NPGA School of Neuroscience Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Workshops


The NPGA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, together with the School of Neuroscience, has been developing a DEI workshop seminar for the neuroscience community at Virginia Tech. Each seminar will be listed below as a “module”, with resources to look at for before the meeting, after the meeting, and in general just to provide topical materials if you wish to learn more.

Diversity and inclusion are incredibly important topics that should be discussed amongst faculty and trainees in a respectful, open, safe environment that enables participants to feel as though they can contribute without fear of retribution or sharing of personal matters outside of the group. This series of seminars will: 

  1. Present and further develop a set of ground rules that all participants will maintain when in meetings, and use in meetings hereafter; 
  2. Establish an open, respectful, and safe environment for individuals to share their thoughts and experiences without fear of invalidation or retribution from any quarter;
  3. Present scientific data about prejudices, unconscious biases, and racism;
  4. Provide tools and information to help individuals recognize lack of diversity and non-inclusion, combat their own unconscious biases, and to increase inclusivity and diversity in their labs and workspaces; 
  5. Foster a sense of community and inclusivity across trainer-trainee barriers; and
  6. Encourage education and awareness of the importance of increased diversity and inclusivity at departmental, collegial, institutional, and societal levels.

Module fall2021-1: “Mental Health and Academia”

Friday, Sep 10th at 3pm

This session on mental health will discuss a range of mental health issues in academia. Discussion points will include talking about how to remove any barriers in academia that prevent people for speaking up about or seeking help for mental health issues and is focused on finding solutions to maintain meant health in the lab.


Module 3: “Diversity and inclusivity in the Lab” part 2

Thursday, May 27th at 2pm

Diversity in the lab will look at cultural and other forms of diversity in a lab setting. Discussion points will include microaggressions in the lab


Module 2: “Diversity and inclusivity in the Lab”

Thursday, April 29th at 2pm

Contact us through the NPGA email, twitter, or check your email for the link to the zoom meeting!

If you are worried about finding time to review the pre-meeting resources, never fear! A brief PDF is being created to give you the gist of what you may have missed.

Diversity in the lab will look at cultural and other forms of diversity in a lab setting. Discussion points will include actively keeping a lab environment not only “not racist”, but “anti-racist”.

Pre-Meeting Resources (please take a look at these before the meeting)

Additional Resources (optional, if you’re interested in learning more or having more to think about when discuss)

  • More to come!

Module 1: “Diversity 101”

March 25th, 2021 at 12pm EST

Contact the NPGA or SoN for the zoom information!

Diversity 101 will serve as a foundational seminar for the seminars that follow. It will establish guidelines and ground rules for participants in this and future seminars, and will ensure that participants have a say in the laying of the ground rules. It will provide participants with terminology, definitions, and ideas about what diversity means, why it is important, and how we can- and why we should- foster open, respectful dialogue.

Optional resources for before and after the meeting:

Image description: A visual definition of “equality” (left) versus “equity” (right). In the equality panel, three individuals stand behind a fence to watch a game. All three have been given a singular box to stand on, but one is tall enough to see over without a box, one is unable to see comfortably over the fence, and one is in a wheelchair and unable to even get up on the box. In the equity panel, the individual who can see over the fence has no boxes as they are able to see without it; the individual who could not see over now has two boxes to stand on in order to see, and the individual in the wheelchair has been given a ramp to see over the fence.