Strategies for enhancing diversity in sciences examined at Capitol Hill briefing

Speakers provide updates on current NIH and NSF efforts.

On June 6, APA, in collaboration with the Collaborative for Enhancing Diversity in Science (CEDS), sponsored a Capitol Hill briefing on “Innovative Strategies for Building a Diverse Scientific Workforce.” Speakers addressed challenges faced by scientists from historically underrepresented ethnic minority groups and discussed strategies of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) for improving the outcomes of their own diversity programs.

Sally Hillsman, executive officer of the American Sociological Association, moderated the briefing and provided an overview of recommendations from the 2012 CEDS workshop (PDF, 270KB), which called for more common data and measures for universities and federal science agencies to keep track of participants in diversity programs. Erich Jarvis, a neurobiologist at Duke University, shared his personal career path, from a performing arts high school in Harlem to a PhD program in neurobiology and animal behavior, and spoke about the help he received from NIH undergraduate minority research training programs.

Roderic Pettigrew, acting chief officer for scientific workforce diversity at NIH, discussed NIH’s implementation of recommendations to address the racial disparity in R01 investigators, including the BUILD initiative. He was joined by Kellina Craig-Henderson from NSF’s Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate, who spoke about NSF’s support of research on what makes diversity programs successful across various disciplines.

For more information contact Karen Studwell.