Examining the Role of Research Development in Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Michigan – UROP Symposium

Examining the Role of Research Development in Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Michigan

Periwinkle Kietzman

Research Mentor(s): Rebecca Irvine
Program: CCSFP
Authors: Periwinkle Kietzman, Madia Adnan, Rebecca Irvine, Alexus Roane

Abstract

In considering the evolution of complex societal changes in recent years, many academic institutions have increased their dedication to addressing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) related concerns. One area that requires more attention is the implementation of DEI processes in Research Development (RD) to ensure that ethical and DEI conscious research is being conducted. Prioritizing the development and implementation of tools and resources to implement DEI in RD could benefit academic institutions by creating stronger, broader and more diverse networks of researchers and research stakeholders. In order to gain a concentrated understanding of potential challenges to, opportunities in, and current successes of DEI process implementation in RD, I analyzed the prevalence of such implementation at the University of Michigan (UM), Ann Arbor. As an R1 university, UM is a leader in the evolution and dissemination of research and should ensure that its entire research pipeline sets an example of research excellence within DEI and ethical standards. My analysis functions to provide general guidance for where improvements in DEI in RD at UM could be made, and help inform the flow and theme of topics discussed in a half-day, qualitative case study workshop for research professionals and people who are responsible for catalyzing research in DEI spaces at UM. To analyze the prevalence of DEI processes in RD at UM, I used the Office of DEI’s (ODEI) DEI Year 5 Strategic Plan Workbook, which details 50 schools’ and units’ DEI 1.0 Year 5 strategic objectives and action items at UM, as a guide. I analyzed all 19 schools and colleges at the university and the 12 units in the ODEI’s Year 5 Strategic Plan Workbook which have a focus on research in their mission and vision statements. I used the NORDP Research Development Model (footnote 1) as the framework to determine which aspects of RD were represented in schools’ and units’ DEI statements and plans. Overall, the University’s integration of DEI in RD is sparse, inconsistent, and occasionally vague, which demonstrates potential for elaboration and growth. Resources to improve the development of DEI frameworks in RD at UM could include toolkits, seminar series, focus groups, updated responsible conduct of research guidelines, expanding applications of DEI beyond race and gender/sexuality and expanding support of research on DEI topics to include prioritizing DEI processes within the entire research pipeline.

(footnote 1) The NORP Research Development Model includes four areas: Communication of Research and Opportunities (marketing of research, increasing the university’s profile, proposing award metrics, collecting and disseminating funding to faculty and administration), Strategic Research Advancement, (identifying research priorities, strategic planning, identifying issues related to research, coordinating submission processes), Enhancement of Collaboration/Team Science, (inter/multidisciplinary interest groups and initiatives, sponsoring research events, promoting collaboration internally and externally, guidance of research networking tools), and Proposal Support Functions (finding funding opportunities, administrative structures in the institution, proposal development support, grant writing and evaluation, developing diversity and responsible conduct of research education, collaboration suggestions).

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