The AAMC on April 1 submitted a letter to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in response to a request for information (RFI) inviting comments and suggestions on a framework for the NIH-wide strategic plan for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). This strategic plan articulates the NIH’s vision for fostering DEIA in the agency’s workforce, its structure and culture, and its supported research.
Drawn from perspectives from the academic medicine community, the letter proposed suggestions as the NIH moves forth with its efforts. Among the recommendations highlighted in the response, the letter urged the NIH to utilize two models — the cohort model and the cluster hiring method — to promote community building, diversity, and interdisciplinary research in the intramural and extramural workforce. The comments also noted the importance of utilizing partnerships and engagements, namely with historically Black colleges and universities, professional societies, and the international workforce to support accountability and confidence in this DEIA framework. Lastly, the AAMC urged the NIH to conduct workforce and health research to advance DEIA.
Along with the UNITE initiative to address structural racism [refer to Washington Highlights, April 8, 2021] and the Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity Strategic Plan to bolster inclusive excellence in the biomedical workforce [refer to Washington Highlights, Feb. 18], this NIH-wide DEIA strategic plan fosters the agency’s goal to center and prioritize DEIA in the biomedical enterprise.