Help NIH Plan a Prize Competition for DEIA Culture Change

Funding News Edition: June 15, 2022
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NIH is acting to diversify the biomedical research workforce by expanding extramural investment in workforce diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). One approach already underway is the creation of a prize competition to recognize institutional excellence in DEIA advancement.

Dr. Marie Bernard, chief officer for scientific workforce diversity, explains NIH’s strategy in her blog post Requesting Your Input on the Development of a DEIA Prize Competition:

The primary goal in establishing a prize competition is to acknowledge and reward the transformative interventions developed by institutions to create research environments that promote and value DEIA. A secondary objective is to identify and highlight evidence-based best practices proven to create more inclusive environments for students and faculty.

What remains to be determined are specifics around the prize competition’s structure and judging criteria. That’s where you come in—send your feedback in response to Inviting Comments and Suggestions on the Development of a Prize Competition for Institutional Excellence in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility.

Share input on the following prompts:

  • Structure of the prize competition
    • Ways to recognize institutions of higher education for reducing and or eliminating institutional barriers for DEIA
    • If judged on retrospective achievements, suggestions on when past interventions had to occur, e.g., within the past eight years
    • Whether the prize should be aimed at the multi-institutional level (institutional partnerships), institutional level, or departmental level
    • Suggestions for how a competition could be structured to facilitate fair and open competition to allow entrants to succeed
    • Range of metrics appropriate for different sizes and types of institutions, e.g., minority serving institutions, or scientific disciplines
  • Outreach
    • Communication and types of media that would help share information about the prize competition for applicants., e.g., webinars, website, social media
  • Judging criteria
    • Input on criteria that judges might use to identify a winner
    • Ways to measure the impact of meeting DEIA goals on the department, institution, and research
  • Timing
    • Suggestions on how much time applicants need to develop a prize submission
  • Dissemination of winning submissions
    • Ways to best disseminate approaches that have promoted inclusive excellence, e.g., websites, poster sessions, meetings, journal letters, blogs
  • Reasons for and potential barriers in applying
    • Major factors or other reasons that may influence an institution’s decision to compete in the prize competition
    • Major factors that would incentivize submissions
    • Major barriers that may impede submissions. Comments may suggest potential solutions to overcome such barriers.

Email your feedback to by July 28, 2022.

Do not include in your response personally identifiable information or any other details you do not wish to make public, such as proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information.

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