AGU LANDInG awarded NSF grant to provide professional development to Postdoctoral Fellows

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We are excited to announce the launch of AGU LANDInG-PRFP (Leadership Academy and Network for Diversity and Inclusion in the Geosciences-Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program), an initiative to provide professional development in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and related scientific skills to postdoctoral scholars. This new program is funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Directorate for Geosciences.

AGU LANDInG-PRFP will leverage the resources and reach of the currently funded AGU LANDInG (ICER 2036823) to provide DEI training tailored for NSF’s new Office of Polar Programs and Division of Ocean Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellows. Recipients of NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowships will be eligible to participate in this initial effort, which will begin in 2022.

Earth and space science is one of the least racially and ethnically diverse of all STEM fields. Women remain underrepresented, even though 40% of undergraduate and graduate students identify as women, and less than 1% of physical science majors are people with disabilities. In addition, while advanced degrees are not the only indication of one’s success, only 15% of geosciences doctorates are awarded to people of color.

Led by AGU and funded by an NSF grant, AGU LANDInG seeks to develop a sustainable network of leaders to champion DEI at their home institutions and across all scientific disciplines.

Early-career scientists, specifically at the postdoctoral level, are uniquely positioned to advance the systemic cultural shift needed to correct these trends. In the years following graduate studies, scientists develop independent professional identities and their personal values as researchers, educators and mentors. LANDInG-PRFP will fill an existing gap of professional development opportunities that address DEI and other needed competencies for successful 21st century scientists at this critical transition.

Over the two years, LANDInG PRFP Fellows will receive professional development through a series of meetings, conference activities and mentoring opportunities. The program will prepare Fellows to implement evidence-based DEI practices in their careers and cultivate a commitment to broadening participation in STEM. The curriculum will build upon AGU LANDInG’s Community of Practice (CoP) — an open access, virtual platform for DEI-focused resources, training and discussion — which is scheduled to launch in December 2021.

LANDInG-PRFP Fellows will join the first cohort of AGU LANDInG Academy Fellows, a group of Earth and space science professionals selected to take part in the two-year program that will enable them to effect change at academic, academic-adjacent and research institutions. Together, LANDInG-PRFP, AGU LANDInG Academy and the LANDInG CoP will offer different paths for scientists at any career level to develop as leaders and bring about change in their own institutions, across the Earth and space sciences and in STEM.

AGU LANDInG will host a plenary session to discuss these efforts at AGU Fall Meeting 2021AGU Fall Meeting 2021, which will run in-person in New Orleans and online everywhere from 13-17 December 2021. #AGU21 will feature plenaries and speakers, as well as workshops, that focus on efforts to create a more inclusive scientific culture for everyone. Register by 3 November for the early bird rate.

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