Washington Update

NIH COSWD Publishes Final Strategic Plan

By: Jacqueline Robinson-Hamm
Thursday, April 14, 2022

On April 6, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity (COSWD) team released its final strategic plan for fiscal years 2022 through 2026. Overall, COSWD focuses on using evidence-based approaches to catalyze cultures of inclusive excellence throughout the entire scientific workforce. The COSWD team will pursue three goals in support of being a leader in the science of scientific workforce diversity: 
•    build evidence by using research insights and NIH as a testbed for innovative scientific programs to enhance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in the workforce; 
•    disseminate the evidence through its work with the biomedical scientific community; and 
•    act on the evidence by advancing systems to address bias, equity, mentoring, and work-life issues.

Throughout all three goals in the final strategic plan, the COSWD team emphasizes collaborations, accountability, and evaluation of programs. Additionally, the team highlighted that the scope of the goals and efforts to collaborate, be accountable, and help evaluate DEIA efforts extend beyond NIH and includes extramural researchers supported by NIH funds at U.S. universities, medical schools, and other research institutions. Finally, the strategic plan stresses that the goals to build, disseminate, and act upon DEIA evidence will not always be linear. Design and implementation of various DEIA programs may be cyclical and deliberately iterative as additional evidence is gained.