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Unyielding commitments to research workforce diversity

Dr. Richard Hodes
Richard J. HODES,
Director,
Office of the Director (OD)
.
Patricia Jones p h d
Patricia JONES,
Director,
Office of Special Populations (OSP)
.

Since NIA’s previous update on our work to increase diversity in the scientific workforce, we have continued to take meaningful steps to better support diverse investigators throughout their respective journeys to become independent researchers.

Through programs such as NIH’s UNITE, we are together helping to develop future generations of researchers that more closely mirror the demographics of our nation. NIA intends to continue our work in this area in the immediate future and well beyond!

Research diversity through the hashtag and beyond

NIH’s next research diversity Twitter event falls on Oct. 21 this year, 1-2 p.m. EST, #ResearchDiversity Day, and will focus on NIH’s grant funding via diversity supplements. NIA launched this annual effort in 2019 to showcase the importance of diversity in biomedical research. It has since evolved to engage many others from across the broader NIH and stakeholder organizations.NIA Research Diversity Day 2021

All extramural NIA divisions participate in our diversity supplement training program, which is designed to attract talented researchers from underrepresented groups to help develop their careers. Our commitment to these funding opportunities has grown steadily since fiscal year (FY) 2018 to encompass more than 200 diversity supplements: The number of related applications NIA received increased by 40% in FY 2021 compared to FY 2020. Join our #ResearchDiversity Day Twitter event to hear directly from diversity supplement awardees about their experiences!

Other ways to get involved

NIA promotes a more diverse research workforce through many other channels and mechanisms, including:

Join us in the journey forward

During the past century, many incredible scientific breakthroughs were made during overwhelmingly difficult times. Today’s challenges are no different, and we aim to continue building diverse, multidisciplinary teams to find timely solutions. These efforts will be critical to ensuring the highest quality biomedical research that represents all Americans.

We plan additional blog posts in the near future on NIA’s efforts to expand health disparities research and increase clinical trial participation by underrepresented groups. In the meantime, we hope you will join us on our continuing journey by getting involved in some of the opportunities described above, being part of the #ResearchDiversity Day discussion, learning more about NIA's commitment to diversity, and/or by leaving a comment below.

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