Prepping for this award study section and once again I’m struck by how incestuous academia is.

The same handful of people get the grants, then get the mentor awards, then attract the top trainees who become the next generation of funded & awarded mentors.
Everyone is connected to the same handful of academic institutions by fewer than 6 degrees of separation.

How do you achieve equity in academia when the balance of connections and thus power is so clearly held by the same people & their pedigree?
We need to normalize discussing applications from outside of the Ivy bubble in study sections.

This means numbers of applications from institutions outside of the bubble have to increase.

🗣nominate your Black or Indigenous mentor & trainees for all the awards.
We also need to consider the inherent bias in award criteria - for example when the NIH underfunds Black/Indigenous scholars, using R01 funding as a metric for mentor capability/success biases your award against selecting Black and Indigenous scholars.
These things matter so much if we’re talking diversity pipelines in academia as these honorifics boost ones chances of being successful in job apps, grant apps, tenure etc...

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