One of VCU's greatest strengths is its diverse student population. We want Spit for Science: The VCU Student Survey to be a project that all VCU students feel comfortable in participating. To that end, conducting this project with cultural sensitivity is an important priority for the Spit for Science research team.

In designing this project, we carefully considered several issues surrounding racial/ethnic minority involvement in genetic research. The text below addresses questions that we thought might be of concern to members of our university and the broader community. Dr. Danielle Dick, one of the Principal Investigators leading this project, is keenly aware of these issues as she has directed other on-going genetics projects with ethnically and culturally diverse populations. Dr. Aashir Nasim, Special Assistant to the Provost and Director of the Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry, and Innovation, is another member of the research team who brings expertise in these issues as his teaching and scholarship focus on conducting culturally appropriate research with African American populations.

The advisory board for the Spit for Science project has minority representation, and our undergraduate research team consists of students from many different backgrounds, reflecting the diversity of the VCU student population. If you have concerns or questions about minority involvement in research, or suggestions for ways that we could make the project more accessible to all of our diverse students, please contact us at spit4science@vcu.edu, and a member of the research team will get in touch with you.

Why is it important to include racial/ethnic minorities in genetics research?
Does this mean there are different genes in different racial/ethnic groups?
Are you looking for group differences between racial/ethnic groups? Can't this lead to discrimination?