Strategic Plan

Salk Institute for Biological Studies - DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION - Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan for Further Diversifying Salk (the “Strategic Plan”) reflects an organizational commitment to increase the representation of underrepresented populations in the biomedical workforce and other underrepresented groups at Salk, to commit to a campus culture that is equitable and inclusive, and to strengthen and expand our partnerships and collaborations. The Strategic Plan also acknowledges that we all have a role in defining Salk for future generations who join the Institute.

The Strategic Plan is intended to serve as a road map to guide our work as an organization and inspire us all to be accountable for creating cultural change through shared values. Leadership can use the Strategic Plan to measure DEI progress. The DEI team will draw on the Strategic Plan to implement and track DEI efforts in a calculated and comprehensive manner, including developing metrics, and managing programs and initiatives. Faculty, trainees, and staff can use the Strategic Plan to take ownership over creating and implementing their own goals at the lab or departmental level.

The Strategic Plan identifies four strategic priorities, outlined below.

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Efforts that advance knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion help foster positive working environments. Salk is committed to building our individual and collective understandings of DEI in a culture that is welcoming and productive.

To foster respect and community by achieving greater education and understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.


  • Identify, participate in, and promote training and education about DEI issues and topics, such as the implications of power differentials, implicit bias, inclusive leadership, inclusive language, systemic inequities, and anti-racism, as well as topics such as neurodiversity and its impact on an inclusive work environment.
  • Develop, promote, and participate in educational opportunities offered by guest speakers through panels, lectures, symposia, and conferences.
  • Promote events and activities hosted by the Salk affinity groups.
  • Foster discussion of DEI issues and topics among Salk faculty, trainees, graduate students, and staff.
  • Promote, circulate and advertise evidence-based knowledge on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Research shows that diverse perspectives create better outcomes and diverse teams outperform homogenous ones. Salk is part of a broader national effort to diversify the STEM workforce as a commitment to scientific discovery and humanity. Equally, we aim to continue to increase representation among the talented employees who support the STEM enterprise.


To increase access and representation of underrepresented groups in biomedical research at Salk and in the STEM workforce.


  • Identify opportunities to interact with diverse talent, cultivate scientific relationships, and build STEM pipelines.
  • Design and implement targeted outreach efforts to increase awareness of Salk in historically underrepresented communities.
  • Provide formal and informal opportunities for guidance, mentorship, and sponsorship geared toward students, trainees, faculty, and staff.
  • Review practices, processes, and policies and leverage opportunities to enhance fairness and equity in the employment life cycle and to embed DEI into decision-making.
  • Invest in education and other professional development opportunities to address inequities within Salk and across STEM.

Salk’s unique and innovative culture is conducive to fostering engagement and excitement within and about the Institute. We can continue to strengthen internal relationships and expand external relationships through philanthropy, education, community outreach, and communication.

To build, expand, and strengthen relationships within Salk and the external community.


  • Strengthen Salk’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through creative and compelling communication.
  • Engage in activities that develop a sense of belonging within Salk and promote the Salk Institute, such as events panels, lectures, symposia, and conferences.
  • Embed the Institute’s core values into the Code of Conduct and across Salk with attention to fairness and procedural transparency.
  • Create, strengthen and expand relationships between Salk and the external community through philanthropic, networking, education, and outreach efforts.

In order to be a leader in diversity, equity and inclusion, the Institute is committed to measuring and honing its efforts to ensure that we are achieving our DEI goals. Communicating that progress is critical.


To create accountability for DEI goals and ensure that Salk is setting the standard for diversity, equity and inclusion efforts among peer institutions.


  • Identify and participate in benchmarking opportunities to evaluate, enhance, and receive recognition for diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
  • Identify and review literature and best practices on DEI to ensure that policies, practices, programs, initiatives, and other efforts are both proactive and reactive to DEI challenges.
  • Track and measure impact of DEI efforts around Salk demographics.
  • Establish mechanisms to periodically evaluate leadership for their commitment to DEI.

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