Things to Consider When Developing a PIER Plan

Promoting Inclusive and Equitable Research (PIER) Plans should describe the activities and strategies applicants will incorporate to enhance the scientific and technical merit of the proposed research through efforts that foster inclusion and equity. Since these plans should be intrinsic to the proposed research, the Office of Science expects to receive a wide range of ideas and approaches in applicants’ PIER Plans.

In developing tailored and intentional PIER Plans, applicants are encouraged consider one or more of the following:

  • The composition of the project team, including project personnel and partnering institutions.

    This includes but is not limited to: recruitment and inclusion of individuals from diverse backgrounds on the research project, individuals from groups historically underrepresented in the research area, and individuals from underserved communities; partnering with individuals from institutions historically underrepresented in Federal research, including but not limited to minority serving institutions, non-R1 institutions of higher education; and/or institutions of higher education in EPSCoR states.

  • The research environment.

    This includes but is not limited to: establishing and cultivating research and work environments that promote mutual respect and professionalism, where all project personnel feel welcome, safe, and supported; development and/or adoption of laboratory-, community-, or collaboration-specific codes of professional conduct; practices and protocols for ensuring safe conduct of research and personnel safety, particularly in isolated or remote research environments; and/or providing equitable access to research tools and making reasonable accommodations for researchers with disabilities.

  • The implementation of the research project, and scholarly and professional growth of project personnel.

    This includes but is not limited to: distribution of leadership responsibilities among project key personnel; mentoring and/or training opportunities for project personnel; equitable access of project personnel to professional development opportunities; inclusive and equitable plans for recognition on publications and presentations; inclusive practices for community engagement and strategic planning meetings or events; and/or communication of research goals and results to broader audiences.

Applicants may want to consider the following questions as they develop their PIER Plan:

  • How do the activities proposed in the PIER Plan enhance the scientific and/or technical merit of the proposed research project?

  • Are the proposed activities and strategies reasonable and appropriate for the project scope and project period?

  • Does the proposed research project include a clear strategy for ensuring the safety of all participants, including those working in traditional workspaces (e.g., labs, offices), remote or isolated research environments, and/or atypical hours?

  • Are the roles and responsibilities for implementing the PIER Plan equitable and understood by the applicant’s key personnel on the project?

  • Does the applicant and key personnel have demonstrated experience and competencies in carrying out the proposed scope of the PIER Plan that could be emphasized?

  • How are the proposed activities and strategies leveraging institutional resources or resources available through scientific professional societies to support project personnel?

  • Is the rationale for the proposed activities and strategies, and their potential contributions to promoting inclusion and equity within the research project, clearly described?

  • Are timelines or milestones for proposed activities and strategies appropriate to allow for reasonable tracking of and reporting on progress?