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Societal Benefits of a Diverse Workforce

Action: Champion and articulate the societal benefits of a diverse biomedical and behavioral workforce that mirrors the diversity of the U.S. population.

NIGMS has a long-standing commitment to the precept that our nation is best served by a biomedical and behavioral research workforce that is diverse and inclusive. The Institute recognizes that for our society to benefit from its investment in biomedical and behavioral research, all segments must be actively involved. This includes being engaged in the research and in the establishment of the priorities for which research should be supported by government funding.

As biomedical research becomes more interdisciplinary and more of a team endeavor, excellent training will utilize the diversity in the trainee pool and develop the skills and abilities needed for working with people of different scientific, social and cultural backgrounds. Research has shown that diversity in teams fosters innovation and contributes to greater creativity. Diversity balances biases, providing alternative perspectives and experiences for exploring new problems. In these ways, diversity contributes to the scientific advances that improve our nation’s health and maintain its global competitiveness.

By its nature, diversity is an institutional rather than an individual quality. Therefore, NIGMS encourages grantee institutions to find more effective ways to attract trainees from diverse backgrounds and develop the talent of all trainees in order to eliminate the disparities in educational and research training outcomes currently associated with gender, race/ethnicity or other factors. Through its support, NIGMS will encourage efforts to improve the quality of training in skills that enable and utilize diverse perspectives and expertise. NIGMS will also encourage institutions to set their own ambitious objectives for achieving diversity, and it will assess how they are progressing toward meeting those objectives.

This page last reviewed on November 17, 2014