a reception and dinner, which is attended by matriculating graduate students, faculty, and staff of color from across the campus. The Graduate School covers the costs associated with prospective students’ transportation to and from Providence and overnight accommodations for this event.
Retention and Advancement
The Graduate School sponsors Multicultural Graduate Student (MGS) events for underrepresented minority students, including dinners with invited guest speakers, academic achievement and cultural celebrations, and social-networking activities. The Graduate School provides assistance to a variety of student associations and clubs that represent Brown’s diverse graduate student population. In addition, the University offers individual and group support to students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ).
Diversity is one of several criteria used by the Graduate School to assess the performance of graduate programs.
Related Offices and Centers
- Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion
- Student and Employee Accessibility Services
- LGBTQ Resource Center
- Office of International Student and Scholar Services
- Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life
- Office of the Vice President for Research
- Sarah Doyle Women’s Center
- Samuel M. Nabrit Black Graduate Student Association
- Brown Initiative to Maximize Student Development
- Society for Advancement of Chicanos & Native Americans in Science
- Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity
- Office of Military-Affiliated Students
- Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice Center
- Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America
- Native Americans at Brown