MB&B is radically changing how we search for new colleagues

November 30, 2020

This year, candidates for tenure-track Assistant Professor positions in MB&B will be asked to submit anonymized applications—no names of people, places, funding agencies or journals.  

Why anonymized? Names are powerful cues and they can trigger unintended bias including ingroup favoritism, a cognitive bias that leads people to overvalue the past accomplishments and future potential of individuals who seem similar to the evaluator. Research shows that anonymous searches can significantly increase the chance for minority applicants to be invited for an interview. This result strongly suggests that in traditional (non-anonymous) job searches many well-qualified applicants were overlooked due to bias. Anonymous application procedures are one tool to combat persistent racial hiring discrimination which could explain the very slow increase of URM scientists among faculty compared to the growth of URM PhDs.

What does an anonymous search process look like in practice? It is definitely not ‘business as usual’! Critically, we will not triage applications based on CV. We know that impactful science is done by diverse candidates working in many settings and publishing in a wide range of journals. We are screening applications ‘blind’ to prevent evaluation shortcuts that use where candidates earned their degrees, who mentored them, and which journals published their work as proxies for quality. Instead, we will anchor our impressions of candidates based on their own substantial descriptions of what they have to offer—their excellent science, inclusive teaching and plans to promote equity among diverse scientists!

Apply here: http://apply.interfolio.com/79584