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National Institutes of Health (NIH) Equity Committee

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While programs to enhance diversity and inclusion are necessary, they are not sufficient. Institutional transformation and culture change (at both NIH and in the extramural research community) are facilitated by support and endorsement by leadership.

Key actions include:

  • Systematic review and transparency of hiring and promotion procedures and policies
  • Collect and publicize aggregate diversity metrics, within applicable law and federal regulations for transparency
  • Use tools to enhance diversity and inclusion
  • Evaluate effect

For true impact, the above actions must be motivated to drive institutional and research excellence.

NIH’s Scientific Workforce Diversity office and the Office of Intramural Research established the NIH Equity Committee (NEC) in November 2017. The NEC was one direct outgrowth of the Addressing NIH Gender Inequality Action Task Force. The NEC reviews a set of diversity, inclusion, and equity metrics.

The metrics include:

  • Tenured and tenure-track investigators analyzed separately
    • Demographic data
    • Salaries and resources for hiring
  • Equity of review practices
    • Board of Scientific Counselors and ad hoc reviewers, promotion, and tenure committees
  • Efforts to correct identified inequities
  • Efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion
    • Diversity of speakers at seminars hosted by an NIH Institute or Center
    • Promote awareness of implicit bias
    • Best practices for search committees and outreach
    • Award nominations
  • Gender Inequality Task Force Report
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