Desai Lab Statement of Values

The Desai Lab seeks to enable a diverse and inclusive multidisciplinary research environment that allows all members to work to their highest potential, advance our research goals, and develop the next generation of scientists, engineers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders.

To this end, we value a lab where:

  • All members are individually respected

  • All ideas and perspectives are heard and given space for open discussion

  • Everyone feels that they belong, can thrive, and can succeed

  • Our members’ health and well-being are prioritized

We strive to be a group that is:

  • Highly collaborative, generous with our time, knowledge, and resources

  • Open to mentoring others and be mentored by others

  • Making decisions using the highest ethical standards

  • Constantly learning and striving to better ourselves in both our scientific endeavors and within our larger civic communities

  • Committed to building an inclusive, unbiased and prejudice free environment

To further these goals, we as a lab will:

  • Educate ourselves in issues of discrimination in academia and STEM including but not limited to systemic racism and gender discrimination

    • Read articles, listen to podcasts, watch movies, and have group conversations related to anti-racism and addressing the gender gap

    • Present monthly on literature involving diversity in STEM

  • Conduct training/workshops to further educate our lab in the following topics:

    • Unconscious Bias and Privilege

    • Microaggressions

    • LGBTQIA+

    • Sexual Harassment & Sexual Violence Prevention

    • Discrimination in the Workplace

  • Implement strategies to promote inclusion and diversity in STEM

    • Stand up against toxic mentorship practices, microaggressions, or other actions that are antithetical to our core values whether in lab, in professional spaces, or in our personal lives

  • Encourage student interest in STEM at all levels, with an emphasis on students from traditionally underrepresented groups

    • Participate in SRTP, the MUSE, and SHPE mentorship programs

    • Provide hands-on research opportunities

    • Engage with our local community through leading interactive STEM-focused lesson plans in the Bay Area through programs such as the Science Education Partnership, Nexgenegirls, and the Cal Academy

  • Advocate for equity and inclusion in STEM and academia at the local and national levels

    • Actively participate in UCSF and UC-wide advocacy

    • Educate government and policy leaders on STEM-related issues

This is a living document and will be updated twice yearly by the members of the Desai Lab. We welcome suggestions and input!