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New DOE efforts promote equitability and inclusion in science research

October 13, 2022
By: Emily Chesser

The Department of Energy’s Office of Science recently announced new requirements for all research proposal applications. Applicants must submit a plan for Promoting Inclusive and Equitable Research — or PIER Plan — with their research proposal during the solicitation process. The PIER Plans will be required beginning in FY 2023 and will require investigators to describe strategies to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in all research projects. Larger research teams will be expected to provide more detailed PIER Plans. A new merit review criterion will evaluate these PIER Plans during the peer review process.

These new requirements were developed following a systematic review of the Office of Science and were based on recommendations from peer reviews and community listening sessions. The Office of Science identified various barriers for underrepresented groups from these reviews and recognized over 40 opportunities to broaden participation.

The Office of Science also updated the requirement for conference proposals, requiring a code of conduct to address discrimination, harassment or any other exclusionary practice, and an accessibility plan for speakers and attendees.

The conference requirements will also be enforced beginning in FY 2023. The conference host organization must provide detailed policies to address discrimination, harassment or bullying during a conference. These policies must include procedures for reporting and handling complaints. Conference host organizations will also be required to address recruitment plans for historically underrepresented groups in the research community.

To share more information about the new requirements, the DOE’s Office of Science is hosting a public webinar on Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. EST.

doe, inclusion, research, diversity, conference