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Identify Inclusive Penn State Research Teams Through ‘Rainbow Science Network’

Penn State’s Eberly College of Science launched a new initiative that helps prospective researchers identify labs that have received training in LGBTQ+ issues.

Undergraduates students, graduate students, and postdocs can use Penn State’s new “Rainbow Science Network” to find inclusive teams.

Faculty must complete application requirements to join the network. They must complete two training courses offered by the Penn State Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, have one other member of the group complete both trainings, and commit to reminding their group once a semester about their pledge to foster an inclusive scientific community.

The training courses are designed to increase the understanding of issues that LGBTQ+ people face and to commit to maintaining a welcoming and inclusive research group.

Claire Thomas, associate professor biology and biochemistry and molecular biology, is one of the network’s creators. Thomas has worked to incorporate LGBTQ+ inclusivity in State College and within Penn State academia.

“We know that diversity in science makes for better science,” Thomas said. “Through the RSN, we hope to attract more talented LGBTQ+ people into scientific research to make our science better.”

The network is geared toward undergraduate researchers and has links to undergraduate research opportunities in the sciences. Consideration for admission of labs affiliated with the Rainbow Science Network does not involve being part of the LQBTQ+ community. There is no obligation to disclose your status.

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About the Author

Colleen Nersten

Colleen is a senior biology major from York, Pa, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She overuses the ~tilde~ and aspires to be no other than the great Guy Fieri. You can find Colleen filling up her gas tank at Rutter’s, the ~superior~ Pennsylvania gas station. Please direct any questions or concerns to [email protected] For the hijinks, always.

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