DEAP Tool for Researchers

The Diversity and Equity Assessment Planning (DEAP) Tool for Researchers


The DEAP Tool for Researchers was co-developed by the Human Rights and Equity Office at Queen’s University and the McDonald Institute for faculty and research scientists to expand capacity for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigenization in their lab or research group setting.


How Does the DEAP Tool for Researchers Work?

Step 1: Committing to Action

You are invited to download the DEAP Tool for Researchers and start using it today. We encourage folks to reach out to the McDonald Institute’s Manager for EDII Capacity Development ( to book an advising appointment whether you’re keen to get started on the Tool, or have questions before engaging with the contents.

Step 2: Self-Assessment – Novice, Mentor, Advocate, and Sponsor

As an act of self-reflection, you are invited to self-assess your EDII journey as it relates to practices you have implemented in your lab or research space to date. In your self-assessment, you will choose either Novice, Mentor, Advocate, or Sponsor categories, of which the definitions are included. You may have made progress in one area compared to another, and that is okay!

Step 3: Reflect, Set Goals, and Plan for Action

After reviewing the 14 indicators provided in the DEAP Tool for Researchers, you are encouraged to set up to three (3) goals to advance EDII in your lab or research group in the coming year. These should not be goals that are out of scope (i.e., highly unlikely to be effective or even possible within a short time period), but rather within your power to take action. You may have longer term goals that the Tool can help you build towards, but be mindful that big goals may need smaller steps to get there. Of course, you can amend or adjust your goals as needed, and you likely will as you explore more about the area in which you wish to improve or strengthen your EDII focus.

Step 4: Revisit, Revise, and Renew

After setting your goals and milestones, we suggest setting a timeline (i.e., 3 or 6 months) to check in on your progress. This check-in (either on your own, or with an EDII advisor) is an opportunity to make changes to your goals, adjust timelines or expectations, or seek additional support. Once you’ve completed a goal, it’s time to set a new one and start the DEAP Tool for Researchers cycle over again!

The DEAP Tool for Researchers can:

  • Provide an opportunity to reflect and self-assess what you have done well, as well as areas of improvement across 14 overlapping yet distinct indicators of EDII in lab and research group space.
  • Help you develop an action plan and timeline to enhance EDII within your space.
  • Complement other administrative responsibilities and tasks, such as grant writing (EDII sections), tenure and promotion, curriculum development, strategic planning, etc.

The DEAP Tool for Researchers does not:

  • Work on it’s own – you get out of it what you put into it.
  • Automatically get you funded – while we hope the DEAP Tool for Researchers becomes well known, you have to demonstrate what you’re doing with the Tool to use it as part of your grant applications.
  • Make you an Ally to equity deserving groups – you have to show up and do the work before you earn the title of an Ally.

The DEAP Tool for Researchers is a living document that will be updated to reflect user experiences as well as an evolving EDII landscape. If you have any concerns or feedback about the content of the Tool, please reach out to us!