The AAMC Oct. 26 submitted comments to the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) in response to a Request for Information about strategies that would lead to more effective and efficient organization and administration of the NIGMS’ undergraduate and pre-doctoral diversity programs.
In its letter, the AAMC recognizes the value of training a new generation of biomedical researchers from diverse backgrounds. Acknowledgment of workforce diversity is important for leveraging a broad array of talents and experiences from individuals of diverse sociodemographic and socioeconomic backgrounds, which can lead to research that improves both access to care and the effectiveness of care. These particular characteristics can have an influence on the development of research questions and production of innovative research partnerships. The association letter also presents a number of recommendations to NIGMS, including:
- Provide resources to help potential students navigate through NIH programs that can advance their careers.
- Increase coordination across NIH and institutional programs to create synergies that more efficiently and effectively promote the development of a well-trained and diverse biomedical research workforce, especially when a single institution is awarded multiple programs.
- Create a diversity program management apparatus that meets the needs of the applying institution and also addresses issues of continuity and local authority.
- Strengthen program evaluation; also track trainee career outcomes because it will provide better insight into different career pathways young researchers pursue and may suggest ways to improve graduate programs.