IntroductionKey RecommendationsII. General Principles Supported by Working GroupIII. Recommendations of NAGMS Council Working Group to NIGMS and NIHAppendicesInstitutions participating in the MBRS program and the IMSD programInstitutions participating in the PREP programInstitutions participating in the MARC U*STAR program
The Director of NIGMS, Dr. Jeremy Berg, convened the NIGMS Biomedical Workforce Diversity Committee to respond to the Final Report of the NAGMS Council MORE Division Working Group that was presented in September 2006 (Appendix 1). In addition to considering specific recommendations from Council, the Committee explored a number of ideas responsive to the spirit of the report. The committee was unanimous in its endorsement of four key recommendations.
Committee response to specific recommendations from the Final Report of the NAGMS Council MORE Division Working Group. (Council recommendations in bold)
B. Clarify goals of MORE Program
1. The emphasis of the MORE Program should be to increase the number of URM Ph.D.s with a high priority being to promote an increase in the number of URM faculty in colleges and universities.
NIGMS places a high priority on increasing the number of URM on the faculty of colleges and universities across the country, especially at doctoral and research universities. In addition, the Institute recognizes that providing well-trained faculty for liberal arts colleges and minority-serving institutions is a valuable outcome of NIGMS-funded activities. Furthermore, NIGMS recognizes that advances in the biomedical and behavioral sciences may also occur through employment in industry or government. NIGMS is committed to defining the mission of all its training programs in terms of how likely they are to contribute to the goal of increasing diversity of the leadership in the biomedical and behavioral research workforce, and to evaluate progress and success towards this commitment.
2. The primary focus of MORE programs should be the training of students and postdoctoral fellows.
NIGMS agrees with this recommendation and, as described below, is taking steps to increase support for diversity programs that promote student and postdoctoral training.
3. MORE programs at non-research minority-serving institutions should be used primarily to support teaching and developing student research competence at these schools.
NIGMS supports this recommendation in the context of the broader mandate that includes enhancing research opportunities. For example, the MBRS program mandated by Congress specifies development of research capacity at minority and minority-serving institutions. NIGMS is striving for a balance that supports faculty research where there are opportunities for development and where progress can be clearly demonstrated. In response to this recommendation, the MORE Division has implemented the following changes in the MBRS program. Research support for minority-serving institutions is divided into three categories: (1) research that has a reasonable expectation to become competitive for R01 funding within one or two award cycles (SC1 mechanism), (2) pilot projects that will lead to applications for more competitive funding (SC2 mechanism); and (3) modest support for research projects that actively involve students (SC3 mechanism). These program changes are expected to achieve an effective balance between research support and student development in the MBRS portfolio.
4. To increase awareness that MORE program funding for student training is available to all institutions.
All MORE programs, unless precluded by congressional mandate, are open to majority institutions. These include the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD), the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) programs, and the Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP), which are currently supporting students at minority- and majority-serving institutions. Increasing awareness of the needs and opportunities for program funding is a major goal of NIGMS outreach activities. (The institutions receiving support from these programs are listed at the end of this document.)
1. NIGMS must do a better job of documenting outcomes and evaluating the success of its individual programs.
a. It is with the utmost urgency that NIGMS collect information on all training programs involving URM that can inform expected and projected outcomes and to guide assessment in the review process.
NIGMS agrees that documenting outcomes and evaluating success of all NIGMS training activities is essential and is a priority for action. Meaningful evaluation is a challenging endeavor that may involve multiple metrics, depending on whether a program or intervention is targeted to institutional change or the career progression of individuals. The fact that most of the training programs, including those to promote diversity, use multiple and overlapping interventions further complicates evaluation. To meet these challenges, and to ensure that evaluation serves to enhance and improve NIGMS programs, the Institute will use resources of the Office of Evaluation of the Director (NIH), the NIGMS Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation, and the proposed NAGMS working group for URM training (see section II.C.1.b), to formulate a strategy for evaluation and assessment. The immediate goal is to determine what information should be collected. The data will include information on national and institutional outcomes, as well as the career development of individual participants. The process will focus on prospective examination and information gathering to facilitate evaluation of current and future programs.
b. The recommendation is made to establish a standing advisory committee of NAGMS for URM training across all NIGMS programs.
