The Diversity Catalysts are Institute, Center, and Office (ICO)-designated leaders and experts who focus on providing input to the COSWD on developing new initiatives toward enhancing scientific workforce diversity and sharing and collaborating on opportunities to build and reinforce community.
The Diversity Catalysts:
- Provide rapid and effective input to the Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity (COSWD) Office at early stages of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) strategy development
- Implement and evaluate evidence-based DEIA strategies through pilot and expanded initiatives, within or across ICs
- Share effective DEIA initiatives, lessons learned, and related insights with ICs to diffuse best practices across NIH
- Advise ICs on strategies for tailoring DEIA initiatives to specific IC cultures
Importantly, the group has evolved to serve as an information and idea exchange venue and discussion forum for NIH-wide DEIA initiatives that impact the scientific workforce. The convenings are used to assure that all 27 ICs are apprised of developments that might be replicated or enhanced by collaborative efforts.
In the past three years, the Diversity Catalysts have contributed to several COSWD office and NIH-wide efforts to build, reinforce, and promote a community of inclusive excellence across the workforce:
- Aided the development of the 2022–2026 COSWD Strategic Plan by providing suggestions to enhance and shape the vision and impact of the COWSD office.
- Contributed expert feedback which informed the development of the COSWD Administrative Supplements to Recognize Excellence in DEIA Mentoring.
- Provided input on UNITE-initiated efforts including the NIH Institutional Excellence in DEIA in Biomedical and Behavioral Research Prize Competition and new funding opportunities to enhance diversity in the NIH-supported external workforce.
- Reviewed and provided comments to aid the development of the 2023–2027 NIH-wide DEIA Strategic Plan and inform its implementation.
- Provided suggestions and resources that informed the development of the Engagement and Access for Research-Active Institutions (EARA) initiative.
- Served as a setting for sharing updates and open discussion among IC Chief Diversity Officers
- Provided opportunities for graduates of the 21st Century Scholars Program to showcase their collaborative projects.