Fostering Diversity and Inclusion at all Career Levels

Posted by Michelle Jones-London, Director of Diversity Training and Workforce Development and
Walter J. Koroshetz, M.D., Director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

The NINDS is committed to the development and support of a neuroscience research workforce that engages the ideas, creativity, and innovation from all diverse backgrounds and segments of society. As a federal agency, this vision aligns with policies of open access and, perhaps equally important, makes sense as business case for our scientific enterprise, as well as the NIH research mission. We must leverage the entire U.S. intellectual capital as the American population becomes increasingly diverse. A diverse workforce results in higher-quality scientific research through greater innovation, creativity, and discovery (Nelson and Quick, 2012; Page, 2007).

NINDS seeks to promote diversity in all of its training and research programs, and to increase the participation of underrepresented groups. We accomplish this by recruiting and preparing underrepresented trainees; developing meaningful mentorship and connecting diverse individuals to supportive networks; and providing resources for retention and eliminating barriers for career transition. Specific funding opportunities exist for individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities (defined as those with a physical or mental impairment), and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds (applicable high school and undergraduate candidates). The diversity programs at NINDS include individual NRSA fellowships (F31), career development awards (K01, K22), and institutional program grants (R25) for neuroscientists across all career stages. NINDS encourages all eligible scientists to explore and apply for these opportunities, some of which are highlighted below.