The University of Minnesota Medical School's Office of Biomedical Graduate Research, Education and Training (BGREAT) in partnership with Community of Scholars Program, Science Communication Lab, and the U of M Office for Equity and Diversity have been awarded a grant from the U of M Institute for Advanced Study to develop a new science communication training program.

The program, called SPARK Inclusive Science Communication, will initially target graduate researchers in STEM-based fields who identify as Black, Indigenous and persons of color (BIPOC) to help deepen the understanding of the science communication principles through the lenses of inclusion, equity and intersectionality. The program will also address specific aspects of ISC as it relates to racialized identities in STEM.

The collaborative effort is keenly interested in the potential ways the training program may contribute to BIPOC graduate researchers’ ongoing formation as science writers and communicators in their fields, especially around perceived barriers of belonging and ability to communicate research with the communities with whom they feel a sense of cultural belonging. 

Program participants will have the opportunity to apply their training through submissions to the Graduate School Diversity Office’s SPARK e-zine or through a STEM ecosystem that connects participants with local BIPOC STEM middle school and high school students and their families. 

The collaborative plans to share the results of the program at the Inclusive Science Communication conference in 2023 and at the Consortium on Graduate Communication Summer Institute.