UCLA’s Center for Education Innovation and Learning in the Sciences (CEILS) collaborates with regional, statewide, and national organizations to drive change forward and increase equity, diversity and inclusion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). In 2014, Life Sciences led the launch of CEILS to systematically improve undergraduate science education at UCLA. Through CEILS workshops and trainings, instructors learn evidence-based teaching practices that promote inclusive student success. CEILS also facilitates important dialogues around inclusive education, bringing together and fostering a collaborative community of instructors who are committed to creating optimal learning experiences for the diversity of our students, who come from a broad range of cultural, socioeconomic and educational backgrounds.

The mission of CEILS is to create a collaborative community of instructors committed to advancing teaching excellence, assessment, diversity, and scholarship, resulting in the enhancement of student learning experiences in the Life and Physical Sciences at UCLA. EDI-focused efforts include:

  • Equity and Social Justice in STEM: CEILS has curated materials from across the nation to help work towards a goal of equity and social justice in STEM education, including guides and teaching techniques, research & news, events & webinars, and other resources to help the community learn more about inequities in STEM and strategies to create more inclusive and equitable classroom environments and departments.
  • Faculty Learning Program: The University of California Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science and the Center for Teaching and Learning received an NSF IUSE grant to improve student achievement in STEM undergraduate courses through statewide transformation of college level teaching. STEM faculty from 2- and 4-year institutions participate in the Faculty Learning Program together to learn and improve their instructional practice, and build relationships and understanding of one another’s teaching and learning contexts. UCLA, along with local community colleges with high transfer rates have been expressly asked to participate in this statewide program. The objectives of the program are to 1) develop STEM education expertise, 2) grant experience in using online technologies to develop instructional practice and support student learning and 3) redesign of STEM lectures to apply what is taught and integrate new approaches to teaching. For more information, visit the Faculty Learning Program webpage.
  • Conversation Series: Becoming an Anti-Racist Educator: The CEILS Becoming an Anti-racist Educator Conversation Series reflects and creates space for discussion of one’s own racial identity development and how racial identity and other social identities impact our learning environments. With colleagues, participants in these discussions will spend intentional time on student-centered, inclusive and equitable, and anti-racist action strategies that can be implemented in the classroom and laboratory learning environments to work against the impacts of racism. Upcoming workshops are open to instructors, faculty, and teaching postdocs who teach courses in the Life and Physical Sciences. For more information, visit the CEILS Equity and Justice Trainings webpage.
  • Speaker Forums: There is currently a planned invited speaker symposium on social justice in higher education. 
  • Student Organizations: Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), Association for Multi-Ethnic Bioscientists’ Advancement (AMEBA), and Black Scholars in Bioscience (BSiB) organizations
  • Graduate Training Opportunities: EDI support for graduate students includes: Grad School Hacks (workshops to provide students with strategies for effectively integrating into PhD programs and labs as well as a space for sharing experiences with peers and building community); Leadership Training Program (a series of interactive workshops to help trainees thrive in a research environment, deal with conflicts, and be effective leaders and team members); Mentorship Training (mentorship, leadership, and diversity sensitivity training for graduate students and post-doctoral trainees); and Scientific Excellence Through Diversity (a student-run seminar series for outside speakers that celebrates diversity on the scientific ecosystem). 
  • For more information, see the Graduate Programs in Bioscience Diversity, Inclusion, Community and Excellence Newsletter.

Department-Level EDI efforts: 

  • Bruins in Genomics (BIG) Summer. Bruins-In-Genomics (B.I.G.) Summer Research Program is an 8-week full-time immersion program for undergraduates interested in learning how to read and analyze genes and genomes. Through this program, students will have the opportunity to experience graduate-level coursework, and learn the latest cutting-edge research, tools, and methods used by leading scientists to solve real-world problems. UCLA Institute for Quantitative and Computational Biosciences is committed to attracting exceptional students who will contribute to the University’s diversity. We especially encourage women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities to apply.
  • Undergraduate Pipeline Programs: UC-HBCU Partnerships, the Bioscience Scholars Summer Program (BSP), Program for Excellence in Education Research in the Sciences (PEERS), the Center for Opportunity to Maximize Participation, Access and Student Success (COMPASS), and:
    • Maximizing Access to Research Careers. The Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) U*STAR Program is a two-year, NIH-funded, undergraduate honors program that seeks to increase the number of biomedical scientists from diverse backgrounds that significantly impact health-related research. The program specifically seeks to strengthen the skills and research training of students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. This program is appropriate for students interested in pursuing a PhD or dual PhD degree upon completion of their baccalaureate degrees. For more information, please visit the MARC webpage.
    • UCLA-HHMI Pathways to Success program. The UCLA-HHMI Pathways to Success Program is a 4-year, intensive, honors-level program for undergraduate students majoring in the life sciences, with an interest in the bio-sciences. We are committed to the academic success and professional development of highly motivated students, from diverse backgrounds, who intend to pursue a career in the life sciences. All HHMI Pathways students engage in cutting edge research with world-class professors, participate in high-level academic collaborative learning workshops, and are a part of a mentoring community to support their success and persistence in STEM. For more information, please visit the HHMI Pathways to Success Program website.
  • UCLA Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (K12). The IRACDA Program at UCLA supports postdoctoral scholars in the biological sciences who have a demonstrated interest in teaching, research, mentoring, and supporting diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. IRACDA combines a traditional mentored postdoctoral research experience with an opportunity to develop academic skills, including teaching, with pedagogical training provided through CEILS workshops and CIRTL courses, as well as faculty mentored teaching assignments at our partner institution, California State University Los Angeles (CSULA). The program is expected to facilitate the progress of postdoctoral candidates toward research and teaching careers in academia. The program is sponsored through Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA), supported by the division of NIGMS at NIH. A major goal of IRACDA is to produce a workforce in STEM with a strong commitment to teaching diverse undergraduates, particularly at institutions that have a history of training students underrepresented in higher education. In addition to motivating the next generation of scientists at our partner institution, another goal of IRACDA is to foster interactions between UCLA and CSULA faculty that can lead to further collaborations in research and teaching. For more information, please visit the IRACDA webpage.

For more information, please visit the CEILS webpage.

Last updated
November 16, 2023