In 2018, the American Astronomical Society convened a task force, including SF State Professor of Physics and Astronomy Kim Coble, to find ways to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in astronomy Ph.D. programs. Earlier this year, Coble and her colleagues presented their findings at the American Astronomical Society’s annual meeting, discussing the extent of the problem and laying out a number of recommendations. Their report was covered at the time by Nature and more recently in an editorial published this month in Physics Today.
One recommendation to Ph.D.-granting departments was to build connections with institutions that serve minority groups, and specifically mentioned the work done in California State University’s Cal-Bridge program. The program supports students from groups historically underrepresented in physics and astronomy, providing scholarships, mentorship and research opportunities as they transition into Ph.D. programs.
The task force’s full report can be read here.