The NUIN Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee has been active in increasing diversity and promoting an environment of equity and inclusion across racial, ethnic, socio-economic, sexual, gender, disability and religious identities for over 20 years. The current committee includes representation from NUIN student, faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows.

Our Mission

We seek to enroll, retain and support students who represent the diversity of our society with the goal of increasing representation in the broad field of neuroscience at the national level in academia, government and industry. Furthermore, we are committed to creating an environment of equity and inclusion within Northwestern and the NUIN community.

Our Vision

Our vision is that, one day, the NUIN community will better reflect the broad diversity in our society at large. Students will choose Northwestern not only because of its reputation as a research intensive university but also because of its commitment to training and nurturing the next generation of diverse neuroscientists. Students of all cultural backgrounds and experiences will find a welcoming community that strives for excellence in the quest for knowledge to understand the brain and address its ailments.

Recent Initiatives

In 2020, the DEI Committee partnered with NUIN staff, faculty and students to evaluate all aspects of the NUIN program through a DEI lens. Categories of program milestones, representation, environment, curriculum, admissions/recruitment, committees, resources and events were assessed and feedback was collected through a survey, one-on-one conversations, an external focus group report and townhall-style meetings. The following actions were taken as a result:
  • As a result of extensive feedback from faculty and students regarding advancement to candidacy (qualifying exam), the qualifying exam was modified to a more individualized experience.
  • The curriculum committee approved the creation of two new courses: "NUIN Graduate Foundations" (a required course for all first-year students focused on adjusting to graduate school) and "Finding Your Voice as a Scientist," a second-year course for preparatory training on science communication.
  • Staff from the Office of Human Resources created a tailored unconscious bias discussion for admissions committee members, and the committee adopted the use of a holistic rubric system for application review.
  • The DEI committee expanded its membership, divided into working groups and defined a series of goals.


Learn more about the ways Northwestern University is embracing diversity and fostering inclusion.Visit the Office of Institutional Diversity & Inclusion

Follow NUIN on