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Student Diversity

True diversity, authentic inclusion & equitable practices are values critical for creative excellence in our pursuit of discovery and Innovation at the University of Utah.  These values are woven into the fabric of our Bioscience community and research training programs, beginning with outreach to prospective students from a wide variety of backgrounds, holistic review of all qualified applications, followed by multiple resources and community support for incoming and advanced students.




It takes a village to finish a PhD! Our entire community is dedicated to collaborating and building the infrastructure that cultivates, supports, mentors and amplifies a stimulating research community that is welcoming, diverse, Inclusive, respectful and equitable to ALL members of the Bioscience community. 


We know that the best ideas, pioneering discoveries and the boldest innovation happen when we bring together and mentor the broadest talent pool in an environment that breaks down barriers.


We undertake a holistic evaluation process that supports and trains hard-working, passionate rising scientists with great potential.  Matriculated graduate students to our Bioscience PhD Programs bring a wide range of diverse experiences, backgrounds and disciplines to the University of Utah.  Our recent Bioscience graduate student populations (2017-2020) exhibit gender parity, where 25% are from underrepresented groups in science and 25% from international backgrounds.   



Creative Excellence and new Discoveries are seeded and nurtured where YOU can thrive, collaborate, and lead innovative research. A diverse, inclusive environment catalyzes excellence and understanding leading to impactful insights, new discoveries and innovative cures, empathetic leaders and a broad network, compassion and true equity. Come explore the opportunities to amplify your growth, training and professional trajectory in scientific research through our interdepartmental ‘umbrella’ Bioscience PhD graduate program.  Imagine “U”.



 Parallel to training world class scientists, we nurture & mentor the next generation of Scientific Leaders. Our Bioscience community strongly encourages and provides a multiplicity of opportunities through: Professional Development, Outreach. Peer-Peer Mentoring, Representation and Student Leadership of numerous vital committees, national societies and grass roots efforts.  Working collectively within diverse groups in the research lab, classes, departments and community make sure diverse perspectives are represented and have a seat at the table.  These opportunities give rise to an informed, effective network of self-confident, empathetic rising leaders in our scientific community and beyond.  Come be a part of the change you want to see in the world.


The Bioscience PhD Programs are dedicated to enriching an already diverse student training environment. We collaborate with university entities to create a campus climate that accommodates and is inclusive to all members of the graduate community.


University of Utah SACNAS Chapter

SACNAS group photo

Utah SACNAS Chapter Mission:

SACNAS is an all-inclusive community dedicated to supporting diversity and fostering success in under-represented STEM fields from students to professionals. Our goal is to help these members attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM. Come be a part of the vibrant SACNAS community at the University of Utah and help us cultivate a safe and secure scientific community filled with the brightest scientists. We aim to provide a holistic approach to STEM training by organizing opportunities for professional development, cultural programming, resilience training, and a pipeline of support and mentoring within a national network. Be the best U with the University of Utah SACNAS chapter.




Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Actions and Resources

  • Participate in discussions, be vocal, safely join in a protest/demonstration
  • Inform Yourself and Vote - Especially for candidates of color whose policies you agree with, write your senator/congress member to support legislation for racial equality
  • Step out of your Comfort Zone - Involve yourself in activities that place you in an environ­ment where you will be exposed to people from differ­ent racial and ethnic backgrounds.  Attend museums, music events, ethnic festivals, restaurants, supermarkets, shops, or any other public place where you will share space with people different from yourself
  • Seek out and take Unconscious Bias and Microaggression Training


*Resources provided by the Bhalla Lab Website at UC Santa Cruz

Strategies to Improve Equity


Resources for Culturally Competent Mentoring


Bias/Disparities in Training


Bias/Disparities in Publication and Peer Review


Bias/Disparities in Grant Peer Review and Funding


Bias/Disparities in Teaching Evaluations


Bias/Disparities in Service

* Resources provided by the University of Neighborhood Partners 

Understanding structural racism & anti-racism


Talking about racism with children and students


Learn about local anti-racist work and discussions


Race and mental/emotional health

University of Utah Science & Education Fair
  • Science competition for students grades 5-12 involving students from many local school districts.
  • Held annually in March
  • Participate as a judge or a volunteer
  • Email Brenda Mann, Fair Director