NIGMS supports this recommendation.
D. Incorporate MORE Program Goals into NIGMS Research Divisions
1. All NIGMS programs should identify ways to incorporate the goals of the MORE division into their own programs.
NIGMS is in strong agreement with this recommendation and is actively considering ways that the goals of MORE can be integrated into all NIGMS activities. Incorporation of these goals has been a central topic in the NIGMS discussions of strategic planning. In addition, this past year, NIGMS established the Biomedical Workforce Diversity Committee with representation from all Divisions of the Institute. Also, MORE and T32 program staff meet several times a year to discuss ways to cooperate in training activities.
All Divisions and CBCB will be involved in management of the new SCORE individual awards. Assignments will be based on the scientific expertise of the program officer, who will be proactive in advising applicants and principal investigators. In addition, MORE program officers are managing research portfolios in CBCB and GDB, and a MORE program officer has joined the T32 Institutional Training Grants program team.
Some of the suggestions under consideration to integrate MORE Program goals across NIGMS are:
A. Undergraduate research opportunities for minority students
1. Establish formal partnerships between MSI and teaching and research-intensive universities to promote research opportunities for URM students at non-research MSI.
NIGMS has several initiatives that require partnerships. The Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award program (IRACDA) for postdoctoral training requires a partnership between the research-intensive institution and an MSI in which there is explicit value to the MSI. The Bridges to the Future programs support consortia between MSI community colleges and research-intensive institutions granting baccalaureate degrees and between MSI institutions granting master degrees and research-intensive institutions granting Ph.D.s.
A web resource, Community for Advanced Graduate Training (CAGT), has been developed and released (September 2007) that links students in MARC T34 programs with T32 training programs. The purpose is to help MARC undergraduate students to identify T32 institutions for both summer undergraduate research opportunities and graduate opportunities. Another aim is to enable T32 program directors to identify minority students for recruitment to their training programs. MORE division staff have met with MARC program directors and scheduled meetings between directors of MARC and directors of T32 training programs.
Assuming robust use of the web resource by MARC students, NIGMS plans to expand the web tool to include PREP and MBRS IMSD and MBRS RISE students.
Another proposal is creation of a geographic map as a CAGT entry portal to help students and T32 programs in the same region of the country identify each other.
2. Expand programs supporting research opportunities for minority students at majority institutions.
Current NIGMS programs provide research opportunities at majority-serving institutions for URM students at several educational levels. Research support for students enrolled at majority institutions is available from the MARC and IMSD programs. Students in MARC programs are required to have an extramural research experience, preferably at an institution that has a T32 training program. In addition, RISE students are encouraged to seek a summer internship at a research-intensive institution. In both cases, students receive their salary from the home institution. The MARC program provides travel funds and a per diem stipend to help defray the cost of housing during the internship.
3. Develop a Faculty Career Award to support faculty efforts to promote diversity.
The Biomedical Workforce Diversity Committee is developing a plan to provide an award to individuals with an exceptional record of mentoring persons from underrepresented groups. The idea is to give an award to mentors who have been singularly successful in guiding URM students toward the next level of achievement: undergraduates who obtain Ph.D. degrees, and Ph.D.s who go on to postdoctoral positions and faculty positions. The award could be used for student support, including travel and supplies, and would not be limited or otherwise targeted to minority groups. A simplified award process could include a brief application from the candidate’s institution listing URM students mentored in the previous 10 to 20 years, their current positions, and their source of support while in the candidate’s laboratory.
The Committee is also discussing a career development award for faculty with a strong record of promoting diversity.
