The Microbiology Doctoral Training Program stands with the greater University of Wisconsin’s mission of supporting and fostering diversity:

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW–Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background — people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.

The Microbiology Doctoral Training Program is committed to the strength only diversity can bring.  We strive to fully support all members of our community – Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ+, first-generation, people with disabilities and all marginalized groups.  

We all belong here at MDTP, all of us make our program great, all of us have a place in STEM.


MDTP is proud that students have led the program in working to make MDTP and STEM a more equitable and diverse place for everyone in our community.  In particular, MDTP alum Rachel Salemi put in extraordinary effort to bring equity issues to the attention of leadership and the program is grateful to them for their work.

  • Create and maintain a dialogue about diversity within the program.
  • Work towards creating a program in which students and trainers from all backgrounds feel welcomed, appreciated, and included.
  • Continually assess the needs of underrepresented minorities in the program and determine a plan for addressing said needs.
  • Recognize that privilege exists and use such privilege to lift communities that have been systematically marginalized.  Privilege is a responsibility. 
  • Encourage students, trainers and staff to advocate for diversity by providing resources, such as time, space and/or monetary support.
  • Recruit, retain, and support people who have overcome different barriers and created opportunities in different ways.
  • Educate ourselves and our community about the reality of implicit bias and the impact it has on science and education.


  • Applicants not only evaluated on academic and research achievements, but also on their background of overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities.
  • Funding opportunities in collaboration with Science and Medicine Graduate Research Scholars for students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Annual participation in ABRCMS and SACNAS for recruiting.  
  • MDTP Trainers are expected to have honest dialogues and open communication with the students in their program and their mentees.
  • Encourage collaborating departments to focus on diversity and inclusion.
  • Host events that provide research-based evidence concerning diversity (impact, challenges, implicit bias, financial education) in an attempt to educate current students and trainers.
  • MDTP now has a dedicated committee focusing on diversity and inclusion in the program.
  • Anonymous feedback form for students in the program.

MDTP Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Accomplishments


MDTP students initiate MDTP DEI Committee formation with letter to the program.

MDTP leadership and students collaborate to draft programmatic diversity statement, as well as diversity page on MDTP website with resources.

MDTP admissions process explicitly explained on MDTP website; MDTP application includes supplementary statement on applicants’ experiences creating and utilizing opportunities, recognizing the diverse opportunities applicants have had.


MDTP creates annual newsletter to connect current students with MDTP alumni to facilitate connections.

DEI trainings offered in MDTP Student Seminar.

Microbio 811, our first year student course, incorporates DEI training.

MDTP creates and implements an annual climate survey.

MDTP launches virtual panel discussions for prospective applicants to demystify the admissions process.

Incoming MDTP students are paired with senior student buddies and incoming faculty mentors to provide more onboarding support.


MDTP coordinator and director initiate monthly newsletters to students to improve communications.

MDTP spearheaded the relaunch of Life Sciences Career Day to support our students’ professional development.


MDTP creates partnership with SMPH DEI office.

MDTP students initiate the establishment of MDTP Student Support donation account; donation funds guidelines set.

Accessibility guidelines developed and training provided on accessible presentations.


MDTP launches updated DEI charter with guidelines for updated DEI committee procedures.

First election of MDTP DEI Committee representatives.

Land Acknowledgement

The University of Wisconsin–Madison occupies ancestral Ho-Chunk land, a place their nation has called Teejop (day-JOPE) since time immemorial. In an 1832 treaty, the Ho-Chunk were forced to cede this territory. Decades of ethnic cleansing followed when both the federal and state government repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, sought to forcibly remove the Ho-Chunk from Wisconsin. This history of colonization informs our shared future of collaboration and innovation.  Today, UW–Madison respects the inherent sovereignty of the Ho-Chunk Nation, along with the eleven other First Nations of Wisconsin.