Cross-AG IDEA Working Group

The Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) Working Group is designed to develop and disseminate resources, findings and other recommendations associated with IDEA matters for the NASA assessment/analysis groups (AGs) and the planetary science community more widely. Since our founding in 2019, one of our most significant contributions was discussion and development of 27 professional white papers for the Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032 which were submitted in 2020, amidst an ongoing and extremely taxing global pandemic. These white papers included 242 total co-authors. These white papers ranged widely in topic. For a full list of submitted white papers supported by the IDEA Working Group see: https://tinyurl.com/idea-whitepapers.

The IDEA Working Group is comprised of self-nominated and presently unfunded planetary science community members who are associated with different AGs. AG membership or appointment to specific steering committees are not required to join. To join our mailing list and become a member, please email planetaryedi+subscribe@psi.edu.

Co-Chair Selection

Position Responsibilities
  • Work with the other Co-Chair to organize Cross-AG IDEA Working Group (WG) meetings.
  • Strategize the WG’s approach for effectively advancing IDEA in planetary science.
  • Advocate for IDEA principles and present Cross-AG IDEA WG findings/recommendations to the wider planetary science community, including:
    • NASA HQ
    • The Planetary Science Advisory Committee (PAC)
    • NASA Analysis/Assessment Groups (AGs)
    • Leadership of professional societies (e.g., AGU, DPS, AAS)
    • Workshop/conference audiences
  • Responsibilities for speaking to these groups will be shared between the Co-Chairs, so if one Co-Chair is uncomfortable speaking to a specific group or unavailable, the other may step in as necessary.

Time Commitment and Support
  • The estimated time commitment for this role is one hour per week on average (sometimes more hours in a single day).
  • This is an unfunded role, but prospective candidates are encouraged to talk to their employers about support that may be available for service activities.
  • No travel is required. WG meetings are held virtually.

Co-Chair Skills and Characteristics (one or more of the following)
  • Has positive ideas for advancing IDEA within the planetary science community
  • Has research interests that broadly pertain to planetary science
  • Has experience or interest in IDEA activities (and/or similar activities), such as working on IDEA Decadal survey white papers, presenting on workforce issues at meetings, or advocating for positive change, including at small scales
  • Has past experience in grassroots organizations that focus on advocacy, networking, or community building in STEM, especially planetary science or degree area (e.g., Women in Astronomy Club, participation in McNair Scholars Program)
  • Has past leadership experience in any context or a strong desire to step into leadership roles for the Cross-AG IDEA WG
  • Has experience with one or more AGs (attending AG meetings virtually or in-person, serving on a steering committee, town hall meetings, or other activities)

Co-Chair Selection Process

Co-Chair positions

The Cross-AG IDEA WG has two Co-Chairs. Each Co-Chair serves a two-year term. Co-Chair terms are offset from each other by one year to ensure continuity of leadership.

Each Co-Chair may only serve one two-year term before rolling off. Former Co-Chairs may reapply for the position when the person they helped select as Co-Chair transitions off.

At any point, an interim Co-Chair may be appointed for either Co-Chair position. Interim Co-Chairs step in when the other Co-Chair cannot serve in the position for more than six weeks for any reason with no questions asked and no explanation needed. The process for identifying and selecting an interim Co-Chair will be determined by the Co-Chairs if and when the need arises.


Nomination Process

Deadline to complete Step 1: August 31, 2022

To indicate your interest, email: xagidea@gmail.com. Include the requested application material below.


Application Process (two steps)

Step 1: Submit application materials. Respond to the following four prompts.

  1. Please describe your experience with IDEA or IDEA-related activities.
  2. Please describe your vision for and/or any initiatives you have in mind for the Cross-AG IDEA WG.
  3. Please describe your style of leadership or guiding values for serving as Co-Chair.
  4. Please tell the selection committee why you wish to serve as Co-Chair and how the position aligns with your other professional responsibilities.

Candidates may choose to respond to these prompts in several ways:

  • In writing (e.g., a cover letter)
  • Pre-recorded video submission
  • Pre-recorded audio submission
  • An alternate form of response

We request that any response be created in a way that the evaluators may absorb and evaluate it in 30 minutes or less.

Deadline to complete Step 1: August 31, 2022

Step 2: Short Interview with current Co-Chairs. Interviews will be 20-30 minutes long. The current Co-Chairs will tailor questions for each candidate individually. These questions will be provided to the candidate two business days before the interview. After the Co-Chairs ask these questions, candidates may ask questions about the role, responsibilities, working habits/styles, etc.


Evaluation and Selection Process

Selection Committee: The applications will be reviewed by the current Co-Chairs, and additional requests for support/evaluation will be made to current Cross-AG IDEA WG members as needed.

Evaluation: The selection committee will evaluate the candidates’ applications using the following rubric for transparency.

Question Written Response
What skills and experience does the candidate offer? How will these skills and/or experience(s) serve the candidate in the Co-Chair role?  
How does the candidate’s leadership style or philosophy support the Cross-AG IDEA WG?  
Are the candidate’s vision and/or initiatives compatible with the Cross-AG IDEA WG’s mission and vision? Are the candidate’s vision and/or initiatives compatible with the continuing Co-Chair’s vision and initiatives?  
Will this candidate be able to work effectively with the continuing Co-Chair?  

We note that there are no meritocratic elements to this rubric, but rather it is designed to be subjective. A given candidate may not be very experienced as a leader, yet their vision, initiative, and/or style might be highly suited to the Co-Chair role.

Selection: Once all candidates’ application materials have been evaluated and the short interviews conducted, the current Co-Chairs will decide which candidate will become the Co-Chair.

Notification: The selected candidate will be contacted to ask if they would step into the Co-Chair role. If the candidate accepts, the position will be announced.

Announcement: After the new Co-Chair accepts the position, we will announce the new Co-Chair through email and (ideally) during a Cross-AG IDEA WG meeting.


Post-Selection Review

After the selection process has concluded, the Co-Chairs (including the one who was just selected and the one rotating off) will review the process with the candidates and the selection committee to understand what worked well and what could be improved. The goal is to ensure that the nomination and selection process improves over time.

Timeline for the 2022 Selection Process

  • Send advertisements for this position via the following resources (July)
    • Cross-AG IDEA WG email distribution list
    • LPI Planetary News
    • PEN Newsletter
    • DPS Newsletter
    • PAC and AG chairs/representatives: request that they forward to their communities
    • The Early Career Planetary Explorers Facebook group
  • Send additional advertisements to some or all of these resources one week before the deadline.
  • Application deadline (Step 1): August 31, 2022
  • Interviews to begin (Step 2): September 5, 2022
    • Times to be set at candidates’ convenience
  • Decision to be announced: approximately October 5, 2022

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