Request for Information (RFI): Input into the Deliberations of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce

Notice Number: NOT-OD-12-031

Key Dates
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Response Date:  February 24, 2012

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Purpose

This Notice is a time-sensitive Request for Information (RFI) requesting input into the deliberations of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce.

Background 

The Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) has established a working group to examine diversity in the biomedical research workforce (see http://acd.od.nih.gov/DBR.asp for charge and roster) and provide concrete recommendations to the ACD and the NIH Director on ways to  enhance diversity throughout the various research career stages, particularly with regard to underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and persons from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce has considered the evidence presented in “Race, Ethnicity, and NIH Research Awards” published in the August 2011 edition of Science and additional data provided by the NIH. This data shows that R01 applications from Black or African American PhD applicants between 2000 and 2006 did significantly worse than those applications from White applicants, even after controlling for observable characteristics. The article and a corresponding policy piece by NIH Director Francis Collins and NIH Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak can be found at http://www.sciencemag.org/hottopics/race-nihfunding/

The Working Group would like to gather input from various sources, including extramural and intramural researchers, academic institutions, industry, and the public, to help inform the development of recommendations to present to the ACD and the NIH Director on actions the NIH can take to increase the diversity of the biomedical research workforce.
In its initial deliberations, the working group identified the following issues as important to consider when developing recommendations:

Information Requested

To ensure a thorough and comprehensive evaluation of the issues underlying the diversity of the biomedical research workforce, input  is being sought from the biomedical research community, including students, postdoctoral fellows, scientists, scientific societies, and NIH grantee institutions, as well as from the general public.   Input is sought for each of the areas identified above and any other items the working group might consider. 

Response to this RFI is voluntary.  Responders are free to address any or all of the above items.

Please note that the Government will not pay for response preparation or for the use of any information contained in the response.  All responses will be available, including name of the responder. In addition, NIH will prepare and make available a summary of all input received which is responsive to this RFI. 

How to Submit a Response 

All comments must be submitted electronically to  http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfi_files/nih_dbrw/add.cfm. Responses to this RFI will be accepted through February 24, 2012. You will see an electronic confirmation acknowledging receipt of your response, but will not receive individualized feedback on any suggestions.  No basis for claims against the U.S. Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Government’s use of such information.

Inquiries

Specific questions about this RFI should be directed to the following e-mail address: ACDDiversity@mail.nih.gov 


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