The Institute for Diversity Science (IDS) was founded in 2022. It moved into the offices of the former Center for Women’s Health Research.

The original goal of the Center for Women’s Health Research (CWHR) was to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic medicine at UW-Madison. Over the years the research focus of the CWHR, especially of Dr. Molly Carnes, then CWHR Director, and Dr. Angela Byars-Winston, then CWHR Director of Research and Evaluation, had shifted to diversity science topics, such as bias in the NIH peer review process, discrimination in health care settings, testing the effectiveness of pro-diversity interventions, and studying effective culturally responsive mentoring practices.

Recognizing that UW–Madison was the home of numerous nationally recognized scholars on diversity, equity, and inclusion, Dr. Angela Byars-Winston and Dr. Markus Brauer proposed to create a research institute focused on diversity science. The creation of the Institute was first mentioned in 2021 NIH FIRST proposal (PI: Chancellor Rebecca Blank). Many stakeholders on campus—the Deans and Associate Deans for Diversity of all Schools and Colleges, the faculty, the Chief Diversity Officer, and the campus leadership—expressed enthusiastic support for the creation of the Institute for Diversity Science.

Dr. Angela Byars-Winston is founding Institute Chair and Dr. Markus Brauer serves as Executive Director.