4. Make it the obligation of all research grants to provide research opportunities for a diverse student pool.
One of the key recommendations of the Biomedical Workforce Diversity Committee is the promotion a plan for NIH to adopt broader impact criteria for review of proposals (see the NSF Criterion 2 - Broader Aims requirement in Appendix 2). NIGMS has implemented such a plan in the NIGMS National Centers Systems Biology RFA (Appendix 3). Additional recommendations to broaden the MORE program goals and diversity aims within NIGMS are in Section II. D.
5. Broadly publicize to investigators that it is now possible to have multiple undergraduate minority supplements for each research grant.
The Director of NIGMS responded to this recommendation in a recent issue of the Feedback Loop. The NIGMS web site is being modified to highlight the availability of these funding supplements.
B. Graduate and postdoctoral research opportunities for minority students
1. NIGMS should do more to increase the number of URM in top ranked graduate programs
All NIGMS training programs have the goal of increasing the number of URM in top-ranked graduate and post-doctoral programs. The Institute is committed to achieving this objective in multiple ways. Strategies that are implemented, underway, or under consideration are presented here.
A Policy for Funding Decisions for T32 training grants that more strongly reflects the importance ascribed to minority recruitment and retention efforts
Funding decisions for T32 training grant programs should reflect NIGMS’ high expectations for minority recruitment and retention efforts. NIGMS proposes to tie performance to funding recommendations by rewarding programs that are doing well with URM recruitment and retention, while withholding or modifying funding for those that are not successful. The Committee on Minority Recruitment (CMR), a longstanding NIGMS committee, evaluates all competing T32 programs for their efforts to recruit and retain individuals from minority groups. CMR takes into account both initial peer review evaluations and NAGMS Council recommendations. In the past, programs judged to be “unacceptable” have had to submit new plans for improved efforts before funding was approved. If the new plans were acceptable, these programs were funded and monitored annually for progress. In addition, conditional awards were made, and the last two years of support were contingent on improvement, as determined by staff and CMR review of progress. The T32 program directors and the CMR chair have met to recommend more stringent procedures for addressing programs considered to be unacceptable one or more times and those that repeatedly had marginal results. These procedures will continue to be evaluated and refined.
In the past, when programs were judged to be “commendable,” NIGMS program staff informally factored that designation into their funding recommendations. Because of budget constraints, many T32 programs are funded at levels below those recommended by Council. Thus, based on URM recruitment and retention efforts, program staff has sometimes recommended increases up to the recommended level. NIGMS is now documenting these actions and will place more emphasis on increasing funding for programs that are commendable. Also, some programs that are not officially designated commendable are making substantial strides in the ability to recruit URM students, and their efforts are above the norm. Program staff will be encouraged to carefully monitor the progress of all programs and to adjust funding recommendations as appropriate. The training “division” has discussed setting aside funds to reward programs that show strong and improving efforts in URM recruitment and retention.
To take advantage of unanticipated opportunities to support additional URM students, a T32 program may request supplemental funding beyond the level recommended by Council or staff. When such requests were justified, the MORE Division has provided supplemental funds. NIGMS has now implemented a policy that both the MORE Division and the NIGMS training “division” set aside such supplemental funds. Based on this new plan, NIGMS awarded two supplements in fiscal year 2007.
Educating T32 training grant program directors on how to improve efforts to recruit and retain URM students
In 2001, NIGMS sponsored a workshop for T32 program directors on “Achieving Scientific Excellence Through Diversity.” The workshop provided a forum for discussing how to improve recruitment and retention strategies. As a result of this workshop, a Web page was developed. The Web page includes a report of the Workshop on Achieving Scientific Excellence Through Diversity; Resource Materials for Minority Recruitment and Retention Strategies; and Examples of NIGMS-Funded NRSA Training Programs with Notable Records of Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Minority Students. The examples are updated every two years, with rotating examples of T32 programs that are exceeding the norm in recruiting and training URM students. These efforts will continue.
Educating undergraduate URM students about top-ranked graduate programs, including T32 training programs
NIGMS has developed a web resource, Community for Advanced Graduate Training (CAGT), to link undergraduate URM students at MARC institutions with T32 training programs and vice versa (see details under III.A.1).
