DEI & Outreach

Our commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

The McKay Lab is committed to maintaining a safe and inclusive environment for all individuals

Teams are strongest when they are diverse. Research shows that labs are more creative, productive, and successful when people from diverse backgrounds are included. To further the goal of diversifying the STEM workforce, our lab is active in social advocacy, mentoring, and scientific outreach. We recognize that this is a dynamic process, and we are continuously working to improve our efforts through open and honest communication.

Promoting diversity in STEM:

Our lab is proud to be part of programs at UNC that support diverse individuals at all training levels. Please contact Dan for more information or if you are interested in pursuing any of these opportunities.


SURE-REU and SURF are summer research programs designed to enhance the educational experience of undergraduates by providing opportunities to carry out independent research projects. Through these programs, we can host summer undergraduates in the lab. Please apply if interested!

We also welcome CSS and McNair Scholars to join our lab year-round.


UNC PREP is designed to equip and encourage students interested in pursuing a PhD in the Biological and Biomedical sciences. Students who have recently completed their Bachelor’s degree spend one year on campus gaining and strengthening skills needed for entry and success in top-tiered PhD programs.

Graduate Students:

IMSD strives to increase the number of students from populations historically under-represented in the biomedical sciences that attain PhDs and successful biosciences careers. IMSD provides graduate students with a community, academic support, and professional development opportunities to enhance success in their PhD programs and make them highly competitive for the postdoctoral positions and scientific careers of their choice.

Carolina Grad Students F1RSTS focuses on supporting first-generation graduate students as they navigate academic culture and provides resources to thrive as an advanced student.


SPIRE is an innovative postdoctoral fellowship program for PhD scientists who are interested in balancing research and teaching careers. SPIRE’s mission is to provide multi-dimensional professional development for science researchers and educators to succeed in academic careers, to bring engaging teaching methods into the classroom, and to increase diversity in science professions.

Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity aims to develop scholars from under-represented groups for possible tenure track appointments at the University of North Carolina and other research universities.

Additional Ongoing Lab Diversity Efforts

  • Jeanne-Marie serves as a College Prep Mentor for the Women in Science Promoting Inclusion in Research Experiences (WinSPIRE) summer program.
  • Alex & Dan help recruit CSS students to UNC, Alex mentors a CSS student in the lab, and Alex is a Biology tutor for CSS students.
  • Alex is an IMSD-GMB Diversity Excellence in Genetics fellow.
  • Alex serves on the IMSD Committee for Professional Development and the retreat planning subcommittee.
  • Matt writes science articles for popular media.
  • Many of us participate in DNA Day and Matt has served as a DNA Day ambassador to North Carolina high schools.
  • Many lab members have mentored UNC undergraduates participating in research for credit (BIOL395).
  • Dan is a BBSP First Year Group lead mentor for incoming graduate students.
  • Dan has completed Safe Zone Training (UNC LGTBQ Center), Faculty Mentoring Workshop Series (Office of Graduate Education), multiple mentoring workshops (TIBBS), Harassment & Discrimination Prevention (EOCO), Power Dynamics Workshops.

University Resources

Educational Resources