Feedback Sought on the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan Framework for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

This blog post is by Marie A. Bernard, Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity; Shelma Little, Acting Director of the NIH Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; and Julie Berko, Director of the NIH Office of Human Resources. It was originally posted on February 4 on the NIH Office of Extramural Research Open Mike blog. We encourage you to read it and submit comments and feedback on the framework for the NIH-Wide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Strategic Plan by April 3.

We are pleased to announce that the framework for the NIH-Wide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Strategic Plan was released (NOT-OD-22-061). Your input on the framework as the plan is developed is encouraged. Feedback will help us ensure that DEIA principles continue to be embraced and integrated across NIH going forward.

We strongly believe that an inclusive and diverse pool of highly talented individuals is key for the country to remain a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation (see these posts for more). This means we must actively consider factors that address DEIA principles and appropriately embed them within NIH and the wider scientific community. Embracing this DEIA vision will enhance our ability to drive biomedical innovation and serve an increasingly diverse US population.

The NIH-Wide DEIA Strategic Plan strives to clearly communicate our DEIA vision. It will align with the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan released last year, and encompass our ongoing initiative to address structural racism in biomedical research as well as build on the wider federal effort to expand DEIA across the workforce.

The scope of the plan covers accomplishments, needs, opportunities, and challenges related to DEIA within the NIH workforce, its structure and culture, and our supported research. The main objectives are to:

  • Implement organizational practices to center and prioritize DEIA in the workforce
  • Grow and sustain DEIA through structural and cultural change
  • Advance DEIA through research

What are the potential benefits or drawbacks to this framework? Are there priority areas missing? Which best practices and policies are likely to foster positive culture change? What barriers stand in the way? How should DEIA be defined for the purposes of this effort? What metrics measure progress?

We welcome your comments and feedback on the framework. Please send them electronically by April 3, 2022.

If you’d like to learn more about the background, planning process and draft framework for the Strategic Plan, please consider attending an NIH-hosted webinar on March 29, 2022, from 3:30 to 4:30pm ET.  Registration is required and questions for consideration may be submitted to prior to the webinar.

NIH appreciates and values your feedback on bolstering DEIA at the agency and throughout the biomedical workforce.

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