Skip Over Navigation Links

Evaluating the Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity on T32 Applications

Evaluation of the recruitment and retention plan to enhance diversity should focus on groups considered underrepresented in biomedical research. The Notice of NIH Interest in Diversity encourages institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations to enhance participation from underrepresented groups, including individuals from racial and ethnic groups shown by the National Science foundation to be underrepresented in biomedical research, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Hawaiian Natives, and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands; and individuals with disabilities, defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Recruitment and retention of individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are, except under exceptional circumstances, considered most applicable to high school and perhaps undergraduate candidates and, therefore, need not be addressed.

New applications must include a description of plans to enhance recruitment of a diverse trainee pool and applicants may wish to include data in support of past accomplishments. Renewal applications must include a detailed account of experiences in recruiting individuals from underrepresented groups during the previous funding period, as well as plans for the proposed funding period. For renewal applications, achievements may be considered in assigning priority score.

Efforts and Activities

  • Give a brief separate description for students from underrepresented groups and students with disability covering:
    1. past, ongoing, or proposed recruitment activities undertaken specifically by this training grant program to enhance diversity of the trainee pool;
    2. past, ongoing, and/or proposed institutional recruitment activities that contribute to a diverse pool of candidates for this training program; and,
    3. past, ongoing, and/or proposed retention activities that support students or fellows from diverse backgrounds once they are enrolled and increase their completion rates.
  • If achievements have been limited during the previous award period, it is especially important to indicate whether the past experience has been incorporated into the formulation of the plan for the next award period and if promising new recruitment or retention activities are planned.


  • Give the number of students from the relevant underrepresented groups who were appointed to the training grant during the past funding period.
  • NIGMS is aware of the challenges of identifying trainees with disabilities, and expects each program to be actively trying to recruit and retain students with disabilities.
  • If the training program goes beyond the training grant, give the number of underrepresented students who participated in the parent program but were supported via other mechanisms.
  • The admissions and completion data for individuals from underrepresented groups (numbers of applicants, offers, matriculations, and graduations/program completions) should be specified and compared to the corresponding numbers for all students/fellows.
  • For new applications, information from pre-existing and relevant departmental training programs is helpful.


  • Rate the Recruitment and Retention Plans to Enhance Diversity as "Acceptable" or "Unacceptable" and justify the rating (for the overall plan to be Acceptable, an application must include acceptable plans for underrepresented minority individuals and for individuals with disabilities). Written comments may also indicate the relative merit of the recruitment plans and efforts: if the plan for one or both categories is commendable or only marginally acceptable, that can be noted.
  • For renewal applications, achievements may be considered in assigning priority score.
This page last reviewed on July 07, 2017