Despite efforts over many years to develop the biomedical science workforce pipeline for underrepresented minorities, results have been disappointing. In response to this unacceptable status quo, highlighted in a devastating description of the lack of progress in an August 19, 2011, report in Science, the NIH Director charged his Advisory Committee to the Director to form a special Diversity in Biomedical Research Working Group to see how NIH could devise a more effective plan to diversity the research workforce.
On June 13, 2012, the Working Group offered its report and recommendations. The group focused on five key transition points in the pipeline from entry into graduate school to receipt of first independent research funding to awarding of tenure at an academic position or equivalent in an industrial setting. It offered 13 recommendations in five broad areas: data collection/evaluation; mentoring/career preparation and retention; institutional support; bias‐related research and intervention testing; and NIH diversity strategy and infrastructure. The executive summary and the full report are available at http://acd.od.nih.gov/dbr.htm.
“The face of America is becoming more diverse and the biomedical workforce needs to reflect that diversity,” said NIA Deputy Director Dr. Marie Bernard, “NIA is committed to helping to achieve this, participating in a number of NIH-wide diversity programs and supporting two training programs unique to NIA.”