Elevating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a top priority at Washington University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and across our medical school campus, at large. We strive to advance the understanding and treatment of psychiatric disorders for all by addressing disparities in access to mental health services, through research, education, and clinical care and ensuring an inclusive, diverse workforce across all levels of faculty, trainees, and staff. As part of our ongoing commitment to these principles, we are pleased to announce the launch of our DEI Funding Program. This grant offers funding to support individuals in our department that are actively working to create positive change and address systemic barriers to equality.

Eligibility: Any employee in the Department of Psychiatry is welcome to apply; however, trainees and staff should have a faculty sponsor listed in their proposal.

We are particularly interested in projects that focus on the following areas:

Enhance research recruitment efforts for hard to reach populations: Hard-to-reach populations encompass groups that are traditionally underrepresented or face barriers to participation in research studies. Examples include individuals from low-income backgrounds, ethnic or racial minorities, LGBTQ+ communities, individuals with disabilities, homeless individuals, and other marginalized or vulnerable populations. NIH criteria for diversity is available at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-20-031.html.

Increase diversity within a team: Funds to hire a staff or postdoc who are often at a negative power differential within our society. Embracing diversity and inclusion is not only the right thing to do but also a strategic decision that can enhance your team’s performance, innovation, and overall success.

Integrate DEI principles into mental health initiatives: Projects that address disparities and promote more inclusive and culturally competent approaches to support mental well-being; establishing collaborative partnerships with organizations and advocates who share our commitment to promoting mental health equity through a DEI lens.

Improve Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: Initiatives that promote diversity and inclusivity within our department and enhance the overall workplace experience for underrepresented groups.

Enhance Education and Training: Projects that provide educational programs, workshops, or training sessions to increase awareness, understanding, and skills related to DEI. Hosting an expert speaker to enhance our DEI knowledge and understanding, enabling us to make positive changes within our department and the broader community.

Email your application to: DEIpsych@email.wustl.edu

While the recommended proposal length is 2-3 pages, feel free to submit something shorter. For instance, you can draft just a few quick paragraphs if you’re looking to budget something relatively inexpensive like a one-time social event, DEI swag, or several DEI focused books to start-up a small book club.

Other items to include in your application:

  • Budget justification
  • Biosketch or CV

Applications for this round of DEI Funding are now closed. Stay tuned for updates for the next cycle of applications.  Congratulations to the award recipients of the WUSM Psychiatry DEI grants!

Addressing racial disparities in adolescent mental health and increasing efficacy in treatment in an outpatient psychiatry setting
Tara Tinnin, LMSW, NBC-HWC and T. Eric Spiegel, MD

Advancing equity in Black maternal mental health
Monique D. R. Gill, LPC, NCC, CCTP, Joanna Rosenthal, LCSW, Joshua Jones, LCSW, and Taylor Bass, LMSW

Expanding knowledge in the field of Deaf/Hard of Hearing mental health care and bringing such education to WUSM psychiatry, WashU/BJC and STL communities
Jessica Williams, MD with faculty sponsors: Drs. Patty Cavazos and Bohnenkamp

Exploring opportunities to promote diversity in human studies participants and diversity on research teams
Ginger Nicol, MD, Teddy Gray, Demetrius Perry

We are open to creative ideas. No idea is a bad idea! If there are questions or you’d like to brainstorm, you can communicate with your Division Director. In addition, if you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to Patty Cavazos, Vice Chair for DEI in Psychiatry (pcavazos@wustl.edu). Dr. Cavazos will be more than happy to assist you throughout the application process.

We look forward to receiving your innovative proposals and witnessing the positive impact they will have on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within our department. Thank you for your commitment to advancing DEI principles and making a difference in our department.