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About the Search Advocate Program 

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion Search Advocate program is a recruitment tool that can be requested by deans, chairs, or unit heads in faculty and staff searches to enhance inclusive excellence in university hiring. Advocates are Carolina faculty, staff, and administrators who are trained as search and selection advisors. These advocates are trained on current research and best practices about bias, representation, policies, and the legal landscape on non-discriminatory hiring. Advocates will provide support to chairs and committees who request their assistance through each stage of the search process. The Search Advocates will ensure that the commitment to inclusiveness is thoughtfully considered in the review of candidates.

Selected advocates will receive an annual stipend from the Office of the Provost during the two-year commitment period.    

Why is this important to UNC? 

Members of the campus community who serve in this capacity further demonstrate their service to UNC Chapel Hill and creating an inclusive environment for all.  

In partnership with the search chair, search committee, Provost office and University Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and hiring official, the selected individual will support the Universities commitment to fair and equitable hiring.  This is an important role and the advocate will fulfill an important role in the search process. 

  • Assist in conducting a fair, equitable and inclusive search in accordance with university policies and procedure 
  • Adhere to all UNC Human Resources search committee guidance    
  • Agree to a two-year commitment    
  • Complete of UNC Search Advocate training   (16 hours)
  • Support the committee in utilizing best practices for evaluating diverse applicant pools.   
  • Raise awareness about unconscious assumptions and bias throughout the selection process.    
  • Assist with the development of interview questions that are fair and unbiased   
  • Ensure that all voices are heard and avoid discriminatory behavior within the search process  
  • Act as a facilitator to process things such as negativity bias, halo effects, and references to “good fit”  
  • Consult with the Office of Human Resources or the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as needed  

Search Advocates will participate throughout the search process, assisting the search chair, school deans or hiring managers and committee members to continue Carolina’s inclusive search processes.   

Becoming a Search Advocate 

The role of the search advocate will require preparation with participation in a two- half day workshop co- facilitated by the University Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Human Resources. Successful completion of the training is a pre-requisite to serving as a Search Advocate. The training will require interactive workshops and self-directed readings. 


To be eligible to serve as a Search Advocate, interested individuals must be a full-time, permanent employee at UNC Chapel Hill.  Faculty applicants must be at the rank of associate or full professor (fixed-term or tenured). EHRA Non-faculty SAAO Tier I or Tier II employees are also eligible to apply. 

Application Process 

Interested individuals must complete an online application during the application window. All submissions are reviewed by UODI and selected individuals will be required to participate in an interview. 

Online Required Training: 

Search Committee Training Module

Search Advocate Workshop 

  • Why Inclusive Faculty/Staff Matter 
  • National Challenges 
  • Understanding Equity & Inclusion  
  • Conducting a Fair and Diverse Search-Protocols, Policies, Procedures
  • Science & Management of Bias; Interrupting Bias in the Search Process 
  • Addressing & Navigating Micro-aggressions 
  • Understanding Compelled Speech, developing interview questions
  • Best Practices in Outreach, Recruitment, and Interviewing 
  • Mediation Techniques, Dialogue, Conflict Resolution
  • Psychological Safety 
  • Successful Searches 

Q: What is the time commitment? 

A: In addition to the two-year commitment and required training, Search Advocates are expected to participate in the work of the search committee. The amount of time can vary depending on the search process within the assigned department.  

Q: How often will I be expected to serve on a search committee? 

A: Search advocates must complete at least 1 search committee assignment each academic year.  

Q: Will I receive compensation as a search advocate? 

A: Yes, selected advocates receive a stipend each academic year.  

Q: How does a department request a search advocate?  

A: Departments can request an advocate by submitting an online request form. 

If you have additional questions about the Search Advocate Program, please email