About the IDEALS Office

Our Commitment

Our office is fundamentally committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure that all graduate students and postdoctoral trainees can bring their full, authentic selves into the training environment.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. 

All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

The IDEALS Office seeks to maximize the recruitment and retention efforts for individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences, also including individuals with disabilities

Working closely with campus partners such as the Graduate School and Office of Postdoctoral Services at Duke, and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the Office of Biomedical Graduate Education within the Duke School of Medicine, the IDEALS office serves doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in the biomedical sciences to provide access to university-wide resources and support systems.

Our Vision and Framework

We believe diversity in biomedical research enhances innovation by enriching the depth and variety of thought and perspectives which stimulates creativity and discovery. The core tenets of the IDEALS Office include developing and implementing programs and initiatives to enhance consistency, accountability, infrastructure to support diversity and inclusion efforts, and cultivate a strong sense of belonging among our trainees.

We will accomplish these goals by:

  • Attracting and recruiting highly skilled and ambitious trainees historically underrepresented in the biomedical sciences
  • Promoting the importance an inclusive research environment for trainees, faculty, and staff that celebrates difference and collaboration
  • Providing training and resources to faculty to increase cultural awareness and competency and effective mentoring practices
  • Identifying, developing, and delivering resources for trainees to enhance research self-efficacy, scientific identity, and overall well-being
  • Connecting students to a diverse network within academic, organizational, and industry settings in the biomedical sciences