diversity and inclusion

National Academies Holds DEI Summit

On June 29 and 30, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) held a summit to address the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in 21st century science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) organizations. The summit took place over the course of two days with discussions revolving around how systemic racism affects individuals of underrepresented racial and ethnic group in STEMM careers and how to implement strategies and policies that will advance diversity in STEMM environments and organizations. The first day included discussions on the systemic and structural nature of racism and bias, diving into the…

House Sends Slate of Science Bills to the Senate

On May 17, the House of Representatives approved a group of bills introduced in the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee that aim to make the U.S. science enterprise more equitable, safe, and fair. Four bills, the Supporting Early-Career Researchers Act (H.R. 144), the STEM Opportunities Act (H.R. 204), the MSI STEM Achievement Act (H.R. 2027), and the Combatting Sexual Harassment in Science Act (H.R. 2695) were introduced by Science Committee Chair Eddie Bernice Johnson and were endorsed by COSSA. The Supporting Early-Career Researchers Act would authorize the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a two-year pilot program to award…

COSSA Joins Science Organizations Highlighting Diversity in STEM on “WMPD Day”

On May 12, scientific organizations, including COSSA, the Federation of Associations in Behavioral Brain Sciences, and SAGE Publishing, will observe “Understanding Diversity in STEM: WMPD Day.” The event takes its name from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics’ (NCSES) biannual report: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering. Organizations will hold events throughout the day to recognize, celebrate, and build on the contributions of women, minorities, and person with disabilities in the STEM enterprise. Scheduled activities include a kickoff event with experts from NCSES to discuss the most recent WMPD report (11 AM ET), a…

NIH Presents Report on Racism in Science, Launches UNITE Initiative to End Structural Racism in Biomedical Research

During a meeting of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) on February 26, 2021, NIH discussed new and ongoing efforts to eliminate agency structures perpetuating racism in the biomedical research enterprise. During the meeting, the ACD’s Working Group on Diversity (WGD) presented its Report on Racism in Science, a document that had been in development throughout the past year in the wake of nationwide protests condemning White supremacy and racial inequity, especially as it affects Black members of the scientific community. The WGD report presents several strategies and recommendations for the ACD to consider…

Biden Administration Executive Actions: Equity & Inclusion

Another early Biden Administration executive order rescinded various Trump Administration actions that attempted to push back against perceived “political correctness” by actions prohibiting trainings and other activities that touch on white privilege, structural inequality, implicit bias, and other supposedly “divisive” concepts based on decades of social science research. President Biden’s Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government goes beyond simply revoking the Trump Administration policies and instead sets a policy of actively working to improve racial equity government-wide. The Executive Order outlines a systematic approach for accurately assessing “whether agency policies and…

NSF’s Kellina Craig-Henderson Answers “Why Social Science?”

The latest Why Social Science? post comes from Kellina Craig-Henderson, Deputy Assistant Director of the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Craig-Henderson wrote for NSF’s Science Matters blog about her experiences confronting stereotypes as an African American female scientist and about SBE’s new Build and Broaden program, which directs resources to researchers at minority-serving institutions. Read it here and subscribe.

AAAS Issues Draft Plan to Address Systemic Racism in the Sciences

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has released the first of three draft plans intended to address systemic racism in the sciences, Holding up a Mirror: Demographic Representation in AAAS Functions that Advance Careers. The plan outlines AAAS’s commitment and proposed actions to embed diversity, equity, and inclusion within its operations. Forthcoming draft plans will focus on AAAS programs and initiatives to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in science and engineering and on AAAS actions to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion with the AAAS as an organization. They are expected to be released by mid-September. Comments and…

Scientific Community Responds to Racism and Police Violence through #ShutDownSTEM Campaign

On June 10, several academic and scientific organizations participated in the Shut Down STEM campaign, forgoing business as usual to instead reflect upon racism and police violence and its effect on science and research. Participants in #ShutDownSTEM took action in several ways, including the cancelling meetings, classes, and research activities, discussing potential methods to improve the research climate for Black researchers, and participating in a broader social media campaign using the hashtags #ShutDownSTEM and #ShutDownAcademia. More information can be found on shutdownstem.com. Back to this issue’s table of contents

NSF Announces New Collaboration between SBE and Minority-Serving Institutions

On February 24, the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate at the National Science Foundation (NSF) released a Dear Colleague Letter announcing the new Build and Broaden initiative, a collaborative effort between the SBE Directorate and Minority-Serving Institutions. The initiative invites proposals for research conferences intended to promote ideas and partnerships in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences at Minority-Serving Institutions. Conference proposals for Build and Broaden are due May 1, 2020. The Dear Colleague Letter and more information are found on the NSF website. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NIH Seeking Comments on Inclusion Across the Lifespan II Workshop

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking stakeholder input on a planned workshop on Inclusion Across the Lifespan, a policy intended to encourage inclusion of underrepresented participants in clinical studies. The Inclusion Across the Lifespan II Workshop is a follow-up to a 2017 workshop mandated by Congress in the 21st Century Cures Act. Comments will remain open until February 15, 2020. More information can be found in the NIH guide notice. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NIH Updates Diversity Statement

