The Neuroscience EDI award has been created to recognize outstanding undergraduate students enrolled in a Neuroscience program who also identify as a member of an equity-deserving group (e.g., Indigenous, Black, racialized, LGBTQ2S+). Successful applicants may also have the option of doing a research internship in a participating neuroscience laboratory of their choosing.

There is much evidence that there are inequities in accessing research opportunities among marginalized / equity-deserving groups, as systemic bias is a barrier to participation in research supervision and mentoring requests. Indeed, the recent Equity and Inclusive Communities (EIC) EDI Action Plan outlines the commitment to enhance opportunities for EDI research, and to “address gaps relating to issues of racialization and racial inequality across disciplines”. We here seek to further address this gap by creating an award such that equity-deserving students are eligible and receive support to engage in exciting neuroscience research in a lab of their choosing.

These funds will be used to provide an award to a neuroscience student who self-identifies as a member of an equity-deserving group, and who has demonstrated academic excellence. Further, successful applicants may be offered the opportunity to work in a neuroscience lab over a summer term.

We hope that the creation of this award will provide some financial relief for neuroscience students who self-identify as a member of an equity-deserving group and increase access to neuroscience research for members of these communities who have been systemically oppressed. Further, in pairing this award with our research internship opportunity, this award will provide students who typically have barriers to access opportunities in Neuroscience research the chance to engage in high-quality research. Participation in research is a key experiential learning component and is often perceived as a necessary activity to advance in academic/non-academic research, therefore, students who receive this award and who apply for the research internship will be more competitive for external research awards/scholarships, post-graduate applications and/or future employment.