The Future of Space is Diverse
TRISH is committed to increasing the presence of diverse investigators driving the science it funds, as well as increasing the applicability of this research to diverse groups of people. TRISH is designing new programs and funding mechanisms to support diverse researchers and enhance minority representation.
Read more about TRISH’s strategy to close the diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) gap and create space for diverse investigators.
In 2021, TRISH launched a research instrument to better understand where we are today. The project included surveys and interviews with researchers to identify challenges that new-to-the-field and/or diverse investigators face.
As the pool of humans traveling to space through private and commercial companies grows, so does the diversity of those spaceflight participants.
TRISH-funded EXPAND projects aim to collect biomedical data from the most diverse set of space travelers yet – regular people in space. With this, comes the challenge of collecting data from people from varied backgrounds, health, and medical conditions. To ensure the longevity of human space exploration, it’s essential for space health research to adapt and solve the health challenges and risks associated with human spaceflight.
Diversity Advisory Board
In April 2021, TRISH established and convened its Diversity Advisory Board (DAB). Consisting of outstanding established thought leaders and professionals in the sciences, the TRISH DAB provides strategic guidance to the Institute in executing its DEIA goals.
The DAB advises on the strategic direction and tactical implementation of the Institute’s Diversity Program, participates in the prospecting and execution of new initiatives targeted toward underrepresented populations of researchers and entrepreneurs, makes recommendations for partnerships for TRISH, and disseminates information about the Institute’s Diversity Program to communities unfamiliar with space health.
Diversity Funding and Solicitation
In June 2021, TRISH announced its selections for the Institute’s first diversity-focused solicitation. The two projects were selected for their innovative means of facilitating underrepresented researcher engagement. Both projects are building, training, and supporting a cohort of underrepresented researchers to be successful in future applications for space health research funding.
The selected projects are:
Principal Investigator: Dr. Rachael Seidler, University of Florida
Co-Investigators: Drs. Josephine Allen and Christine Wegner, University of Florida; Dr. Ana Diaz Artiles, Texas A&M University.
Dr. Rachael Siedler’s University of Florida team is partnered with Texas A&M University to survey the field and build a database of underrepresented researchers interested in pursuing space health research and a second database of leaders in this field open to new collaborators and mentorship.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Kristina Collins, Texas State University
Co-Investigators and Collaborators: Drs. Lisa Hanson, Leslie Huling, Deepika Sangam, and Sara Torres Texas State University.
Dr. Kristina Collins will use Texas State University’s existing virtual education tools to create novel space health content with digital badges and certifications.
TRISH Leads Equity Conversations for Space
Forging a New Path for Diversity in Outer Space
TRISH Diversity Program Lead, Catherine Domingo, wrote this blog about the importance of increasing diversity in space health. With this submission, she won Baylor College of Medicine's Progress Notes MLK essay contest in 2022.