Research: A Historically Exclusive Field
PCRi exists to address disparities within the historically elitist field of academic research. Studies show that the problem of underrepresentation is perpetuated by the racialized and classist structural barriers that have developed over centuries. Disenfranchised populations continue to face lack of access, resources, and encouragement to enter this field.
Historically, marginalized communities in the United States are most impacted by the social systems in place that gatekeep education and perpetuate inequities within academic research. Not only do disenfranchised students with high potential go unseen, they are not provided with the adequate opportunities needed to explore their passions.
Gender Disparities in Research
A 2020 survey found that the vast majority of BIPOC female faculty “feel they have to work harder than their colleagues to be perceived as a legitimate scholar.”
~33% of male and >60% of female BIPOC faculty reporting that they experience stress due to discrimination.
Increased stress is correlated with worse performance, poor health, and decreased life expectancy.
Disparities in Publishing
Black graduate students publish at a rate significantly below their peers being nearly three times less likely than their white counterpart to have published a paper in an academic journal
BIPOC faculty remain underrepresented in clinical and research-related professions and are less likely to secure federal funding than white faculty.
BIPOC investigators also have lower levels of success obtaining NIH funding and attaining high-level promotions within their academic institutions relative to their white peers.
Negative Impact of Research
Disparities to Communities
This predicament creates a world where research is conducted primarily by a continuous dominant group of people; whereas, down to the local neighborhood, communities are becoming more and more diverse. As a result, conclusions that are drawn from research primarily come from privileged individuals that do not reflect the communities they are studying.
Those who identify as Black, Native American, Latinx, low-income, first-gen, from a rural area, or as an immigrant are disproportionately impacted by the intrinsic inequities of the American education system and lack of access to research opportunities. Since more education is associated with an increased income, the failures of the education system allow for the continuation of a cycle of poverty among already marginalized populations.
In both the private and public sectors, research informs legislation and policy that directly impacts all communities, so unbiased reporting from relatable individuals is crucial.