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Scientific Workforce Diversity Programs at NIA

NIA is committed to training researchers for lifetime careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. With the goal of advancing the most innovative scientific ideas from investigators of all ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds, NIA works to diversify the aging research workforce, both within our institute and through the grantees we support. NIH also supports similar programs, such as the NIH Diversity Catalysts program, which focuses on implementing and evaluating evidence-based diversity and inclusion strategies across the NIH. Learn about NIA training programs, career development opportunities, and workforce initiatives focused on scientific workforce diversity below.

Read an editorial on scientific workforce diversity and its impact on aging research from NIA Office of Special Populations Director Patricia Jones, Dr.PH, NIA Office of Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation Director Samir Sauma, Ph.D., and NIH Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity Marie Bernard, M.D.

NIA Training and Career Development Opportunities

NIA leads initiatives, co-funds programs, and participates in NIH-wide efforts to improve research workforce diversity by increasing the number of trained researchers from underrepresented groups who can become leaders in aging research. These efforts to advance equity and diversity in the scientific workforce extend throughout the institute.

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NIA Director’s Regional Meeting

This annual meeting provides an opportunity for scientists who might be less aware of NIA’s funding opportunities in aging research, and/or are working at universities that may not have received significant NIH funding in the past, to interact with NIA leadership. Led by NIA’s Office of Special Populations (OSP), the meetings share information about awards available to researchers and trainees new to aging research or interested in health disparities research, as well as to those who are underrepresented in aging research. The Director’s Regional Meetings provide information on existing opportunities for research and training and hands-on technical assistance in grant writing. NIA leadership solicits feedback from attendees on the design of new research opportunities.

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Butler-Williams Scholars Program

This program provides unique opportunities for junior faculty and researchers new to the field to gain insight about aging research. The prestigious annual summer program builds upon a rich history of NIA’s work to highlight different perspectives in aging research through dynamic presentations and small group discussions. NIA encourages researchers who are interested in health disparities research related to aging, and those who are underrepresented in aging research, to apply.

Diverse group of professional women

Medicine, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (MSTEM): Advancing Diversity in Aging Research through Undergraduate Education (ADAR) program

This program is designed to enhance diversity in undergraduate science education. Through ADAR, NIA has provided more than 300 college students with coursework, lab instruction, and mentoring in aging related research. Learn more about the ADAR program and read profiles of students who have participated.

NIA Diversity Supplement Program

These programs support the development of eligible trainee-candidates who seek independent careers in aging research. Supplemental awards provide funds to support a mentor-directed opportunity for trainees to develop the critical thinking skills, scientific technical expertise, and professional acumen essential for career advancement in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical, or social sciences.

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Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR)

Since 1997, NIA has been mentoring promising scientists from underrepresented groups and playing a critical role in training the next generation of diverse researchers through its dozens of RCMARs at universities across the country. The Centers promote programs and offer funding opportunities for scientists from underrepresented groups designed to help them achieve sustained careers in aging research. Find funding opportunities and resources here.

Learn more about NIA’s training opportunities for special populations.

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NIA Small Business Programs

NIA’s small business programs offer training and funding opportunities for diverse researchers and entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas for science-driven technologies and products. These efforts include the Healthy Aging Start-Up Challenge, Research and Entrepreneurial Development Immersion (REDI), and Diversity Supplements.

Scientific Workforce Diversity in NIA’s Intramural Research Program

Through its Intramural Research Program (IRP), NIA offers multiple training opportunities in both laboratory and clinical medicine, along with a wealth of valuable resources.

Researchers in lab working with test tubes

Diversity in Aging Research Pipeline Program (DARPP)

This program is designed to develop and expose underrepresented and socioeconomically disadvantaged students to aging research. High school, college, graduate, medical, and postdoctoral students receive training from NIA IRP scientists in a highly mentored, structured environment. Students receive long-term support and follow-through during their experience with NIA and beyond.

Summer Trainee in Aging Research (STAR) Program logo

Summer Trainee in Aging Research (STAR) Program

This program offers unique internship opportunities for underrepresented and socioeconomically disadvantaged high school, college, graduate, and medical students. Based in Baltimore, internships last from eight to 10 weeks during the summer. STAR students get hands-on experience in scientific research and attend weekly seminars presented by NIA scientists. At the conclusion of the summer program, students present their research projects at the NIA Summer Student Poster Day. Program participants receive a stipend to participate.

Woman looking in microscope

Women Scientists Advisors (WSA) committee

The NIA WSA was formed in 1993 to foster achievement and support career development of women scientists, and to promote equity and diversity in the scientific community. The WSA hosts monthly events designed to provide NIA’s women scientists with mentorship, increased exposure for their work, and recognition of their accomplishments. These events include seminar series, discussion groups, and annual awards for exceptional research.

You may also be interested in:

  • NIA's weekly blog for researchers: Find updates on NIA funding policies and research priorities, including training opportunities and health disparities research priorities. Read blogs about diversity-related issues.
  • Training and Career Development: Search for training and career development opportunities for students, early-career investigators, and clinician-researchers.
  • Careers at NIA: Learn more about current career opportunities in NIA’s Extramural Research Program (ERP) and Intramural Research Program (IRP).
  • Stay connected: Subscribe to receive updates on training, career development, and more.

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