BioKansas Awarded Grant To Develop New Intercultural Competency Training Program

June 2, 2021 16:40 UTC

BioKansas has received a grant from Burroughs Wellcome Fund to expand PhD students’ understanding and practice of intercultural competency. The program is designed to provide a broader understanding of employer expectations, how organizations can support equitable and inclusive practices, and how employees and leaders contribute to equity and inclusion.

SHAWNEE, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- BioKansas, a life science nonprofit committed to preparing students for careers in the biosciences and strengthening career pathways through equity and inclusion, is pleased to announce the receipt of a grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. This grant was awarded to BioKansas under the Career Guidance for Trainees program. The grant mechanism supports one-year projects that model affordable and transferable approaches to improving trainees’ readiness for stable and fulfilling careers.

As the scientific enterprise continues pushing towards greater collaboration, companies increasingly rely on cross-disciplinary and cross-organizational teams from a broad range of cultures and backgrounds to accomplish organizational and departmental goals. The BioKansas program is designed to prepare PhD students for success on these teams with training and practice in intercultural competency, an increasingly valuable skill. Through this experience, PhD students will deepen their understanding of employer expectations and learn ways to foster equitable and inclusive practices within professional environments. The program framework progresses through structured learning, practice, and reflection exercises.

“Despite increasing awareness of how intercultural competency drives team success and plays a role in improving diversity, equity, and inclusion, there is limited training available for PhD students. Access to intercultural competency training is vital for improving PhD students’ understanding and practice of intercultural competency,” said Sonia Hall, President & CEO of BioKansas.

By partnering with companies and institutions, participants in the program will gain unique insight into the policies and processes that underlie the scientific ecosystem. Through this training, they will gain a deeper understanding of how to approach improving equitable and inclusive practices.

The application for area students is anticipated to open in the fall of 2021 with the program beginning in spring of 2022.

About BioKansas: BioKansas is a non-profit organization whose mission is to lead the effort of supporting and growing Kansas’ bioscience ecosystem including bioscience research, commercialization, training, and business development. Through organizational and collaborative efforts they provide meaningful content, connections, and advocacy to advance the state’s bioscience industry. Learn more at

About Burroughs Wellcome Fund: The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is a private foundation located in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Its mission is to serve and strengthen society by nurturing a diverse group of leaders in biomedical sciences to improve human health through education and powering discovery in frontiers of greatest need. For more information visit and follow on Twitter at @bwfund.

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Sonia M. Hall, PhD
913-428-9699 or

Source: BioKansas

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