NIH Releases UNITE Progress Report for 2021-2022

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released the inaugural progress report covering fiscal years (FY) 2021-2022 for the UNITE Initiative, the agency-wide program comprised of five committees charged with identifying and addressing structural racism within the NIH research community and the greater biomedical research enterprise (see previous COSSA coverage). This progress report is the first such report on the UNITE Initiative and aims to describe NIH’s actions since the Initiative’s establishment in 2021 in identifying and addressing structural racism as well as areas that still need to be addressed. The report cites actions that have been taken to address four focus areas that the UNITE Initiative has selected as priorities:

  • Elevating health disparities research and minority health research across institutes and centers;
  • Promoting equity in the NIH-supported biomedical research ecosystem;
  • Promoting equity in the internal NIH workforce; and
  • Improving the accuracy and transparency of racial and ethnic equity data.

The report states that NIH intends to “expand UNITE’s efforts in the coming years – from new funding opportunities, to expanding educational programs, to enhanced data transparency.” NIH also indicated it intends to publish future progress reports as the UNITE Initiative continues to induce changes in the NIH research environment. The report is available in full on the NIH website.


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