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Title ImagePublic Abstract


DE-SC0024628: nEXO Collaboration DEI Activities

Award Status: Active
  • Institution: University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmngton, NC
  • DUNS: 040036584
  • Most Recent Award Date: 09/27/2023
  • Number of Support Periods: 1
  • PM: Bryson, Tasia
  • Current Budget Period: 09/01/2023 - 08/31/2024
  • Current Project Period: 09/01/2023 - 08/31/2026
  • PI: Daniels, Timothy
  • Supplement Budget Period: N/A

Public Abstract

nEXO is a next-generation neutrinoless double beta decay experiment in a collaboration of about 200 members. Within the international nuclear and astroparticle physics communities, we strive to be a leader and role model in community building while drawing inspiration from the trailblazers who came before us. We have adopted a Code of Conduct, created two elected ombudsman positions, created a mentorship program, started an internal lecture series, initiated an internal newsletter and information hub, created open fora for younger researchers to ask questions to more senior members, and will be conducting a collaboration climate survey. This project extends and strengthens these initiatives.

Climate Survey
We will engage the American Institute of Physics (AIP) to survey the collaboration climate and use the results to create new initiatives aimed at broadening participation within nEXO. A follow-up survey will follow two years later to measure the effects of those initiatives.

Student and Dependent Care Travel Grants
Interacting with other researchers builds community and is an important part of staying in the field. Junior researchers with care responsibilities are often disadvantaged when meetings require travel, as their dependents need constant support. Creating more opportunities for junior scientists in these groups to attend nEXO collaboration meetings will increase their sense of physics identity and remove a barrier to their participation.

Ombudsperson Training
Our volunteer ombudspersons will receive formal training through the International Ombuds Association to better help collaborators with a range of sensitive situations.

Targeted Job Boards for Underrepresented Groups
One way to increase diversity is to make sure our research opportunities are being widely advertised, with targeted posting to groups that are historically underrepresented in physics. 

Seminar Series Speaker Support

In addition to presentations from collaborators on their own research or experiences, we quarterly host external experts in broadening participation to present their research to the nEXO collaboration. This increases the awareness of challenging issues among our collaborators who might not otherwise have experience with some of the topics.

Workshops for Collaborations
We will host a workshop for committees from other nuclear & particle physics collaborations. We want to learn more about what other groups are doing to broaden participation in their areas, and we want to share what has worked as well as lessons we have learned from our own initiatives. This has the potential to become a regular event where best-practices can be spread and new ideas can be cultivated.

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