Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center (CVRC)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Mission Statement

The CVRC is committed to fostering a respectful, supportive, and inclusive environment that allows all members of our community to thrive. There is overwhelming evidence that increasing diversity enhances creativity and innovation. The CVRC seeks to build an equitable scientific space that supports individuals of diverse physical abilities, ethnicities, nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, belief systems, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The role of the CVRC DEI team is to facilitate best practices within our community of researchers that will:

  • Cultivate an inclusive climate that fosters success and belonging of every individual
  • Increase the representation and retention of students, postdocs, staff, and faculty from groups that have been historically underrepresented or marginalized in science
  • Provide community members with the training and tools to appreciate and value diversity
  • Ensure that scholars at all levels have role models for their training and advancement
  • Invest in and engage with external communities that support diversity, equity, and inclusion in cardiovascular research

Strategies to support DEI within the CVRC

Establish measures of accountability for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment

  1. Conduct a transparent, annual review of demographics and success rates within the CVRC and CVTG environments
  2. Participate and support GRIT/WIMS meetings with students and faculty to discuss ways to increase inclusion in seminars, search committees, admissions, etc.
  3. Identify strategies that will enrich faculty candidate applicants and interviewees from backgrounds that are underrepresented in science
  4. Develop physical infrastructures (eg. nursing room, gender-neutral restrooms, slide decks for low visibility users) that support the diverse needs of scientists within or visiting our community

Enhance awareness of the challenges facing all scientists in our research community

  1. Engage in training to enhance mentorship skills, awareness of subtle acts of exclusion, and develop bias intervention skills that will support community members of all backgrounds
  2. Ensure that educators, staff, and students are aware of the mental health support services available to all members of our community
  3. Provide a transparent path for bias incident reporting and conflict resolution resources available at UVa
  4. Create a digital display case to share journal articles, resources, funding opportunities, and networks that support diversity in cardiovascular research

Foster a sense of belonging for minority and underrepresented cardiovascular researchers in our community

  1. Foster a supportive environment where individuals in our community are open to the experience of others through workshops, community dialogues, and informal gatherings
  2. Partnership with local and national organizations that support DEI engagement to enhance cross-fertilization between those groups and the research community
  3. Promote the visibility of URM scientists in our local and national research communities.
  4. Help faculty and trainees broaden scientific networks of URM colleagues and mentors at meetings and through social media

Service and outreach through participation in local and national DEI initiatives

  1. Market and promote participation in local student-led initiatives including Graduate Recruitment Initiative Team (GRIT) Day, Women in Medical Sciences happy hour & career development events, Diversity Day, Queer in Medical Sciences book club, and film discussions.
  2. Serve on Study Sections that support the development of scientists from underrepresented backgrounds
  3. Partner with BIMS and SOM efforts to support DEI infrastructure including BIMS Inclusive Excellence Committee, SOM Diversity Consortium Committee, and BIMS Departmental Diversity Facilitators

For specific questions regarding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) within the Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center (CVRC), please feel free to reach out to Paul Orange, Chief Operating Officer.