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Washington Highlights

NIH Awards to Enhance Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce

October 24, 2014— The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Oct. 22 announced 12 awards to enhance the diversity of the NIH-funded biomedical research workforce by developing “new approaches that engage researchers, including those from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical sciences, and prepare them to thrive in the NIH-funded workforce.” The nearly $31 million in total funding will result in the establishment of a national consortium for promoting workforce diversity.

The awards support three separate initiatives:

  • the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) program, which provides both student and faculty support, working through multiple institutional partners;

  • the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), to facilitate engagement of people and organizations into a consortium in order to connect students, post-doctorates, and faculty with mentors; and

  • the Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC), to coordinate the consortium-wide activities and develop assessment metrics to assess the BUILD and NRMN approaches.

Several AAMC member institutions are key partners in the three initiatives. 

In 2011, the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director established a working group to identify immediate and long-term strategies for improving the diversity of the NIH’s investigator pool.  The Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce presented recommendations to NIH, including strengthening mentoring; undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral preparation; and initiatives for retention and advancement of minority scientists in research positions [see Washington Highlights, June 15, 2012]. 

An NIH implementation team subsequently launched the new initiatives [see Washington Highlights, Dec. 14, 2012].


Jodi B. (Lubetsky) Yellin, PhD
Director, Science Policy
Telephone: 202-828-0485


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
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Telephone: 202-903-0806