Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The NIH Requests Your Opinion on Diversity in the Biomedical PhD Workforce

The NIH has put out a request for information concerning diversity in the biomedical workforce. All comments submitted by the February 24, 2012 deadline will be considered by the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce. You can find more information through the working group's web page. Here is the charge of the committee.
Its charge will focus on five key transition points in the pipeline: (i) entry into graduate degree programs; (ii) the transition from graduate degree to post-doctoral fellowship; (iii) the appointment from a post-doctoral position to the first independent scientific position; (iv) the award of the first independent research grant from NIH or equivalent in industry; and (v) award of tenure in an academic position or equivalent in an industrial setting. The Committee will provide concrete recommendations to the NIH Director on ways to improve the retention of underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and persons from disadvantaged backgrounds through these critical periods. The DBRWG's analysis will include both the NIH intramural research community and the NIH extramural research community.
Also of note, there is a public meeting to be held on February 14. Here is a copy of the agenda. It looks like after opening comments by a representative of the committee, there will be a series of presentations by an array of White House initiatives concerning the various under-represented communities (Note: While the committee's charge is broader, only presentations on ethnic groups are scheduled).  There is also a public comment period. Each organization will be allotted 5 minutes. You may email request a slot (deadline is 5pm February 10, 2012) in advance (see agenda for details). Same day requests will be considered at the discretion of the Chairperson.

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