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Strategic Plan

About the Strategic Plan

Strategic plan pdf

Mission and Vision

The mission of the Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity (COSWD) team is to be the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) thought leader in the science of scientific workforce diversity, using evidence-based approaches to catalyze cultures of inclusive excellence. As these cultures mature, the COSWD ultimately aims to enable NIH and NIH-funded institutions to benefit from a full range of talent, fostering creativity and innovation in science.

Plan Development

This 5-year Strategic Plan positions the COSWD to expand its evidence-based approach to achieve its mission and vision. The Strategic Plan was developed through a structured, five-step strategic planning process: (1) pre-planning to establish the planning goals, process design, and timeline; select relevant input sources; and determine data collection and analysis plans; (2) internal information gathering and framework development; (3) drafting and posting a request for information; (4) reviewing public comments; and (5) revising and finalizing.


Its efforts will focus on the NIH intramural, extramural, and external scientific workforce, including NIH-funded institutions. These efforts will be pursued in strong collaboration with aligned stakeholders. They also will cover a range of talent life cycle and career stage initiatives, including recruitment, development, reward, and retention practices. This multifaceted approach is intended to cultivate cultures of inclusive excellence beyond reporting on the diverse U.S. population in numbers.

Strategic Plan Framework


The COSWD will pursue three goals, each with corresponding objectives and tactics:

    By using research insights and NIH as a testbed for innovative scientific programs to enhance diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility (DEIA) in the workforce.
    Through work with the biomedical scientific community, from trainees to established tenured scientists.
    By advancing integrated, institution-wide systems to address bias, equity, mentoring, and work-life issues.

Cross-Cutting Strategies

To pursue its goals, the COSWD will leverage three cross-cutting strategies:

  1. COLLABORATIONS will enhance programs’ depth and reach while creating a more integrated culture of DEIA across the biomedical scientific workforce.
  2. ACCOUNTABILITY will enable leaders to focus on the appropriate issues and ensure alignment of incentives.
  3. EVALUATION will guide the COSWD and stakeholders to effective solutions.

Midterm Progress Report

COSWD has released a midterm progress report describing milestones and achievements toward the goals outlined in our strategic plan.

Past COSWD Strategic Plans

COSWD Strategic Plan 2016-2020

The first COSWD Strategic Plan was released in 2016 and helped expand scientific workforce diversity as a field of inquiry.

NIH Strategic Plans

NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025

The NIH-Wide Strategic Plan outlines NIH’s vision for biomedical research direction, capacity, and stewardship by articulating the highest priorities of the Institute over the next 5 years. In addition, it provides illustrative examples of accomplishments under the last plan and new initiatives under this one.

Framework for the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA)

The purpose of the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for DEIA is to articulate NIH’s vision for embracing, integrating, and strengthening DEIA across all NIH activities to achieve the NIH mission. The DEIA Strategic Plan captures activities that NIH will undertake to meet its DEIA vision, and will be organized around accomplishments, needs, opportunities, and challenges in addressing DEIA in the NIH workforce, its structure and culture, and the research it supports.

This plan is in response to Report 116-450 on H.R. 7614: Diversity at NIH Working Group and Strategic Plan and Executive Order 14035, which orders federal agencies to develop agency-wide DEIA strategic plans in support of a Federal Government-wide DEIA strategic plan.

The COSWD Strategic Plan aligns with both the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025 and the NIH-Wide DEIA Strategic Plan.

Page Last Reviewed
12 June, 2024