Equity & Inclusion Commitment

A diverse and inclusive research ecosystem is fundamental to innovation, from the questions we ask to the methods we use to the ideas and solutions that we generate. That’s why we are committed to embedding equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) as core values to guide our scientific programming, events, communications, leadership and approach to training and mentorship.

From funding program development to application review to event planning, we are employing strategies to try to address disparities in research and to foster an environment where people with diverse perspectives are valued and can thrive. These strategies include:

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Understanding our community

We are collecting anonymized, self-reported demographic data from applicants to all of our funding programs to capture a baseline measurement for who is applying for EPIC funding. The data from these surveys will inform planning and monitor progress towards integrating EDI into our programs and processes.


Addressing unconscious bias

All EPIC leadership and review panel members are required to have completed unconscious bias training within the last year from a reputable organization.

Reviewing for inclusive excellence

In situations where the demographics of the total applicant pool is skewed from the demographics of the recommended recipients, we will ask our steering committee members to re-evaluate the funding decisions, taking into consideration other highly ranked proposals and reflecting on inclusive excellence.

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Prioritized programs

To attract and retain diverse talent in the infectious disease research ecosystem, we created targeted supports like our Inspire Summer Studentships for Black and Indigenous undergraduate students. We have also set aside dedicated support for early career investigators within each of our funding competitions.

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To enhance accountability, we will publicly share funding statistics for competitive programs as well as other relevant information such as the demographics of our review panels. These data will be published on our website and updated on a regular basis.

Statement of Acknowledgement of Traditional Land

We wish to acknowledge this land on which the University of Toronto operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.