The revised MARC program announcement requires a rigorous extramural summer research experience and strongly encourages that experience to be at a T32 institution (see details under III.A.2).
Some NIGMS T32 program staff have attended SACNAS and ABRCMS and presented workshops on the T32 institutional predoctoral training programs. It is proposed that this effort be continued and expanded at national meetings.
The NIGMS training web pages were updated recently. Updates to the web pages for the MORE programs are in progress in order to provide more information about training opportunities for URM students and to be more user friendly. Additional promotional materials are planned, including compact disks for undergraduates that describe T32 training programs. These materials should be produced in cooperation with the NIGMS Office of Communications and Public Liaison and distributed at national meetings.
More proactive efforts by NIGMS staff to promote URM representation in T32 training grant programs
Although NIGMS T32 program staff pays considerable attention to promoting URM representation in T32 training programs, more needs to be done. The Biomedical Workforce Diversity Committee recommends that all NIGMS T32 program staff should be required to: (1) periodically attend either SACNAS or ABCRMS; (2) proactively identify the strongest examples of successful programs; (3) develop ideas for workshops specific to their area of training responsibility; (4) monitor progress reports more closely for data on URM efforts and solicit additional information as needed; and (5) make funding recommendations that more prominently reflect URM recruitment and retention efforts as part of the rationale. These efforts should become part of the NIGMS T32 program official’s annual performance evaluation.
Review staff should work closely with the Biomedical Research Training Review Committee to encourage more rigorous and consistent evaluations of T32 training grant URM recruitment and retention efforts.
NIGMS T32 program staff and the Committee for Minority Recruitment should work together to provide more complete information on efforts of the T32 training programs to recruit and retain URM students. The Committee on Minority Recruitment has begun to address this issue by revising standard operating procedures for the committee.
2. Increased placement of URM graduate students in highly competitive and well- mentored postdoctoral positions.
To develop strategies for accomplishing this goal the outcomes of all biomedical Ph.D. graduates must be better assessed. For example, information is needed about the placement and publication records of T32 program graduates. Are the outcomes comparable for URM and non-URM Ph.D. graduates? The Biomedical Workforce Diversity Committee proposes that NIGMS, in consultation with the proposed Council working group on training, acquire and evaluate the necessary data, and develop a plan to achieve this high priority goal.
3. Analysis of faculty hiring patterns at colleges and universities.
The Biomedical Workforce Diversity Committee will identify studies and data to enhance its understanding of hiring patterns. If new studies are necessary, the Committee will develop a plan to obtain them.
NIGMS has been involved in planning a meeting “Excellence Empowered by a Diverse Academic Workforce: Achieving Racial and Ethnic Equity in Chemistry”, which is sponsored by NSF, DOE, and NIH. The objective is to develop academic leaders who create, implement, and promote programs and strategies for increasing the number of URM on the faculties of departments throughout the chemistry community. This meeting will take place September 24-26, 2007.
4. Multiple graduate and post-doctoral minority supplements per research grant
Multiple supplements are allowed as described in the NIH Notice for Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, and NIGMS has publicized this fact (Appendix 4). It is proposed that, when a new research grant is awarded, NIGMS develop additional steps to further educate principal investigators about supplements to promote diversity and the eligibility criteria. A section on the NIGMS Web site highlighting opportunities for supplements will be added under “Research Funding”, which links to the Notice for Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.
C. Promote Gateways to Faculty Positions
1. Support the transition of URM scientists from postdoctoral fellow to faculty member by establishing a parallel K22 path for URM faculty at majority or minority institutions.
Current representation of URM on the faculties of U.S. colleges and universities in departments preparing students for careers in biomedical research is substantially lower than that in the pool of Ph.D. graduates in the appropriate disciplines. With the goal of increasing diversity of academic faculties, NIGMS proposes a number of measures to increase the number, preparation, competitiveness, and success of faculty candidates from diverse backgrounds.
