Lab Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Last updated: February 2021
❖ Purpose and Statement of Principles
As members of the
Merrill and Boyce lab groups, we commit to fostering a culture of Equity,
Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). To us, this means:
➢ Creating a workplace environment where all members feel valued,
respected, supported, and given space to voice their opinions.
➢ Actively engaging in EDI related discourse and training.
In this document,
we strive to develop an ethic that will not only be reflected in our attitudes
and behaviours as members of the academic community at the University of
Alberta, but be one that we will carry with us in our future private and
professional lives. This statement was
co-authored by members of the Merrill and Boyce labs and will act as a living
document to keep us proactive and accountable.
❖ Justification for our responsibility to EDI
We are making
efforts to respond to the systemic biases and barriers that have affected the
full participation of historically underrepresented groups in STEM,
particularly wildlife ecology. This document reflects our commitment to
recruiting, including, and supporting underrepresented groups, because we
believe including people of different experiences, cultures, and knowledge results
in a more vibrant and robust research community. Many of us are fortunate
enough not to feel the full effects and extent of discrimination, and
therefore, are in a position to take action against it, helping to step up for
the people who have previously or currently experience discrimination in STEM.
❖ Benefits of a strong EDI environment
➢ Incorporating diversity in research has benefits for everyone.
Diversity can increase specialization, bolster problem solving, and check
biases through the incorporation of different backgrounds, experience, and
strengths. Diversity can improve understudied areas of research (e.g. Haines et al. 2020), and a number of studies
suggest that diverse research groups publish more papers and have a higher
number of citations per paper (Freeman & Huang 2014).
➢ A strong EDI focused environment allows all lab members to feel
respected, valued, and supported, and therefore comfortable sharing their
perspectives and ideas. A wider variety of perspectives and ideas will result
in more well-rounded and stronger research projects, and potentially novel
solutions to problems.
❖ Lab Expectations and Behaviours regarding EDI
➢ Use language that is inclusive and respectful when speaking with other
lab members and in academic settings.
➢ Commit to self-learning in regards to EDI in academia, inclusive
language, and how to be an ally to underrepresented groups in STEM.
➢ Remain open-minded and judgement-free when listening to lab member’s
perspectives, questions, and comments.
➢ Be aware of and acknowledge your own personal privilege and the effects
it has in social dynamics within the academic community, and in particular in
the Merrill-Boyce lab community in the Department of Biological Sciences.
➢ Ensure all lab members are given ‘space’ to be heard and feel
comfortable sharing their perspectives.
➢ Commit to active self-reflection and group accountability as an ongoing
❖ Commitments to EDI
➢ Self education (see resources)
➢ Participate in regularly scheduled formal and
informal EDI-related lab discussions
➢ Update EDI statement (annually)
➢ Incorporate EDI into the hiring process for
technicians, post-docs, graduate students, and undergraduate student
➢ Participate in EDI mentorship opportunities
➢ Diversify references in our own written work
➢ Include land acknowledgements in oral presentations,
written communication materials, and on the Boyce and Merrill lab websites
➢ Attend conferences, seminars and workshops
dedicated to EDI training and education that highlight researchers in academia
from equity-seeking groups.
➢ Share opportunities found with other lab members.
See examples below.