APA and the National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS) Planning Conference December 11-14, 1998
The project held a second invitational conference, December 11-14, 1998, in Washington, DC. The conference, funded through a $50,000 supplemental award from NIGMS, included representatives from the project's 15 participating institutions. The conference brought together about 60 members involved in the project and representatives from the federal government and professional associations who served as distinguished observers, the project's diversity and scientific consultants, and APA staff.
The following conference objectives addressed the conference theme of "Planning for the Future: Ethnic Minorities in the Biomedical Sciences":
Assess current project status, strengths, and problems;
Identify and develop detailed methods for future project implementation, documentation, evaluation, and institutionalization of project activities; Promote positive interaction, increased communication, and the building of strong collaborative relationships among the APA/NIGMS Project institutions and consultant/advisors.
The conference also sought to:
Build consensus among conference participants related to the importance of "systemic" strategies for ethnic minority recruitment and retention activities; Provide preliminary analyses of first-round data from the Diversity Needs Assessment of Academic Settings (DiNAS) surveys;
Encourage increased support among federal funding agencies, academic institutions and their top administrators, psychology departments/programs, and professional scientific associations in the development of "systemic" strategies for increasing ethnic minority partici-pation in the biomedical sciences; and -Refine the roles of project consultants and scientific advisors.
During the 2-1/2 day working conference, participants engaged in interactive, consultant-facilitated breakout sessions and completed a series of meeting tools intended to address the institutional/regional progress and status of plans developed by participating institutions for their respective Regional Centers of Excellence. The tools also addressed project assessment and evaluation outcomes and measures, developing and strengthening institutionalization capacity of project activities, and future planning and identification of proposed project needs and activities.
The conference provided an opportunity for participants to gather regionally and by type of institution (major research institution, 4-year, and 2-year) to discuss specific concerns of the institution or the regional center, questions about administration of the grant project, and current and future activities.
Each breakout session was followed by plenary report-back sessions facilitated by the project's lead diversity and scientific consultants. Information and input from conference participants was used to complete the competitive grant renewal application for the project.
The conference opened with a welcome from Henry Tomes, PhD, executive director of the Public Interest Directorate, APA, who greeted conference participants with an overview of the project and its current activities. Clifton Poodry, PhD, director of the NIGMS Division of Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE), followed and provided an engaging, thought-provoking, and interactive presentation on the power of collaboration. Representatives from the Council on Social Work Education, the American Sociological Association, the National Science Foundation, and the APA Science and Education directorates were invited to serve as observers.