Reflections on 2020, Looking Towards 2021

From struggles to successes, 2020 deserves a look back. Right before the holidays, I sat down with Dr. David Kosub from the NIH Office of Extramural Research’s communication shop to reflect on 2020 and what may be in store for the year ahead. I invite you to watch our conversation and hope you have a happy, healthy, and safe new year!

Developing a Culture of Safety in Biomedical Research Training

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is committed to supporting safety in the nation’s biomedical research and training environments. In a Perspective in the current issue of Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBoC), we focus on strategies for improving laboratory safety. Some of these strategies are also applicable to other forms of safety including the prevention of harassment, intimidation, and discrimination. Lab safety is also the focus of an upcoming webinar for the training community, Developing a Culture of Safety in Biomedical Research Training, on Thursday, November 5, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET.

New Steps to Help Ensure Safe Work Environments for NIH-Supported Research

If an institution requests approval to remove a principal investigator (PI) or other senior key person named in the grant award due to concerns about safety and/or the work environments (e.g. due to concerns about harassment, bullying, retaliation, or hostile working conditions), NIH expects to be notified. If an institution requests a change of recipient institution, and there are concerns about safety and/or work environment involving the PD/PI, NIH expects to be informed.

Achieving Gender Equity at Conferences

Inviting women to speak at conferences matters for many reasons – it’s a matter of fairness; it gives eminently qualified women a level playing field; it is just the right thing to do. In essence, it’s about changing the fundamental culture of the biomedical research enterprise to allow full participation from people of all backgrounds. In that vein, I’d like to remind you that if you are applying for an R13 conference grant from NIH, please be sure to read the requirements in the Funding Opportunity Announcement, where meeting diversity is a long-standing expectation.

Year in Reflection 2018

As we look back at 2018 – or for that matter any year – it seems reasonable to ask questions like “Irrespective of the outcomes, did we make the right decisions?” Given the choices we had, did we go about making our choices in a skillful way? And we can dig deeper – did we take steps to minimize uncertainty? … to mitigate the impact of bad outcomes? … to seek a diversity of opinions? … to make our decisions as data-driven as possible? …