Many of my recent posts have been about the biomedical research workforce and various aspects of diversity. The issues are being carefully considered by recently established workgroups that operate under the auspices of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director. As part of the NIH approach to diversity, Drs. Tabak and Collins mentioned mentoring as a component to help bring the brightest minds to biomedical research. I agree whole heartedly and believe our continuing ability to address the full range of health-related research remains dependent on training and nurturing the careers of scientists from all backgrounds. We will be looking more closely at how mentoring is done across our research enterprise, and how NIH supports it.
I am pleased that the White House has re-announced the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. Currently inviting nominations for both institutional and individual awards, the program recognizes high quality mentoring in all fields of science, including biomedicine. Awardees are selected based on their track record of enhancing participation and retention of individuals who might not otherwise have considered careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The awards are administered by NSF.
If you know of individuals or institutions that have a record of high-quality mentoring, especially as it relates to diversity, I encourage you to get your nominations in. The proposal deadline is October 5, 2011. For more information, see this notice.