Concordia University

About the Summer Institute

May 27th – 31st, 2019

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in STEM: Achieving research excellence by adopting new perspectives

Organizers/Lecturers: Dr. Stefanie Ruel (JMSB) and Dr. Tanja Tajmel (GCS)


In this summer institute, participants will learn to critically think of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) fields in the context of gender, diversity and inclusivity. The summer institute will last for five days. Each day will focus on a special topic. In the mornings, there will be lecture-type activities. These will be followed by workshops in the afternoons, where the theories and concepts, and empirical evidence discussed in the morning sessions will be practiced in hands-on activities by the graduate students.

The summer institute intends to provide a toolkit for graduate students who want to conduct or understand gender and diversity research in the context of STEM fields. We will discuss core concepts (gender, diversity, and intersectionality), core objectives (equity, equality, inclusivity, human rights, etc.), as well as the importance of the historical and political context for understanding dynamics of doing and living difference. We will apply a variety of types of gender and diversity perspectives on knowledge production, such as third and fourth wave feminism, critical race theory, postcolonialism, etc., in the specific context of STEM, to develop a broader understanding of the reproduction of social inequalities in the field of STEM.

For whom is the summer institute designed:

For anyone with an interest in learning more about the role of gender and intersecting social categories in the context of STEM. This includes Master’s and PhD students, across different faculties Concordia University, including Gina Cody School of Engineering, John Molson School of Business, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, etc. and national and international Universities. No background in gender or diversity studies is required. However, students should be prepared and willing to critically question and reflect on the norms, traditions and culture of STEM contexts.

Learning Objectives, Topics, Readings, and Assessments:

By the end of this summer institute, graduate students will be able to:

  • Develop collaborative skills, that are essential to doing good graduate research;
  • Develop a broader understanding of the reproduction of social inequalities in the field of STEM;
  • Explain and discuss gender and diversity, and other relevant concepts and theories from various streams, with respect to the context of STEM;
  • Use and apply the concepts introduced in the lecture activities to hands-on workshop activities;
  • Critically evaluate technical and academic literature;
  • Conduct a (group) research project and formulate an academic report that investigates the challenges in STEM-fields with respect to gender and diversity, and promotes inclusivity.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Gender and STEM (women in science and engineering fields, women in Canadian space industry, gendered knowledge)
  • Diversity and STEM (conceptualization of diversity (race, class, gender, body), ‘othering’, people of color in STEM, intersectional perspectives, LGBQT+
  • Indigenous knowledge and STEM (knowledge systems, indigenous scientists, field trip)
  • Human rights and STEM (right to STEM education, discrimination, legal frameworks)

Student assessment will consist of:

  • Final (group) project
  • Podium presentation
  • Participation and attendance
  • Final paper

Application process

A motivation letter will be produced by interested students, outlining their interest in this course, and what strategies they will use to participate fully in this intensive week of learning.

If you have additional questions, please contact:

Lorena Marzitelli
School of Graduate Studies
Concordia University
514-848-2424 ext. 7325

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