We are pleased to announce that NIH recently released its Fiscal Years 2023-2027 NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA). We invite the research community to learn more about our efforts. You are encouraged to apply any of them to advance your organization’s DEIA goals too.
The plan articulates NIH’s overarching vision for embracing, strengthening, and integrating DEIA into our various activities. It aligns with the current NIH-Wide Strategic Plan and White House Executive Orders. The framework is organized around NIH’s accomplishments, needs, opportunities, and challenges in three key areas, or Objectives:
- Operations: Grow and Sustain DEIA Through Structural and Cultural Change
- Workforce: Implement Organizational Practices to Center and Prioritize DEIA in the Workforce
- Research: Advance DEIA Through Research
Much of this plan centers around NIH’s internal workforce, ensuring NIH remains a people-centered organization. But there are several areas relevant for the extramural research community as well.
For instance, ensuring public accountability and confidence in NIH’s activities and progress is part of the first objective. The second objective discusses NIH’s commitment to equitably fund a broad range of organizations to address the nation’s biomedical and behavioral research needs. In addition, strategies in the third objective mention reviewing current inclusion policies and practices as well as developing resources to advance inclusion of underrepresented and underserved groups in our supported clinical research.
Going forward, we will provide regular updates on efforts reinforcing our commitment to diversity, share relevant demographic data (such as described in this recent post), and listen to our community to fully understand their concerns on NIH’s progress meeting the plan’s goals.
Echoing what Dr. Lawrence Tabak (who performs the duties of the NIH Director) said in the opening pages, “This plan is action oriented. NIH has gone beyond simply identifying areas in which we need to redouble our DEIA efforts. Our vision for an equitable future includes the development and implementation of a variety of measures aimed at encouraging and securing lasting change. We encourage you to read this plan closely and think about what steps you can take individually—and collectively—to help us build a biomedical and behavioral research world in which everyone feels like they truly belong.”
Please also see the comments from Dr. Marie Bernard, NIH Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity, posted today.