On November 22, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a notice updating the agency’s official statement on diversity in research settings. In a blog post by Deputy Director for Extramural Research at NIH Dr. Mike Lauer, the main reason for the updated statement was to expand the criteria for qualifying as an individual from a low socio-economic background. In the post, Lauer claims “this revised definition should better capture many scientists with a disadvantaged background, and be relatively easy to assess, ensuring we continue enhancing the diversity of the biomedical research workforce.” The updated diversity statement and the previous…

NSF Releases 2017 Report on Underrepresented Groups in Science and Engineering

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) released the 2017 edition of Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering. The Congressionally-mandated report, which is released every two years, compiles data on the “participation of these three groups in science and engineering education and employment.” It reports on data across five categories: enrollment, field of degree, occupation, employment status, and early-career doctorate holders. The report digest, as well as more information on data sources and links to download the data in full are available on the NSF website. Back to this issue’s…

NIGMS Analyzes RFI Response on Modernizing Biomedical Graduate Education

On November 2, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shared its analysis of the input it received from the scientific community in response to a June 2016 request for information (RFI) (NOT-GM-16-109) on how to “catalyze the modernization of biomedical graduate education through NIGMS’s institutional predoctoral training program.” According to NIGMS, the comments received addressed 28 themes and fell into five categories: institutional and training-related issues, skills development, systemic issues within the research enterprise, careers, and administrative and review issues. The feedback around the issue of diversity and the role of…

NIH Seeks Information on Research Supplement to Promote Workforce Diversity in Small Business

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is soliciting input on a “proposed new supplement to facilitate participation of women and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in small businesses” through the congressionally-mandated Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The request for information (RFI), Research Supplement to Promote Workforce Diversity in Small Businesses (NOT-OD-17-008), notes that although SBIR/STTR awardees are eligible to apply for diversity supplements, the participation rates in the program are very low. Accordingly, the agency is seeking input to understand the barriers preventing these populations from participating in the “existing diversity supplement program…

NINDS to Hold Informational Webinars on Diversity Career Development Awards

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is supporting a series of webinars for potential applicants and mentors to its Mentored Career Development Awards to Promote Diversity in Neuroscience (PAR-16-220 and PAR-16-219). The Institute’s Faculty Development Award to Promote Diversity in Neuroscience Research is designed to provide “an intensive, supervised career development and scientific mentoring experience for promising junior investigators… from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research.” The award also provides protected time from teaching and other duties in addition to providing resources intended to hone awardees’ skills in grant writing and…

Tri-Caucus Introduces 2016 Health Equity and Accountability Act

On June 15, led by Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL), members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) introduced the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) (H.R. 5475). The groups, also known as the Congressional Tri-Caucus, have introduced versions of the legislation since 2007, which has served to inform other health-related legislation considered by the Congress, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Introducing the bill, Rep. Kelly, chair of the CBC Health Braintrust, noted that HEAA “is a reminder that there is much work to be done to improve health…

Scientific Workforce Diversity Discussed at NIH Advisory Committee Meeting

On June 9, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity Hannah Valantine updated the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) on the findings and recommendations of the ACD’s African American/Black Funding Disparity Working Group. Valantine presented the key findings of the Working Group followed by a discussion of how the Working Group framed its suggestions regarding NIH’s plans to address the issue in the coming months. She reported that the Group’s analysis found that there are funding disparities at every stage of the application process from submissions to funding. In particular, the analysis found…

NIGMS Releases 2015-2020 Strategic Plan

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) recently released its 2015 -2020 strategic plan.  According to NIGMS director Jon Lorsch, the plan outlines the Institute’s priorities and activities, including “the goals, objectives and implementation strategies that the Institute—in partnership with the scientific community at universities, professional societies and other federal agencies—will engage in over the next five years.”  Additionally, the plan provides “snapshots” of specific institute priorities and achievements. In his director’s message, Lorsch emphasizes that the Institute continues to place “great emphasis on supporting investigator-initiated research grants” and highlights NIGMS emphasis on “the…

NSF Releases Report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering

The National Science Foundation (NSF) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) has released its biennial report, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering. Mandated by the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act, the report details the participation of these underrepresented groups in science and engineering. The data is organized by enrollment, field of degree, occupation, employment status, and academic employment. More information, including downloads of the report digest and data, are available on the NCSES website. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NIH Makes Awards to Enhance Diversity of the Scientific Workforce

On October 22, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the awarding nearly $31 million in FY 2014 to enhance diversity in the biomedical research workforce. The awards are part of a five-year program and will “support more than 50 awardees and partnering institutions in establishing a national consortium to develop, implement, and evaluate approaches to encourage individuals to start and stay in biomedical research careers.” Twelve of the awards will be supported by the NIH Common Fund and all of the NIH 27 institutes and centers and will be part of three initiatives that form the Enhancing the Diversity…

Subscribe

Past Newsletters

Browse

Archive

Browse 40 years of the COSSA Washington Update.