Expand use of the existing NIH Pathway to Independence (K99/R00) award program.
The K99/R00 award program (Appendix 5) is designed to provide transitional support between postdoctoral and early faculty positions. NIGMS should continue to use its funding decisions to promote diversity in an expanded K99/R00 award cohort. Detailed mentoring plans should be required in the application for the independent (R00) phase of the award, as well as in the K99 application. The Institute should work proactively to inform peer reviewers and candidates of its enthusiastic support for efforts to develop a broadly based faculty in the biomedical sciences.
Provide individuals receiving Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA postdoctoral fellowship (F32) awards additional time.
NIGMS should provide up to the full three years permitted for the F32 award and additional time by providing waivers as appropriate for cases in which additional training and mentoring and an improved publication record will increase the likelihood of success of awardees in applying for faculty positions.
Greatly extend the outreach of the Institute to NIGMS-funded principal investigators.
NIGMS should expand its outreach to principal investigators to increase use of the diversity supplement program for postdoctoral fellows and for junior faculty who are not supported by independent funding. The Institute should also provide longer periods of support from diversity supplements for situations where longer support would significantly increase the preparation and competitiveness of URM candidates for faculty positions.
D. Evaluation of programs
1. To increase the number of URM involvement in NIGMS programs by 10% per year with a goal to achieve a doubling of URM Ph.D.s in 8 years.
The MORE Division has embraced the goal of doubling the number of URM Ph.D.s in eight years. Revised announcements include this standard and set expectations for outcomes of participants in MORE programs. The revised announcements emphasize monitoring institutional productivity, so that the anticipated doubling reflects the institution’s overall outcome and not just the outcome of MORE supported students.
2. Create an NIH-wide office of training statistics to include minority data.
A trans-NIH committee, the NIH Minority Training Committee, is providing advice to the Director of NIH on the minimum essential data that should be collected for all training mechanisms. That NIH Minority Training Committee is also offering guidance on the development and maintenance of a database.
NIGMS Biomedical Workforce Diversity Committee (Jan-Sep 2007)
John Whitmarsh, CBCB (Chair)Shawn Drew, MOREMiles Fabian, PPBCAnn Hagan, DEAE.C. Melvin, GABClifton Poodry, MOREMarcus Rhoades, GDBMona Trempe, OSRJanna Wehrle, CBBMarion Zatz, GDB and TrainingJeremy Berg, Ex Officio
Final Report of the NAGMS Council MORE Division Working Group:
NSF Broader Aims requirement. Program announcements from the NSF include the following:
What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity? How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of groups who are underrepresented because of (e.g., sex, ethnicity, disability, or geographic factors)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?
In making funding decisions, National Science Foundation (NSF) staff will carefully consider the three criteria presented here.
Integration of Research and Education. One of the principal strategies in support of NSF's goals is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions provide abundant opportunities for individuals to concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students and for all to engage in joint efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives.
Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities. Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens -- women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities -- is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities considered and supported by the foundation.
Diversity requirement for the NIGMS National Centers for Systems Biology (P50)
Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity
The NIH recognizes a compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences workforce. The NIH expects efforts to diversify the workforce to lead to the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups; to improve the quality of the educational and training environment; to balance and broaden the perspective in setting research priorities; to improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and to improve the Nation’s capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.
Accordingly the NIH continues to encourage institutions to diversify their trainee and faculty populations and thus to increase the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences such as: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. Institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will increase diversity on a national or institutional basis.
