The NIH is currently seeking your suggestions and guidance on the development and implementation of a prize competition to reward and promote inclusive excellence. This outreach, led by the COSWD team, is an outcome of the NIH UNITE initiative, which was established to identify and address structural racism within the NIH-supported and the greater scientific community.
The potential prize would recognize institutions of higher education that have implemented successful, innovative interventions for enhancing faculty and student diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). These elements are essential to ensure equity and eliminate structural barriers to success among students and faculty in the biomedical research enterprise.
Initiating such a prize is part of our commitment to increasing and sustaining biomedical research workforce diversity through institutional culture change.
The primary goal in establishing a prize competition is to acknowledge and reward the transformative interventions developed by institutions to create research environments that promote and value DEIA. A secondary objective is to identify and highlight evidence-based best practices proven to create more inclusive environments for students and faculty.
This week, we issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking comments we may use to inform the potential prize competition. We would like to hear from stakeholders throughout the scientific research community, DEIA experts, researchers, and interested members of the public.
As further described in the RFI, we would particularly like to receive input on the following topics as they relate to the prize competition:
- The competition’s structure
- Strategies for sharing information about the competition
- The judging criteria
- The amount of time needed to develop a prize submission
- Ways to disseminate approaches that promote inclusive excellence
- Reasons for and potential barriers to participating in this competition
Please read the entire RFI to learn more about the potential prize competition and how to submit your comments. All responses must be received by July 28, 2022.
I encourage you to take advantage of this valuable opportunity to share your thoughts on how the NIH might recognize institutions that advance DEIA and create systemic change. Such activities are critical for ensuring the NIH and NIH-funded institutions benefit from a full range of talent, fostering creativity and innovation in biomedical science. We look forward to receiving your ideas.