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I'm not a York Professor but want to access POLARIS

Welcome to POLARIS.  We are glad you are here.  We’ve provided access to our POLARIS content so that our content is available to everybody who wants to do better in the adjudication of researchers for hiring or awards. We encourage you to read our “About Us” section to learn about the POLARIS mission.

Every Module has 4 components

  • “Drawing in The Margins”- An audio story of one person’s experience with inequity in adjudication. (These stories have been changed to protect the identities of all people involved. When these stories are read by volunteers (i.e. they were not involved in the story they read), the identifying characteristics of the individual, the department/Faculty/discipline, the nature of the reason for marginalization, and the details of the exact challenge faced have all been changed.)
  • “Where Do I Start?”- A guidance video with one professor and/or EDI expert designed to provide advice for each step in the adjudication process from before it begins until after it is finished.
  • “Conflicts and Challenges”.  A video of a group of experienced researcher adjudicators discussing the gray areas of ‘best practice’.
  • “Summary Sheet”.  A sheet for you to download to help remember and augment key points of the module. Also, to provide further readings for those interested.
  • There will be a knowledge question to answer after every component to help consolidate knowledge.

Once you've gone through the modules why don't you tell us what you think, we'd love to hear from you.

Why is it that after decades of systemic intervention, fundamental inequity within the academy still runs rampant?  This module provides a brief introduction to the challenges facing academics today.

Is your department really ready to diversify and be inclusive? The module begins with a professor sharing an expectation to remain research active during maternity leave due to departmental culture.  Before enacting targeted hires or special EDI awards to add people to your unit or winners’ circles, learn about the environment needed to support inclusion.

After preparing an inclusive environment ready for diverse applicants, how do you encourage them to apply? Listen to a professor with a disability share their experience of not applying for awards and how they overcame their imposter syndrome to begin supporting other diverse applicants. By learning a few strategies to diversify applicant pools (from choosing the adjudication committee and working the job description/advertisement), reflect on the pros and cons regarding self-nominations for awards when trying to diversify an applicant pool.

How do you adjudicate diverse applications and interview performance in a way that gives every applicant a fair evaluation? Listen to how typical aspects of a job interview meant to put a candidate at ease, can actually undermine the confidence of applicants.  Consider nuanced and inclusive approaches for judging a CV that tries to understand that candidate’s unique story and experiences that showcases their individual excellence.  Listen to a spirited discussion on how current interview norms (i.e., the interview dinner) can benefit and negatively affect the final hiring decision.

How do you rank candidates fairly when they come from a worldview or background that is different than you? A professor shares their experience as a diverse candidate affected by decisions made by non-diverse committees’ hiring priorities. Learn potential biases that adjudication committees should be mindful of when ranking individuals and best practices for an inclusive ranking process. Finally, listen to a discussion of the relationship between affirmative action and how it can unintentionally challenge a committee’s understanding of academic excellence. 

After completing today’s modules, what change will you bring to your institution and organizations? Learning is not enough.  Actionable changes in your practice as an academic, both big and small are critical after completing POLARIS. Listen to a professor discuss how research can be negatively affected by granting agencies that are not actually inclusive. Learn how to assess your current environment and listen to a few suggestions to make you an equity ally or even equity champion. The module concludes with a debate on the systemic practice of requiring reference letters and the burdens and benefits of inclusive adjudication.