How Virtual Convenings Can Enhance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

February 24, 2022

Our latest guest post describes the NIH Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity Office’s commitment to hold all seminars, conferences, and meetings entirely online throughout 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic-induced shift to online events has led to a growing body of research on the impact of virtual scientific convenings. A review of this literature suggests that an entirely or primarily virtual format can enhance meeting access, diversity, and climate.

New NIH Administrative Supplements Available to Support Diversity Mentorship

February 9, 2022

I am pleased to announce the availability of a new NIH administrative supplement that recognizes the crucial role outstanding mentors play in fostering future leaders in the biomedical research enterprise. Qualified investigators can now submit proposals in response to the Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity (COSWD)-led Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) NOT-OD-22-057: Administrative Supplements to Recognize Excellence in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Mentorship. Proposals are due by April 7, 2022.

UNITE Wants to Learn from You: Join an Upcoming Listening Session

December 14, 2021

The UNITE initiative was established to identify and eliminate structural racism in biomedical research, and was publicly unveiled February 26, 2021, at a special meeting of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD). On Friday, December 10, 2021, UNITE committee members provided an update to the ACD on progress and future directions for the initiative. How can you become involved in this important initiative? UNITE invites external stakeholders from the biomedical research community who work in diverse settings to participate in its online listening sessions. Sessions began on December 1 and continue through February 2022.

Reaffirming NIH’s Commitment to Workforce Diversity

November 3, 2021

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.

Reminder: NIH Encourages Applications Supporting Individuals From Underrepresented Ethnic and Racial Groups as Well as Individuals With Disabilities

October 28, 2021

In this notice, NIH reaffirms its commitment to supporting a sustainable and diverse biomedical research workforce. Diversity within the NIH-supported scientific workforce fosters innovation, enhances global competitiveness, improves the quality of research and research outcomes.

An Updated Look at Applications Submitted During the Pandemic

June 1, 2021

In a previous post, we looked at the gender distribution of designated principal investigators (PI’s) of R01 and RPG applications submitted before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here we look at NIH R01 and RPG application patterns for January 1 through April 8 over the past 6 years; these applications patterns may well reflect longer-term pandemic effects.

CSR’s Commitment to Advancing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Peer Review

March 8, 2021

On March 1, NIH Director Francis Collins announced NIH’s broad-based initiative, UNITE, to end structural racism and racial inequities in biomedical science. This is a recognition of the need for urgent, sustained effort on many fronts across the research enterprise, including in all parts of the NIH’s extramural processes, to change culture. While the NIH Institutes and Centers will examine their programmatic priorities and discretionary funding practices, here at CSR, we are committed to pushing ahead with efforts to protect the peer review process from the systemic biases that exist in all areas of the scientific community.