Diversity is inextricably tied to the success of the NIH mission, thus ensuring diversity within the extramural biomedical research workforce is of utmost importance. We are aware that NIH’s recent decision to rescind a “Notice of Special Interest” (or NOSI) – intended solely to call attention to the presence of a specific funding opportunity announcement and encourage researchers from underrepresented groups to apply – may have caused some to question this commitment. While the spirit of the NOSI was laudable, it may have led to an impression that by linking demographic characteristics to grant proposals, applications supporting scientists from underrepresented groups would be automatically prioritized for funding. Read on for more.
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Extramural Scientific Workforce – Outcomes from an NIH-Led Survey
At NIH, we recognized the many ways the COVID-19 pandemic could adversely affect the biomedical workforce, particularly members of underrepresented groups and vulnerable populations. In October 2020, NIH fielded two online surveys to objectively document COVID-19’s impact on extramural research. One survey assessed the perspective of individual research administration leaders at extramural institutions, and the other survey assessed the perspective of the researchers themselves. In this post, we offer a high-level overview of general trends noted within both surveys.