Angel Kaur

Angel Kaur, an assistant professor of neuroscience at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, speaks about how organizations can support LGBTQ+ scientists.


This year, as a way to celebrate Pride Month, Gladstone is featuring the panelists from Out in Science with a series of articles that asks them five questions.

Angel Kaur, PhD (she/her), is an assistant professor of neuroscience at the University of North Carolina, Asheville. Her current research focuses on high-impact practices in undergraduate STEM education in a liberal arts environment. She is also an artist and graphic designer, and a mom to 6-year-old twins and a 75-pound puppy named Flynn.

What is the current focus of your work or research?

Learning strategies that can increase student motivation and engagement in deeper learning in undergraduate STEM courses.

Why is it important to you to be out in science?

Because not being my whole self would be like holding my breath all the time.

How can organizations create a more inclusive and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ scientists?

Action, not words. Promote LGBTQ+ scientists to leadership positions, celebrate their accomplishments, ensure clearly labeled gender-neutral bathroom facilities exist, ask for and share your pronouns (not just in LGBTQ+ affinity meetings but in all meetings), clearly classify transmen as men and transwomen as women in any institutional form, and hold those that create unsafe workspaces accountable for their actions.

What advice do you have for LBGTQ+ scientists who are early in their career?

Find your community. It doesn’t have to be within the department, program, or university you are in. Your community can help you put down any hurt you experience out there in the world so it doesn’t bog you down and hold you back. Find them, and every step of your career will feel easier because you won’t be walking it alone.

Have you had a mentor who has been particularly impactful on your career?

The most impactful mentors I’ve had have been peers—the ones in my community. Their support has transformed my confidence and allowed me to embrace the career that I want, rather than the one I’m expected to have.