Simons Foundation Launches the Flatiron Institute Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Advocacy (IDEA) Scholar Program

The Simons Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the Flatiron Institute Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Advocacy (IDEA) Scholar program. The program invites distinguished scientists with a particular interest in increasing diversity and improving equity and inclusion in the sciences for extended visits at the foundation’s intramural computational research division, the Flatiron Institute. The foundation regards diversity as having many dimensions, including but not limited to gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, race, faith, ethnicity, cultural heritage, disability and socioeconomic background. Visiting scholars can engage with any of these dimensions or suggest others.

“The Simons Foundation is committed to supporting the pipeline of diverse candidates in science,” says foundation president Marilyn Simons. “Increased diversity drives new perspectives and inspires future generations of scientists. Our hope is that our IDEA scholars will have a lasting, meaningful impact on the Flatiron Institute and beyond.”

Theoretical physicist Stephon Alexander will be one of the first IDEA scholars, beginning his tenure on September 1, 2020. Alexander is a professor of physics at Brown University and president of the National Society of Black Physicists.

Each year, around six scholars will be selected and placed across the Flatiron Institute. They will spend four weeks in total at the Flatiron Institute, either as one extended stay or in multiple shorter visits of at least one week each. While in residence, the scholars will engage in a variety of activities such as mentoring junior scientists, kick-starting new collaborations, working on scientific projects, interacting with Flatiron Institute staff, giving talks and seminars, and organizing or participating in workshops and career development events.

Scholars’ travel and local expenses will be covered. They can also request a fixed supplement to support caregiving responsibilities.

The program is open to researchers with a rank of assistant professor (or equivalent) in a scientific discipline. Applicants must make a case for how they will engage with members and staff of the Flatiron Institute and how they will work to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion during their residency.

The application period closes on October 15, 2020, for visits between June 2021 and May 2022. More information on the program and the application process is available on the IDEA Scholar program webpage.

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