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January, 2022 Newsletter

Publishing Date
January 01, 2022
Great Minds Think Differently

January, 2022  

Message from the COSWD

Dr. Bernard headshot

I am pleased to reconnect with you at this exciting time for my office. We look forward to new activities for 2022 and beyond, leading the science of scientific workforce diversity using evidence-based approaches to catalyze cultures of inclusive excellence in the biomedical research workforce.

We recently released a Request for Information on the Draft 2022–2026 COSWD Strategic Plan, developed by my team with feedback and guidance from key internal and external stakeholders. Please provide your feedback in response to the Request for Information (RFI) by February 10, 2022. I look forward to incorporating your input and will share the updated COSWD Strategic Plan in March, as it will guide my office’s priorities through 2026.

As part of these new plans, we are resuming this newsletter on a quarterly basis, refreshed to provide you with timely information on COSWD and other NIH diversity events and programs.

Thank you to all who contributed to the success of our new Scientific Workforce Diversity Seminar Series, which kicked off in September and exceeded our expectations in every way. The first online seminar addressed the effectiveness of implicit bias training. Our second, held in October, discussed the state of the science on anti-racism in STEMM. Our third seminar examined the outcomes of faculty cohort recruitment programs and other evidence-based strategies for enhancing faculty diversity.

This seminar set the stage for our February Fostering Cohort Recruitment (FCR) Virtual Forum. During this event, I look forward to hosting more than a dozen scholars who will discuss the practice of cohort recruitment and how this approach can enhance scientific workforce diversity.

Please plan to join us on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 for the last event in the Scientific Workforce Diversity Seminar Series on our 2021–2022 schedule. During this event, we will explore the state of the evidence on how diversity impacts science with an excellent group of leaders. Confirmed panelists to date include:

We expect a large audience and a vibrant discussion, so please mark your calendars for this important event. (The SWDSS runs from September through May each year. Stay tuned this fall when we resume the next seminar series.)

As we approach Black History Month, I am reminded of the pioneers who paved the pathway that we now follow. As an African-American woman, it has been particularly meaningful to see things evolve from being “the one” in meetings expected to represent issues for my race and gender to having multiple allies—both who look like me and who do not. I continue to be excited by our current point in history, where there is significant momentum for inclusive excellence, assuring that all are at the table regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, abilities, religion, creed, or other identifying characteristics. It is edifying to see the burgeoning evidence demonstrating the importance of diversity to sound science, such as this January PNAS article.

Finally, I would like to thank former NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, who retired in December, for being a steadfast champion of workforce diversity as a scientific opportunity. Under his leadership, the NIH significantly advanced the participation of scientists from underrepresented groups and funded an array of initiatives that led to greater equity in biomedical research. I am heartened by the continued leadership of Dr. Larry Tabak, acting NIH Director, with whom I have had the privilege of co-leading the NIH UNITE initiative. Dr. Tabak is a staunch supporter of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Championship for scientific workforce diversity will continue to flourish under his leadership.

Mark Your Calendar

Request for Information on the Draft 2022–2026 COSWD Strategic Plan due February 10: The COSWD Office is updating its strategic plan, which will guide our efforts over the next five years. We have released a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit feedback on the current draft of the plan. Stakeholders are invited to read the draft plan and submit comments in response to the RFI.

Fostering Cohort Recruitment Virtual Forum, February 23 and 24: Over two half-days, this event will introduce the scientific community to faculty cohort recruitment programs and delve into the science behind their effectiveness. The forum is for implementers and potential implementers of faculty cohort recruitment programs, but all are welcome to attend. Please register today and share the event with your colleagues.

Upcoming Seminar: How Does Diversity Impact Science? Save the date—Tuesday, May 17, from 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET—for our next online seminar on this timely topic.

COSWD News Roundup

21st Century Scholars Program: Applications are open until January 28 for this new COSWD-sponsored program, which aims to build a self-reinforcing community focused on the science of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility among NIH extramural program staff. Agency staff can apply to be participants or mentors in the six-month program. Visit our website to learn more about the program, eligibility requirements, and application process.

2021 GITEC Emerging Technology Virtual Awards: In December 2021, the COSWD team was honored to be nominated by the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center for its GITEC Promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in the Federal Workforce Award. The nomination recognizes our ongoing efforts to enhance scientific workforce diversity through pioneering, data-driven initiatives.

Achieving Equity in Faculty – Pros and Cons of Cohort Recruitment: The panelists at our December 2021 Scientific Workforce Diversity Seminar Series event discussed the outcomes of faculty cohort recruitment programs and other evidence-based strategies for enhancing faculty diversity. Their presentation slides and the event recording are now available on our website.

The Latest in the Science of Workforce Diversity

I am grateful for your ongoing interest in my office’s work. I look forward to engaging with many of you through our events and programs in the coming year.

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The links above are pulled from the top news articles trending on the subject of diversity in science and technology.

The stories selected are not a reflection of the views of the National Institutes of Health.