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August, 2023 Newsletter

Publishing Date
August 01, 2023
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A Message from the COSWD, Marie A. Bernard, M.D.

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Summer is a time for touring—and this is especially true at NIH.

In July, NIH launched a new NIH virtual tour so visitors from all over the world can explore the NIH campus, learn about NIH’s leadership, scientific research, and more—any time of year.

In a segment of the tour called “Our Diverse Workforce Makes NIH a Special Place,” Acting NIH Director Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D., describes NIH as “one of the greatest places to work in the world—and it’s because of the people.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Please read on to learn more about what’s been happening this summer in the COSWD office to foster scientific workforce diversity within and beyond NIH.

COSWD News Roundup 

Promoting the Prize

There’s still time to enter the Institutional Excellence in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in Biomedical and Behavioral Research Prize Competition. NIH will award up to 10 prizes of $100,000 each to degree-granting institutions for implementing innovative strategies to enhance DEIA in research environments.

We’re eager to have more institutions participate in the competition—and you can help us spread the word.

Prospective applicants must register by September 12 at 5:00 p.m. ET to enter. A pre-submission Q&A webinar for registrants will be held on September 14, at 3:00 p.m. ET. Completed entries must be submitted by September 26 at 5:00 p.m. ET. Email your questions to

Mentoring Seminar Breaks Attendance Records

More than 786 participants joined us for our virtual event in June, "How Does Mentoring Impact Diversity in the Biomedical and Behavioral Research Workforce?", as part of our popular Scientific Workforce Diversity Seminar Series (SWDSS).

With a nod to the late, great Tina Turner, Angela Byars-Winston, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, kicked off the seminar by asking, “What’s Cultural Diversity Got To Do With It?”

That question and more were answered by Dr. Byars-Winston and the other exceptional panelists: Juan Amador of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS); Jessie DeAro, Ph.D., of the National Science Foundation (NSF); Christine Pfund, Ph.D., of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Karen Salt, Ph.D., of the United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI).

During the lively event, which had the highest attendance of this season, participants also engaged in polls on mentorship and diversity, why they chose to mentor, and more.

Explore Other SWDSS Resources

As exciting as our summer seminar was, we’re anticipating even more engagement for our next SWDSS event, beginning in the fall 2023.

Stay current on scientific workforce diversity by watching seminars you may have missed. In addition, the works cited in the seminar proceedings provide a deeper dive into the various topics.

Complete the COSWD Satisfaction Survey

We are surveying our audience to ensure our activities meet your professional interests and workplace needs. Our goal is to better understand perspectives on our efforts to enhance scientific workforce diversity. Please assist us by completing this short survey.

New Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Cohort

NIH announced the final round of FIRST cohort awards in June. The four new awards total more than $64 million over five years, pending availability of funds. FIRST is funded by the NIH Common Fund and seeks to enhance diversity and inclusion among biomedical and behavioral research faculty.

The Latest on the UNITE Initiative

In addition to my role as the COSWD, I also serve as a cochair for the NIH UNITE Initiative, which seeks to identify and address any structural racism that may exist within NIH and throughout the biomedical and behavioral workforce. To learn more about UNITE’s efforts to advance racial and ethnic equity at the NIH, read my recent blog and the latest UNITE Co-Chairs’ Corner.

The Latest in the Science of Workforce Diversity

In Case You Missed It: Recent Posts from the COSWD Blog

Stay Connected with the Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity.