Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Many in positions of privilege and power are coming to terms with how systemic racism and injustice shapes every aspect of life. We acknowledge that academia, too, is rife with systemic racism, power imbalances, and inequity. The Biophysics program is committed to improving conditions within our own program and our communities at UCSF and beyond. The fact is we don’t have a very diverse group of students or faculty - and that should change. It starts by improving the environment of our program.

We would like to create a program where students from historically marginalized groups can truly thrive. Our guiding principles in drafting this plan to improve our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts are for the plan to be rapid, transparent, and evaluable. We will stay aligned with broader initiatives at UCSF and within the Graduate Division - and in many cases we must go further. Because equity and inclusion influence all aspects of our program, this plan cuts across all aspects of our program, not just those traditionally associated with DEI activities, such as outreach.

This is the abbreviated, third iteration of a living document. Click here to see our complete current plan as well as prior iterations: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion . All members of our community are encouraged to reach out to program leadership directly or through anonymous channels to comment or suggest new actions. We evaluate this plan with a committee that includes program leadership, faculty, and students. We are learning from our sibling graduate programs and revising our plan based on larger policy initiatives at UCSF.


  • Recognize systemic racism and inequity in academia.
  • Aim for rapid, transparent, and evaluable improvements in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).
  • Plan includes all program aspects, not just traditional DEI activities such as outreach.

Community Feedback

  • Document iteratively updated; comments and suggestions welcome.
  • Evaluation committee comprises leadership, faculty, and students.

Organizational Actions

  • Biannual DEI committee meetings to discuss roadmap.
  • The admissions and curriculum committees also have representation from the DEI Working Group.
  • Coordinate DEI with other campus groups.
  • Budget allocation for DEI spending (outreach, student support, etc.).
  • Annual anonymous climate survey for student feedback.

Faculty Engagement

  • Comply with Graduate Division's mentorship training requirements.
  • Encourage DEI involvement; consider it for student funding.
  • Faculty webpage to display DEI activities, pronouns, and training history.

Student Support

  • Quarterly check-ins for 1st-year students.
  • Faculty-led workshops on Lab Values, Lab Expectations, thesis committee selection.
  • Student Awards for DEI efforts.


  • Course directors to include DEI considerations in course planning.
  • Mandatory DEI training for incoming and 3rd-year students.

Admissions and Recruitment

  • Holistic evaluation, GRE not required.
  • Bias-awareness prompts for evaluators.
  • Participation in the Diversity Network Initiative.
  • Public demographic statistics for transparency.


Policy Advocacy

  • Lobby for de-coupling student/postdoc funding from PI funding.
  • Advocate for the best possible wellness services.