Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

DEI Committee Mission

The mission of the MBS DEI committee is to create a welcoming place where trainees, faculty and staff can all flourish and achieve excellence. The MBS DEI committee will work towards developing an inclusive and cohesive culture within the department and across the UT campus. Our goal is to foster an environment where diverse voices and perspectives are heard and welcomed, and where members feel free to pursue their personal and career goals regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, language, religion, career path, learning or physical ability.

Campus Resources


MBS DEI Committee Projects


The MBS ASCEND Award acknowledges that academia is not a level playing field, and the challenges to getting here, to getting the chance at running the race, are often immense. We therefore want to hear your stories, your challenges, your triumphs as you press forward to inspire your peers and to inspire the next generation of scientists. If you have overcome a disadvantage, been a champion for diversity and inclusion, or spent time uplifting your community, we invite you to tell us your story by applying for the ASCEND award. Any Ph.D. student in good academic standing and working in an MBS lab is eligible. Two awardees will be selected each year: $5,000 each. Winners will be selected by a committee chosen by the MBS DEI Committee.

Department of Molecular Biosciences Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Climate Survey:


DEI Celebration Brunch

This is an occasion for faculty, research professors, professors of practice and instruction, administrative staff, research associates, lab technicians, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students to come together and celebrate members of the MBS community who contribute to diversity, equity and inclusion. Nominations will be accepted from individuals from any group listed above for an individual from any group listed above. The inaugural DEI Celebration brunch took place April 1st, 2022. 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee in the Department of Molecular Biosciences at UT Austin

CHIRP: Curriculum and Habits for Inclusive Research Practices


The CHIRP is an open-source curriculum that was created as a result of a collaboration between STEM Ed graduate students, with expertise in curriculum development, and MBS graduate students, who have a unique perspective on the lab research environment within academia. The CHIRP is intended to inspire research labs to take action against racism and hold themselves accountable for creating more inclusive, diverse, and equitable labs, departments, and scientific communities. The curriculum intends to facilitate discussions that address the inequalities and systemic bias within scientific academic spaces by expanding scientists' capabilities for communication, education, and recognition. 

Participating Labs

Shelley Payne


Launching Summer 2023

MBS DEI Committee Members

Please reach out to any member of the committee with ideas or concerns for creating and maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for all.


Yvette Cañedo, Sr. Grants & Contracts Specialist

Vishwanath Iyer, Professor


Seema Agarwala, Associate Professor

David Taylor, Associate Professor

Elizabeth Davis, Graduate Program Coordinator II

Tiffo Carmichael, Graduate Program Manager

Jonathan D Partridge, Assistant Professor of Instruction

Vidal Bejar-Padilla, Graduate Student

Vy Dang, Graduate Student

Jack Bravo, Postdoctoral Fellow