Nunavut Post

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Minority professor who is denied grants because he hires on merit

minority professor

Key Takeaways:

  • ‘I don’t care what color your skin is. I’m looking for someone who wants to work on the project and is good at it’ Patanjali Kambhampati, a professor, says.

An award-winning Canadian scientist said he was denied two federal government grants for his research due to a “lack of diversity,” even though he is originally from India and has experienced racism on numerous occasions.

Patanjali Kambhampati, a teacher in the chemistry department at McGill University in Montreal, believes a line in the application form where he was asked about hiring staff based on diversity and inclusion considerations was the death knell for the latest grant.

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He admits that his mistake was assuming that he would hire any qualified research assistant on merit regardless of their identity. “We will hire the most qualified individuals based on their skills and mutual interests,” Kambhampati stated on the application.

“I’ve had two people tell me that was the touch of death,” Kambhampati said. “I thought I was being nice when I said that if you were interested and capable, I’d hire you, and that was all that mattered.” I don not care what color your skin is. I’d like to hire someone who is eager to work on the project and is skilled at it.”

Kambhampati stated that he did not go public after the first grant was rejected but has decided to speak out now because the government’s increased use of equity, diversity, and inclusion, or “EDI,” provisions, as well as woke culture, are killing innovation, harming science, and disrupting society.

“I believe this is a critical stance to take.” “I will not be silenced any longer,” he declared.

Kambhampati’s work delves into the frontiers of super-fast laser science, a field that encompasses everything from telecoms to medicine. He believes Canada has the potential to become a world leader in this field.

However, his application for a $450,000 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) was turned down this month because “the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion considerations in the application were deemed insufficient,” according to the council.

Source: Nationalpost News

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