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How Expert Reviews of NASA ATP’s Inclusion Plans Highlight a Need to Better Prepare the Astronomical Community for Research Inclusion

Presentation #233.07 in the session Technology, Policy, and the Search for Life.

Published onJun 29, 2022
How Expert Reviews of NASA ATP’s Inclusion Plans Highlight a Need to Better Prepare the Astronomical Community for Research Inclusion

In this presentation, we analyze how inclusion plans, recently required by NASA’s Astrophysics Theory Program (ATP), were evaluated by both science and expert inclusion review panels. We highlight the types of inclusion plans that PIs develop when given only general guidance on what to include in such a proposal, as well as show how science and expert inclusion panel reviewers evaluate these plans. Given little guidance, the inclusion plans were mostly marginal or inadequate by expert inclusion reviewers’ standards. This finding demonstrates the need for resources to help PIs understand what makes a strong research inclusion plan. We then introduce our plans for building one such resource: US-Extremely Large Telescope Program’s (US-ELTP) ”Research Inclusion Toolkit.’ Our Toolkit draws on best practices identified in the sociological and communications literature to provide the astronomical community with a framework for building and metrics for assessing inclusive research plans. Our Toolkit will benefit proposers by providing the tools and expertise to develop meaningful inclusion plans. The Toolkit will also benefit science expert reviewers by providing recommendations for how to assess the inclusivity of research proposals.We demonstrate how this toolkit will operate and the ways it can inform the astronomical community on developing more inclusive research plans.

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