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Building an Inclusive Research Workforce: COSWD’s Midterm Progress Report

June 12, 2024

NIH is committed to enhancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in its operations, workforce, and research. In line with this commitment, I am delighted to announce the COSWD Progress Report for Fiscal Years 2022–2024. The report marks a significant milestone in our journey to catalyze cultures of inclusive excellence within the biomedical and behavioral research workforce.

This midterm report provides an in-depth look at our progress toward the goals outlined in the COSWD Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2022–2026. In addition, the report highlights the collective efforts and dedication of the COSWD team and our collaborators and champions to bolster research and training capacity within NIH and the institutions it supports. 

Advancing Transformative Change

The progress report focuses on how the COSWD team has advanced the three COSWD Strategic Plan goals—build, disseminate, and act upon evidence to promote transformative change within NIH and NIH-funded institutions—and the resulting outcomes. 

The report details our actions to create a more inclusive and equitable research workforce, from launching the UNITE-inspired Engagement and Access for Research-Active Institutions initiative to expanding support for researchers who do an exemplary job of mentoring, fostering diverse perspectives through administrative support for DEIA mentorship. Such interventions underscore COSWD’s dedication to fostering scientific environments where diverse perspectives thrive, driving innovation and excellence in research.

Collaboration is at the heart of our approach toward inclusive excellence. Central to the report is how we have established and expanded partnerships with aligned groups within NIH and external entities, including other federal agencies and leading science organizations. These collaborations are instrumental in accelerating our progress and expanding our reach. 

While the report looks back on our achievements, we keep the future at the forefront of our efforts by focusing on creativity and innovation. Through ongoing informal and formal evaluation, we develop an evidence-based understanding of mechanisms that shape intervention effectiveness, using these to refine and enhance COSWD-led initiatives.

A Solid Foundation for Continued Success

Our accomplishments have provided a solid foundation for ongoing success. In the coming years, the COSWD team will remain focused on our goals and strategic priorities, including deepening our collaborations and continuing to effect meaningful, lasting change.

Alongside the COSWD Progress Report, NIH just released the UNITE Progress Report for Fiscal Years 2023-2024. I urge you to read both reports to understand how NIH is working to identify and address any inequities found within the biomedical and behavioral research enterprise. 

I am thankful for your steadfast support and commitment to the COSWD mission—each of you has played a crucial role in our achievements.