Inclusive Collaboration Initiatives


Credit: LSST-DA/T. Licul

LSST Discovery Alliance (LSST-DA) develops and implements innovative programs with an immediate goal to position a diverse community of researchers to make cutting-edge scientific discoveries with Rubin LSST and a broader goal to change how science is done and who’s at the table. 

To support this mission, our Inclusive Collaboration Initiatives are designed to:

  • Build diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices into all of our programs
  • Help embed practices and structures that foster DEI more broadly into the Rubin LSST science community
  • Lower the barriers of participation to Rubin LSST science that disproportionately impact some members of the science community

The following current initiatives are funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Childcare Support Program 

This program provides flexible grants to cover the added costs of childcare required to participate in key collaboration meetings. IceCube and LSST-DA are implementing this program to:

  • Reduce considerations of additional childcare expenses required to attend scientific meetings
  • Facilitate equitable participation in collaboration meetings by parents with young and dependent children
  • Gain an understanding of how the dependent care needs across the IceCube and Rubin/LSST science communities impact their ability to fully participate in collaborations

Requests for support are now open for 2024. Applications are being considered on a rolling basis until the funding is fully allocated.  The application form to request childcare support is here.

Expansion Partnership Program 

The Expansion Partnership Program engages small or under-resourced institutions in Rubin LSST science. This is accomplished through:

  • Partnerships with institutions well integrated into Rubin LSST science
  • Membership in the LSST Discovery Alliance

Membership will position faculty and students at Expansion Institutions to participate in Rubin LSST science networks and the design and development of new programs to support their use of Rubin LSST data. Ten funded partnerships are available starting in November 2023.

Inclusive Collaboration Projects

These inclusive collaboration projects were funded in 2023 to develop, document, and disseminate policies and best practices related to inclusive collaboration. LSST-DA selected projects from an international, open call for proposals that built on the From Data to Software to Science (DS2) workshop held in 2022 at the Flatiron Institute. The results will be published in 2024/2025. The DS2 report’s recommendations for inclusive collaboration best practices centered on:

  • Building sustainable cross-institutional partnerships
  • Strategies for dealing with authorship
  • Strategies for fostering an inclusive team environment
  • Strategies for working with students

LSST Discovery Alliance gratefully acknowledges the Heising-Simons Foundation for its support of these inclusive collaboration initiatives.