Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging

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Statement of Commitment

The Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard Chan School believes that addressing the greatest public health issues of the 21st century requires bold steps for the future. In the same way we strive to address cancer, climate change, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases, we must also view racism, xenophobia, and homophobia, as threats to public health that must be addressed. Read full statement.

Department Goals

In conjunction with the school’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and with the help of a cultural assessment from an independent consulting group, the department has identified the following priorities for the 2023-2024 year:

2023-2024 Academic Year Goals

Leadership & Institutional Systems
  • We will conduct a comprehensive review of the qualifying exam from an EDIB perspective. For the review, we will reach out to current students, alumni  and faculty.

Learning Culture at Harvard Chan School:

  • Host 1-2 events for the department around diversity and inclusion. These events will be held via Biostats Diversity and Inclusion Group (BDIG) and the group will implement the practice of starting every event with stating the purpose and intention of group. A specific workshop we will organize is an inclusive teaching workshop.

Diversity of Our People & Their Success:

  • Implement opportunities to provide mentorship for groups to promote belonging and inclusion. Create spaces where students can connect with peers and/or faculty members to have conversations and seek out guidance.

Click here to see a list of the department’s ongoing goals.

Department Initiatives

  • Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (EDIB) Committee
    Working in collaboration with the School’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), the committee will examine departmental culture and experience, identify strategies to strengthen programs and initiatives, and implement or improve trainings and resources. Read full committee charge
  • Work with VISIONS, Inc. Consultants
    With the goal of examining and enhancing our EDIB efforts , the Department underwent a qualitative organizational EDIB assessment in Spring 2020. The assessment, conducted by VISIONS, Inc.– a non-profit training and consulting organization specializing in diversity and inclusion– explored how students, faculty, post-doctoral fellows, researchers, and staff across its array of programs experienced the Department from a EDIB perspective. Read executive summary of the assessment
  • Recruiting Historically Marginalized or Underserved Students
    Each year, our faculty, students, staff, postdocs and research scientists attend conferences and meetings aimed at introducing historically marginalized or underserved students to graduate programs in the STEM fields. See list of conferences
  • Biostats Diversity and Inclusion Group (BDIG)
    A grassroots social group within the Department that creates opportunities for mentorship, networking, and peer engagement. The group hosts events including book clubs, game nights, yoga sessions, dinners, and more. Contact for questions.

Department Programs

Donald Hopkins Predoctoral Scholars Program

A pipeline program initiated by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion that aims to increase diversity among students pursuing PhD degrees in biostatistics, epidemiology, and global health and population, and to prepare students from historically marginalized and underserved communities for doctoral study.

StatStart: A Summer Program in Statistical Computing for High School Students

A month-long intensive computing and biostatistics summer course geared towards high school students from underrepresented, historically marginalized, and low-income backgrounds in the greater Boston area. Students develop statistical programming skills, receiving mentoring, and make connections inside and outside of the classroom.

Summer Program in Biostatistics and Computational Biology

Established in 1994, this 6-week summer program aims to encourage historically marginalized undergraduate students to participate in graduate programs in biostatistics, computational biology, and health data science by exposing them to the use of quantitative methods in biological, environmental, and medical research.


Harvard Resources

Harvard Chan Office for Diversity & Inclusion (ODI)

The Office for Diversity & Inclusion strives to promote equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging within the Harvard Chan School community and beyond.

Harvard Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging

Harvard’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging seeks to catalyze, convene, and build capacity for equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism initiatives across the University in order to lead Harvard toward inclusive excellence by fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive.

Harvard GSAS – Office of Diversity and Minority Affairs (ODMA)

The mission of the Office of Diversity and Minority Affairs is to recruit and mentor a community of scholars that reflects the ethnic and cultural diversity of our society and to this end, our office serves the needs of the community through social, professional development and academic activities, and advising.