Multiple supplements are allowed as described in the NIH Notice for Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, /Research/Mechanisms/pages/PromoteDiversity.aspx
NIH Pathway to Independence (PI) Award (K99/R00)
ARIZONANorthern Arizona UniversityUniversity of Arizona
CALIFORNIACalifornia State University, FullertonLoma Linda UniversityUniversity of California, DavisUniversity of California, IrvineUniversity of California, Los AngelesUniversity of California, San FranciscoUniversity of California, Santa Cruz
COLORADOUniversity of Colorado at Boulder
INDIANAIndiana University, Bloomington
IOWAUniversity of Iowa
KANSASUniversity of Kansas, Lawrence
LOUISIANALouisiana State University
MARYLANDUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore County
MICHIGANUniversity of Michigan at Ann ArborWayne State University
MINNESOTAMayo Clinic Rochester
MISSOURIUniversity of Missouri, Columbia
MONTANAMontana State University, Bozeman
NEW JERSEYRutgers, The State University of New Jersey at NewarkUniversity of Medicine and Dentistry ofNew JerseyRobert Wood Johnson Medical School
NEW MEXICOUniversity of New Mexico, Albuquerque
NEW YORKSt. John's University
OKLAHOMAOklahoma State University
SOUTH CAROLINAMedical University of South Carolina
TEXASBaylor College of Medicine
Texas Woman's UniversityUniversity of North Texas Health Science Center
WASHINGTONUniversity of Washington
ARIZONAArizona State University
CALIFORNIACalifornia State University, Los AngelesSan Diego State UniversitySan Francisco State UniversityUniversity of California,IrvineUniversity of California, Los Angeles
ILLINOISUniversity of Chicago
KANSASUniversity of Kansas Lawrence
MARYLANDJohns Hopkins University
MINNESOTAMayo Clinic College of Medicine
NEW YORKAlbany Medical CollegeMount Sinai School of MedicineUniversity of Rochester Medical Center
NORTH CAROLINADuke University Medical Center
OHIOCase Western Reserve University School of Medicine
PENNSYLVANIAUniversity of Pennsylvania
SOUTH CAROLINAUniversity of South Carolina
TEXASBaylor College of MedicineUniversity of North Texas Health Sciences Center
VIRGINIAVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
ARIZONAArizona State UniversityNorthern Arizona UniversityUniversity of Arizona
CALIFORNIACalifornia State University, BakersfieldCalifornia State University, Dominguez HillsCalifornia State University, FullertonCalifornia State University, Los AngelesCalifornia State University, NorthridgeCalifornia State University, San MarcosMount St. Mary's CollegeSan Diego State UniversitySan Francisco State UniversitySan Jose State UniversityUniversity of California, IrvineUniversity of California, Los AngelesUniversity of California, RiversideUniversity of California, Santa CruzCalifornia State University, Long Beach
COLORADOFort Lewis College
DELAWAREDelaware State University
FLORIDABarry UniversityUniversity of South Florida
GEORGIAClark Atlanta UniversitySavannah State University
HAWAIIUniversity of Hawaii at Manoa
LOUISIANAGrambling State UniversityXavier University of Louisiana
MARYLANDMorgan State UniversityUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore CountyUniversity of Maryland, Eastern ShoreMorgan State University
MINNESOTAUniversity of Minnesota, Duluth
MISSISSIPPIAlcorn State UniversityJackson State University
NEW JERSEYMontclair State University
NEW MEXICONew Mexico State University, Las CrucesUniversity of New Mexico, Albuquerque
NEW YORKCUNY, Brooklyn CollegeCUNY, City CollegeSUNY, College at Old WestburyCUNY, Herbert H. Lehman CollegeResearch Foundation of CUNY, Hunter CollegeCUNY, Queens CollegeStony Brook UniversityCity College of New YorkCUNY, YorkCollegeCUNY, Hunter College
NORTH CAROLINASt. Augustine’s CollegeNorth Carolina Central UniversityWinston-Salem State University
PUERTO RICOUniversity of Puerto Rico at HumacaoUniversity of Puerto Rico, MayaguezUniversity of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
TENNESSEETennessee State University
TEXASSt. Mary's UniversityUniversity of Texas at El PasoUniversity of Texas at San AntonioUniversity of Houston-Downtown
VIRGIN ISLANDSUniversity of the Virgin Islands
VIRGINIAVirginia Union University
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