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STEM Diversity Enhancement

"The pursuit of knowledge and understanding is enriched by an environment in which people of diverse backgrounds learn together and from each other, and participate in free and genuine exchanges of views." (University of Tennessee Diversity Action Plan)

A goal of NIMBioS is to enhance the cadre of researchers capable of interdisciplinary efforts across mathematics and biology. As part of this goal, NIMBioS is committed to promoting diversity in all its activities. Diversity is considered in all its aspects, social and scientific, including gender, ethnicity, scientific field, career stage, geography and type of home institution. You can read more about our Diversity Plan on our NIMBioS Policies web page.

We offer this page as a resource to learn about NIMBioS' diversity efforts as well as research and educational opportunities for enhancing the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields with diverse audiences.

To read more about NIMBioS' efforts to enhance diversity in STEM, visit the NIMBioS blog.

For more information, please contact Suzanne Lenhart, NIMBioS Associate Director for Education and Outreach, at

Meeting photo NIMBioS Partnerships with Minority Serving Institutions.   MSIs include Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal College and Universities (TCUs), and Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AAPISIs). NIMBioS has signed joint agreements with several MSIs to enhance the diversity of participants in NIMBioS activities and to encourage these institutions to develop their own educational efforts at the interface of mathematics and biology. For more information about MSIs, visit the U.S. Department of the Interior's website on the Minority Serving Institution Program.

Meeting photo Diversity in NIMBioS Activities.   NIMBioS offers a variety of opportunities that promote diversity. Applications for NIMBioS Investigative Workshops and Working Groups are required to report the diversity features of their planned activities, including what information they have about the diversity of proposed participants. Participants in all supported NIMBioS activities will be evaluated with regard to diversity. Consideration of individual applications for NIMBioS support (e.g. Postdoctoral Fellows, Sabbatical Fellows, Short-term visitors, and NIMBioS Educational and Outreach activities) incorporate the same diversity evaluation. The NIMBioS Committee to Promote Diversity, whose members are on the NIMBioS Board of Advisors, works toward ensuring consideration of diversity in evaluation of applications for NIMBioS support. NIMBioS co-hosted an NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) Conference on Multi-Scale Evaluation in STEM Education in 2017.

Camp photo.

Gender Diversity in STEM.   NIMBioS has organized and facilitated a number of activities to increase the involvement of girls and women in the STEM fields, including SHADES (Sharing Adventures in Engineering & Sciences); Girls in Science Camp at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; Adventures in STEM at the University of Tennessee; Gadget Girls; and the Tennessee Chapter for Association for Women in Science. To read more about NIMBioS' involvement with girls and women in STEM, visit the NIMBioS blog.

STEM photo.

UT-NIMBioS STEM Alliance.   The UT-NIMBioS STEM Alliance aims to improve the success of students with disabilities in the STEM disciplines. The STEM Alliance is part of the South East Alliance for Persons with Disabilities in STEM (SEAPD-STEM) program, a network of education institutions in the southeastern US and Washington, DC with a goal to significantly advance a collaborative approach to improve the success of students with disabilities in the STEM disciplines.

Diversity photo

Mathematical Sciences Institutes Diversity Committee.   Mathematical sciences institutes in North America, including the NSF Mathematical Sciences Institutes, have formed a committee with the goal of joining together in their efforts to support the participation of underrepresented groups in the mathematical sciences, including women, underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities. The Modern Math Workshop at SACNAS (, with NIMBioS as the lead organizer in 2012, is one of these activities. The annual Spring Opportunities workshop is another activity of this group, with NIMBioS as the lead organizer in 2014. The event promotes opportunities for early career women in the mathematical sciences. In 2016, NIMBioS is the lead organizer of the Blackwell-Tapia Conference and Awards Ceremony, an event showcasing mathematical excellence by minority researchers and efforts to address underrepresentation.

For further information, please contact:

S. Lenhart photo. Suzanne Lenhart
Associate Director for Education and Outreach, NIMBioS
Phone: (865) 974-4270 (Math)   (865) 974-9349 (NIMBioS) Fax: (865) 974-9300
University of Tennessee
1122 Volunteer Blvd., Suite 106
Knoxville, TN 37996-3410

1122 Volunteer Blvd., Suite 106
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-3410
PH: (865) 974-9334
FAX: (865) 974-9461
Contact NIMBioS

From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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