NIH Program Seeks to Promote Diversity in the Research Workforce

“Without diversity, equity, and inclusion among our researchers, there will continue to be oversights in the research that is produced,” Josh Denny, MD, CEO for the All of Us Research Program with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), said in a statement last week. “But to be truly equitable and inclusive, we must confront the systemic and structural racism that has long affected the health and lives of Black communities and other groups across the country that have been marginalized,” he added.

Francis Collins, MD, PhD, director of the NIH, recently announced an effort to end structural racism in biomedical research through a new initiative called UNITE. “NIH is committed to instituting new ways to support diversity, equity, and inclusion, and identifying and dismantling any policies and practices that may harm our workforce and our science,” Collins said in his announcement.

“We applaud these exciting efforts by the thought leaders at NIH,” said ACRP Executive Director Jim Kremidas. “They recognize that to truly advance diversity in clinical trials, we must also ensure the clinical trial workforce is more diverse.”

This work is just getting started, and input from outside the NIH is welcome, Denny said. Through a Request for Information (RFI) issued on March 1, 2021, NIH is seeking comments from the public and stakeholder organizations. The RFI is open through April 9, 2021, and responses to the RFI will be made publicly available.

Learn more about NIH’s efforts, actions, policies, and procedures via a newly launched NIH webpage on Ending Structural Racism aimed at increasing transparency on this important issue.

Edited by Michael Causey