Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strengthen the scientific community, and are integral for research innovation and excellence. Increasing diversity and gender equity is central to BrainsCAN’s strategic plan.

BrainsCAN prioritizes its EDI strategies, including:

  • Ensuring full gender balance on our Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
  • Implementing a comprehensive and inclusive self-identification survey to accurately reflect the diversity of our engagement and programs, as well as directly influence the impact of our EDI policies.
  • Setting ambitious goals for gender balance and intersectional representations at all levels of BrainsCAN engagement.
  • Developing an inclusive culture within BrainsCAN by implementing safe spaces for BrainsCAN staff and researchers. 
  • Assisting researchers with grant applications and other strategies for changing EDI practices.
  • Working with other departments at Western to assist in the implementation of their EDI strategies.
  • Partnering with Canadian Association of Neuroscience (CAN) to reach beyond Western’s neuroscience community to a national level for engagement on EDI initiatives.
  • Prioritizing EDI globally as a central feature of all BrainsCAN partnerships with world-class neuroscience institutions.
  • Taking part in consultations for the creation of the Government of Canada’s Dimensions EDI initiative.


Results gathered from the CAN-BrainsCAN EDI survey in spring 2019 found:

  • 82% of Canadian neuroscientists believe diversity strengthens a research program.
  • 87% think challenges remain for underrepresented groups.
  • 40% of Canadian neuroscientists don’t think their institution recognizes the importance of EDI.