The National Institutes of Health announced the award of nearly $31 million in fiscal year 2014 funds to develop new approaches that engage researchers, including those from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical sciences, and prepare them to thrive in the NIH-funded workforce.

Research demonstrates that economic, social, and cultural factors have a powerful impact on the pursuit of science careers, and has provided small scale data on interventions that have the potential to transform biomedical research training if implemented widely. This body of work suggests that a fundamental shift in the way scientists are trained and mentored is required to attract and sustain the interest of people from underrepresented groups in the scientific workforce at all career stages.

‘The biomedical research enterprise must engage all sectors of the population in order to solve the most complex biological problems and discover innovative new ways to improve human health,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. ‘While past efforts to diversify our workforce have had significant impact on individuals, we have not made substantial progress in expanding diversity on a larger scale. This program will test new models of training and mentoring so that we can ultimately attract the best minds from all groups to biomedical research.’

Read more about Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD), the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), and the Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC), which together form the Diversity Program Consortium.

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