Objective of the Broadening Participation in Engineering (BPE) Plan

The Cockrell School of Engineering is committed to broadening participation in engineering disciplines among people from populations that have historically been excluded from studying engineering. To articulate these goals and align them with the broader Cockrell School DEI Plan, we have created this goal- and activity-oriented Broadening Participation in Engineering (BPE) Plan. For each of the four broad goals, the BPE plan defines a specific, attainable, measurable, relevant and time-bound goal. In many cases, the goals could be considered stretch goals, but they provide some mechanism by which to measure progress. It is expected that the BPE plan will evolve continuously, with a principled reflection on its contents at least once per year.

View the BPE Plan

How to Engage

Members of the Cockrell School of Engineering community can engage with the BPE Plan in multiple ways. Please reach out to the office of the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information or with any questions.

Research Grant Writing Support

Increasingly, funding agencies are requesting or requiring proposals to integrate activities in outreach, broader impacts or broadening participation specifically. The Cockrell School BPE Plan provides a way for these activities to leverage existing Cockrell School programs and initiatives, centralize logistics, coordination and assessment, and to maximize impact. The Cockrell School DEI Office will provide structured support for faculty as they incorporate BPE or other DEI-related portions of grant proposals.

When utilizing this service, PIs will receive (1) help identifying ways the research project connects to existing BPE activities already active in the Cockrell School; (2) collaboration for writing sections of the proposal that relate to the BPE aspects of the project; and (3) help in identifying proposed ways to assess BPE portions of proposed research.

In exchange, PIs will (1) allocate funding for the BPE or outreach activity, including funding for the relevant efforts of the Cockrell School DEI Office staff (e.g., for program logistics, delivery and assessment); and (2) allocate their own time as part of the project (and the time of other project participants, as needed) for implementing the BPE components of the project.

PIs request this support through a brief but formal application that includes: (1) information about the funding opportunity, including anything that is specific to broadening participation or outreach; (2) a high-level description of the proposed research; and (3) (optionally) initial ideas for broadening participation or outreach, including but not limited to specific areas of interest that connect with the BPE Plan.

Research Grant BPE/Outreach Execution

As sponsored research projects increasingly incorporate BPE and outreach activities, the office will support those activities in two ways. First, for activities that are proposed and budgeted through the above avenue and connect directly to the Cockrell School BPE plan, the office will support those activities as coordinated through the grant writing process. This includes providing programmatic support but also assessment, evaluation and reporting support. Sponsored research projects that do not follow the above avenue can still receive the same support, but must go through a lightweight agreement process to ensure the proper allocation of time and resources for the project.

In addition, it is expected that some BPE and outreach activities for sponsored research projects will not directly align with the BPE Plan or existing Cockrell School activities, but the office is also available to serve as a conduit to make connections to other departments or units on campus or in the broader community.

BPE-Specific Funded Projects

In addition to sponsored research projects, funding agencies also publish opportunities more specifically related to BPE. The Cockrell School DEI Office will identify these opportunities that are particularly well-aligned with the Cockrell School DEI Plan in general and the BPE Plan specifically and assist in forming teams to pursue these opportunities. In these efforts, the office will provide support similar to sponsored research projects but will also facilitate more deeply the creation of the team, budgeting, proposal writing, etc.

Apply for Research Grant and BPE Project Support

BPE Plan Goal Leads

Each of the goals within the BPE Plan needs a champion to serve as a point of contact. If one of the four goals aligns particularly well with your expertise, job description or interests, you could volunteer to be the lead for a goal. This can be time-limited (e.g., you can sign up to lead a particular goal for just two or three years, or for the duration of an aligned project).

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