Building capacity for equity, diversity, and inclusion in motor control and learning research laboratories: Day-to-day actions PIs and trainees can take illustrated by a series of case-studies


Building the capacity for equity diversity and inclusion is important for the field of motor learning and control. The under-representation of equity-deserving groups in research trainees and principal investigators is identified by both the scientific community and national research funding bodies as a systemic problem that is important to address at the policy level. Although these broad systemic policy changes are required, it is often unclear what day-to-day actions can be taken at the 'laboratory' level. This presentation aims to outline and present actions that researchers in motor control and learning can take to build a more inclusive environment. Through a series of case-studies we outline barriers and exclusive practices that could contribute to the lack of diversity in the field. These barriers include the scarcity of representation at the faculty level in motor control and learning research, inequitable practices in student recruitment, and the use of exclusive language and informal networks which lead to inequitable opportunities. After each case, we discuss the tangible steps that graduate trainees and faculty members can take to address barriers. These steps include ensuring equitable mentorship opportunities, supporting organizations and events that serve equity-deserving groups, and the use of more inclusive language and practices in research settings. We conclude by stating that creating an environment where equity, diversity, and inclusion is a focus is a crucial step towards creating a strong laboratory environment.