Diversity @ KICP
The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) at the University of Chicago recognizes the value of diversity in all of its activities and for the larger scientific enterprise. The KICP strives to provide an environment that encourages the richer exchange of ideas that a diverse group of members enables. The KICP strives to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment to all: undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, senior researchers, faculty, short- and long-term visitors, and staff.

The KICP adheres to the University of Chicago's policies and procedures for dealing with harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct. These policies apply to all members of the University community as well as to KICP visitors. To report an incident of Harassment, Discrimination, or Sexual Misconduct, go to the Get Help link.

The KICP also embraces and adheres to the University's policy on Freedom of Expression and has a set of KICP Community Values.

KICP Community Values
The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) recognizes the value of diversity, respect and the free exchange of ideas in the scientific enterprise. We also recognize our shared responsibility in upholding these values which benefit the entire KICP community - KICP members, staff and visitors. Specifically, we are committed to:

  • Scientific integrity: We aspire to the highest professional and ethical standards of conduct in our research, management of that research, and communications about our research.
  • Respectful interactions: We respect the broad spectrum of views that are essential for scientific research. Each individual's contributions will be treated with civility and we strive to create the kind of collegial environment that promotes excellent science.
  • Welcoming climate: We strive to create an environment in which all members of the KICP community feel comfortable, protected from harassment and free of inappropriate behavior.
  • Diversity & inclusion: We strive for an inclusive environment that embraces the differences inherent in a diverse community. Diversity includes race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, age, cultural background, nationality, military status, financial status, discipline or field, and career experience.

Anyone who has concerns about behavior inconsistent with our community values may contact one of the two KICP Ombudspersons, whose roles include providing advice on possible courses of action and, if appropriate, making a recommendation for action to the KICP Director.

Nothing in this statement of values should be construed as conflicting with UChicago's policies and procedures for dealing with harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct. These policies and procedures apply to all members of the KICP community.

KICP Ombudspersons
The KICP Ombudspersons are available to provide private and independent advice for anyone in the KICP community, which includes KICP members, staff and visitors. The Ombudspersons assist in identifying options for dealing with violations of the KICP Community Values. The KICP Ombudspersons report only to the KICP Director. The Ombudspersons are also familiar with UChicago's policies and procedures on harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct and can provide assistance in identifying appropriate UChicago resources.

Diversity and Inclusion Activities at the KICP

Diversity Plan of the KICP
The KICP recognizes the importance and value of diversity to its scientific, educational and outreach missions and, more broadly, to the science enterprise. The KICP thus seeks to increase the participation of women and under-represented minorities within the KICP and in the wider area encompassed by the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The KICP has developed programs and procedures to advance diversity in all of its activities and to increase the representation of, and to promote opportunities for, groups traditionally under-represented in Physics and Astronomy, especially women and under-represented minorities within the KICP and beyond. Many of these activities are funded by the Physics Frontiers Center (Pushing Cosmology to the Edge) at the KICP. Below is a summary of some of our current programs and procedures designed to promote diversity.

KICP Scientific activities including visitors and meetings
  • The KICP strives to create a welcoming, inclusive, diverse, and professional environment for all of its members and visitors as they further their scientific careers and is always open to suggestions for improving our environment.
  • Committees responsible for inviting speakers and visitors to the KICP are charged by the Director to strive for a group of individuals that represent the full diversity of our scientific discipline (gender, under-represented groups, geographic and institutional).
  • The organizers of KICP-sponsored Workshops and Conferences are similarly charged to strive for a diverse group of attendees, invited speakers and session chairs.
  • To the best of its abilities, the KICP keeps self-reported statistics on the demographics of participants at all of its events so
    that it can track progress in diversity and identify areas of concern.

Education and Outreach Programs
  • The KICP is committed to working with under-represented minority (URM) students from the Chicago Public School System to build interest in pursuing further education and careers in STEM fields. Our primary activity in this area is the longstanding Space Explorers program, which provides inner city youth over 100 hours per year of contact time with KICP researchers seeking to increase the student's appreciation of science.
  • The KICP is committed to creating research opportunities for women and URM undergraduate students. The KICP supports undergraduate students for research assistantships throughout the year, including the summer. As in all KICP activities, diversity is a goal in choosing students to participate in these assistantships. The KICP has partnered with the University of Texas at El Paso, an institution which serves a primarily URM student body, bringing in undergraduates to the KICP to participate in a Summer Research program each year. The KICP partners with The University of Chicago's Department of Physics' Summer REU program, which also focuses on women and URM's, to provide Summer Research opportunities for students.
  • The KICP sponsors and participates in activities to promote the UChicago Society for Women in Physics and to support their mission of increasing opportunities for women in the physical sciences.
  • The KICP participates in the Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge program, which targets URM students. Graduate Students participate in KICP research projects for a summer, exposing them to top tier experimental projects which may not be available to them at their home institution. In some cases, these short-term projects grow into long-term partnerships, resulting in dissertations from the student's home institution but based upon their research at the KICP.
  • The KICP reaches beyond its boundaries through a broad array of programs, special events, and partnerships with the Adler Planetarium, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and other local partners. These activities in the multi-cultural city that Chicago is reach many students (and their parents) and help to promote broader participation in STEM careers.
  • The KICP has hosted a number of recent NSF AAPF Fellows, including Daniel Grin, Jason Henning, and Doug Watson; all of whom led significant Outreach programs as part of their Fellowships.

Hiring and operations
  • The KICP makes its operating Committees as diverse as its scientific population permits.
  • The KICP considers diversity when evaluating candidates for the PFC-supported KICP Fellowships and strives to achieve a cohort of KICP Fellows that reflects the full diversity of our field and of the candidate pool.

Champion and exemplar for diversity on the UChicago campus and beyond
  • While the KICP does not have the ability to make faculty appointments, its members are drawn from academic departments (largely Physics and Astronomy & Astrophysics) that do make faculty appointments. We believe that our attention to diversity within the KICP and at the workshops or conferences that the KICP sponsors, will make these units aware of the importance of diversity and the diverse pool of candidates that are available for faculty jobs and thus will ultimately serve to increase the diversity of the professorate at UChicago.
  • The KICP and its members strive to be an exemplar for the value of diversity and the ability to improve the diversity at The University of Chicago and beyond.