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NIH Recovery Act grants to foster scientific workforce diversity

The National Institutes of Health has awarded six grants totaling approximately $12 million over three years through a new initiative aimed at fostering a diverse scientific workforce. The initiative, called the NIH Director's ARRA Funded Pathfinder Award to Promote Diversity in the Scientific Workforce, is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and administered by NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

The Pathfinder Award supports exceptionally creative scientists who propose highly innovative, and possibly transforming, approaches to scientific workforce diversity. Awardees must devote a major portion (generally 30 percent or more) of their research effort to the Pathfinder activity.

"The Pathfinder Award reflects NIH's long-standing commitment to promoting a scientific workforce that is representative of the diversity of the U.S. population," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "Such diversity generates new perspectives, approaches and answers to challenging problems. We're optimistic that these awards will help identify new methods for addressing the compelling need to increase the number of people from underrepresented groups who pursue careers in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences."

Each grantee received approximately $2 million for their project. The principal investigators and their research activities are:

  • Mary (Molly) Carnes, M.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Madison will develop an interactive tool that will help faculty recognize and self-correct implicit, stereotype-based bias that affects the participation and advancement of groups underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

  • Bradley S. Duerstock, Ph.D., of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., will create an accessible wet laboratory for practical training as well as a Web-based interactive community for individuals with disabilities pursuing biomedical research careers.

  • Vivian Lewis, M.D., of the University of Rochester, N.Y., will test the hypothesis that mentoring interventions will promote the resilience of biomedical researchers from underrepresented groups, resulting in greater career satisfaction, confidence and academic success.

  • Richard McGee, Ph.D., of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, will test a model employing coaching to complement what scientific mentors typically provide as an approach for improving the professional advancement of students from underrepresented groups toward academic research careers.

  • Joan Reede, M.D., M.P.H., of Harvard Medical School, Boston, will conduct a study of the institutional and environmental factors that impede and/or support the careers of clinical and research faculty from diverse groups, as well as how these factors impact an individual's career-related networks.

  • Hannah A. Valantine, M.D., of Stanford University, Calif., will test the hypothesis that mitigating the experience of stereotype threat will improve the advancement and retention of female faculty members.


Contact: Jilliene Mitchell
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

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