NIH HOLDS MEETING TO RECEIVE PUBLIC INPUT ON IMPROVING DIVERSITY IN BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH Created by on 03/05/2012
Last summer, the study “Race, Ethnicity, and NIH Research Awards” by Ginther et al. was published in Science. The group found that black R01 grant applicants had a significantly lower success rate and were less likely to resubmit. In response, a special Diversity in Biomedical Research Working Group (DBRWG) was formed at NIH to address the lack of diversity and minority success in biomedical research careers. On February 14, 2012, the DBRWG held a public meeting to receive recommendations from the public about ways to improve the retention of underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds throughout various research career stages. Speakers focused their comments on the biomedical pipeline and increasing minority recruitment and retention at all levels. Several of those who commented spoke of the need to increase trust among minority researchers and promote greater awareness of resources for minorities. A popular theme that emerged, which the DBRWG appeared particularly interested in, was funding more community-relevant and community-participatory research. Many speakers noted that this would both build trust and increase interest in the sciences among minority communities while also providing greater support for minority investigators. The importance of mentoring throughout the pipeline was also repeatedly highlighted. Finally, continued research and vigilance on these issues was encouraged by all.