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Diversity Statement Guidelines

The Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech values and seeks to advance diversity equity, and inclusion (DEI) in all parts of our mission. As part of their application, candidates for faculty positions are asked to provide a Diversity Statement in which they may describe their awareness and philosophy toward DEI and include examples from their past and future career of how to advance DEI. The following is a general guideline, but not an exhaustive list, of items that could be included in the statement. We encourage creative ideas and thoughtfulness.

Philosophy, Values, and Past Experience:
Describe any background or experiences that have made you aware of challenges faced by historically underrepresented populations and identities different from your own and how they motivate your philosophy and values towards DEI. 

Past Activities:
Describe any past DEI activities that you have contributed to, or participated in. We do not expect, everyone to have contributed in all aspects. Examples may include:

  • Research Activities: If any of your past research effort specifically contributed to DEI, describe the work and any impact or positive outcomes.
  • Teaching and Mentoring Activities: If you have taught courses, how did you address issues of DEI and/or made the course more accessible to members of underrepresented groups. If you have mentored students from underrepresented groups, describe your efforts at inclusivity including outcomes (i.e., success and progress of mentees during and after mentoring, including employment, educational success, etc.).
  • Service: If you have served on a committee that addressed DEI issues, describe any accomplishments and your role in helping achieve them. Include your position on the committee and other relevant details.
  • Other Activities: If you have contributed in other ways, describe the activity and its context (e.g., participated in workshops, continuing education, member of a specific group or organization, recruitment and retention, course development to reach a specific group, outreach to a local school/community, work with a diversity-related group, etc.). What was your role and personal effort?

Future Activities:
What activities would you propose to pursue as a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech and how might they fit into the department, university, or national context? For each proposed activity, describe your envisioned role and the short and long term goals. Be realistic in terms of your effort and time commitment.