Utah STEM Fest

  • 15,000 4th-8th graders are given hands-on experiences with science and technology
  • Held annually in September
  • Volunteer, sponsor a booth: Email 

Utah STEM Ambassador Program

  • Serves K-12 students and educators throughout the state of Utah
  • Volunteer planning STEM-related events, teach hands-on lessons in the classroom and at events, work to increase student STEM engagement
  • Email David Wicai

Utah Science Olympiad

  • Once a year event that invites middle and high school students to compete in a variety of STEM disciplines.
  • Contact Amy Arkwright

Science Day at the U

  • High school students from around the intermountain west spend the day doing science-related workshops
  • Contact Lisa Batchelder

INSPIRE (Initiative to bring Science Programs to the Incarcerated in Utah)

  • Science lectures, workshops and conservation projects at correctional facilities in Utah
  • Contact Nalini Nadkarni

Science Communication Fellows

  • Offers science communication training to researchers who are interested in public engagement
  • Contact Paulmichael Maxfield

 Science Café

  • Presentations by U of U researchers on their current scientific research
  • Contact Paulmichael Maxfield

Science on Tap

Graduate Student Mentorship Initiative (GSMI) 

  • Helps underrepresented graduate school applicants by pairing them with STEM professionals in their respective STEM disciplines.
  • Contact them here



Student Resource Centers 




Non-Discrimination and Disability Accommodation Statement

"The University of Utah does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, status as a disabled individual, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, genetic information or protected veteran's status, in employment, treatment, admission, access to educational programs and activities, or other University benefits or services. Additionally, the University endeavors to provide reasonable accommodations and to ensure equal access to qualified persons with disabilities. Inquiries concerning perceived discrimination or requests for disability accommodations may be referred to the University's Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 201 South Presidents Circle, Rm.135, Salt Lake City, UT, 84112, 801-581-8365 (voice/tdd), 801-585-5747 (fax).

Indigenous Land Acknowledgement

The University of Utah has both historical and contemporary relationships with Indigenous peoples. Given that the Salt Lake Valley has always been a gathering place for Indigenous peoples, we acknowledge that this land, which is named for the Ute Tribe, is the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute, and Ute Tribes and is a crossroad for Indigenous peoples. The University of Utah recognizes the enduring relationships between many Indigenous peoples and their traditional homelands. We are grateful for the territory upon which we gather today; we respect Utah’s Indigenous peoples, the original stewards of this land; and we value the sovereign relationships that exist between tribal governments, state governments, and the federal government. Today, approximately 60,000 American Indian and Alaska Native peoples live in Utah. As a state institution, the University of Utah is committed to serving Native communities throughout Utah in partnership with Native Nations and our Urban Indian communities through research, education, and community outreach activities.

More information can be found here

Statement of Support for Racial Equity form the MB, BC, NP, AND MD/PhD Programs

Dear MB, BC, NP, and MD/PhD Communities,

As Program Directors, we are writing to express our horror at George Floyd’s murder and the countless other acts of violence and discrimination against communities of color. We are committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment where all students can realize their full potential no matter their race or background. Our Programs are dedicated to recruiting students that reflect our country’s diversity, but realize that there is still much work to do within and outside of the University. We strongly support the struggle for equality and the sentiments expressed by the U., our SACNAS chapter, and ASBMB (see links below). We encourage you to support these efforts with your time and resources (e.g., following our lead by donating to SACNAS or one of the many other organizations engaged in this struggle - see below). We are also always eager for your ideas on how we can do better.

Be well and stay safe,

Janis (MB), Michael (BC & MD/PhD), and David (NP)

Monday, June 8, 2020



2023 SACNAS National Meeting:

2023 National SACNAS conference

*Photo/Layout Credit to SACNAS

The largest multidisciplinary and multicultural STEM diversity event in the country, the SACNAS conference is a three-day gathering which serves to equip, empower, and energize participants for their academic and professional paths in STEM.

2024 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS):


*Photo/Layout Credit to ABRCMS

The Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), recipient of the 2019 AIMBE Excellence in STEM Education Award, is one of the largest communities of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students attend this conference to present their research, enhance professional development skills, explore graduate schools, and network. Research faculty and program directors play an essential role in mentoring students and learning strategies for facilitating student success.


Last Updated: 11/21/23