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Building a Diverse Scientific Workforce

NIDCD is committed to building and sustaining a diverse research workforce. Explore training and funding opportunities, meet NIDCD Diversity Scholars, and read about diversity initiatives from NIDCD Director Debara L. Tucci, M.D., M.S., M.B.A.

Read Messages from the NIDCD Director

A group of scientists conversing in a lab.
NIH has had a longstanding commitment to recruiting talent from diverse groups and to removing barriers to professional advancement for underrepresented minorities. In keeping with this goal, I have made expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion within the NIDCD intramural and extramural workforces one of my chief aims since taking on the directorship of the institute in 2019. In this message, I update you on our ongoing efforts in this area. I also share details regarding an important new NIH policy: Effective in early 2023, grant applicants will be required to include a data management plan in their applications, and in most cases to make their data publicly available. Finally, I provide a brief summary of topics discussed at our latest National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NDCD) Advisory Council Meeting in May.
A stylized rainbow above the words Ending Structural Racism, the NIH logo, and this URL:
On March 1, 2021, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institutes of Health, launched a new initiative, UNITE, to identify actions to address structural racism at NIH, the institutions we support, and anywhere NIH research activities take place, with the overall goal of ending racial inequities across the biomedical research enterprise.
Scientists talking in a lab.
The forthcoming trans-NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) program will propose an innovative model to address faculty diversity and inclusion in biomedical research.

Highlighted NIDCD Initiatives

NIDCD’s 2023-2027 Strategic Plan: Commitment to Diversity
Our current strategic plan underscores the importance of fostering a scientific environment that is diverse, respectful, and inclusive. We aim to ensure that all individuals feel valued and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives in support of NIDCD’s mission areas.

NDCD Advisory Council’s Diversity Working Group
The National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Advisory Council’s Diversity Working Group was commissioned in 2021 to provide recommendations to the institute to enhance its diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility efforts. The council’s Diversity Working Group worked with council members, NIDCD staff, and other stakeholders to produce a 2023 summary report, NIDCD’s Commitment to Scientific Workforce Diversity and Health Disparities Research. (PDF | 214 KB)

NIDCD Speakers Bureau
In 2023, NIDCD launched a speakers bureau, an outreach program designed to inspire the next generation of scientists. Our scientists raise awareness at schools, universities, and community events about research on the normal and disordered processes of hearing and deafness, balance, voice, speech, and language. Speakers cover a variety of topics, including the basic biology of the inner ear sensory system, specific research directions, careers in science, and training programs at NIH.

Editorials on NIDCD's Commitment to Diversity

Leading professional journals have published editorials regarding NIDCD's efforts to build and sustain a diverse research workforce.

Expanding Workforce Diversity and Health Care Equity in Communication Disorders Research: An NIH Institute Director’s Perspective
Journal of the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing

NIDCD’s 5-Year Strategic Plan Describes Scientific Priorities and Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
Ear and Hearing