Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce

Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce, also known as the Diversity Program Consortium (DPC), is a trans-NIH program funded by NIH’s Common Fund and managed by NIGMS. Through this national collaborative, NIH works together with institutions to advance the DPC’s overarching goal of developing, implementing, assessing and disseminating innovative, effective approaches to research training and mentoring. These approaches take place at three levels : 1) engaging, training and mentoring students 2) enhancing faculty development, and 3) strengthening institutional research training infrastructure. Ultimately, these efforts will help to engage a more diverse field of individuals in biomedical research careers.

Unique aspects of this program include:

  • Focusing on three levels of impact: student, faculty and institutional.
  • Integrating social science research and psychosocial interventions with the process of training and mentoring students and faculty.
  • Rigorously assessing and evaluating the training and mentoring interventions implemented across the program.

Through implementing and evaluating effective approaches to improve training and mentoring across the consortium, this program aims to have a significant impact on the participation and persistence of individuals from diverse backgrounds throughout the biomedical research pathway, as well as on transforming the culture and efficacy of biomedical research training and mentoring nationwide.

The DPC consists of three core integrated initiatives: Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD), the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) and the Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC). These programs are available for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, and are situated at a variety of institutions across the country.

Two additional DPC initiatives are:

Sponsored Programs Administration Development (SPAD) ProgramThe objective of this program is to increase the productivity of sponsored programs activities to enhance biomedical research and/or research training. The initiative focuses on establishing Offices of Sponsored Programs (OSPs) or enhancing the services of existing OSPs or similar entities at domestic institutions of higher learning.

DPC Dissemination and Translation Awards (DPC DaTA): This initiative provides an opportunity for institutions that were not part of the DPC during Phase I to apply for funding to take a rigorous scientific approach to understanding the effectiveness of a biomedical research training, mentoring, or research capacity building intervention by employing DPC experimental methods.


This initiative consists of a set of 10 linked awards granted to undergraduate institutions, each of which developed quantitative approaches intended to determine the most effective ways to engage and retain students from diverse backgrounds in biomedical research, and to prepare students to become future contributors to the NIH-funded research enterprise. BUILD awards differ from other NIH-training grants in that they aim to simultaneously achieve impact at the student, faculty and institutional levels, and include structured evaluations during the life of the grant. Through efforts coordinated by the CEC, grantee institutions work together to propose new ways to engage their unique student populations and address the multidimensional factors affecting student success. Disseminating the effective interventions and strategies that the sites develop is intended to contribute to broader transformational impact on biomedical research.


NRMN is developing a national network of mentors and mentees from all biomedical disciplines relevant to the NIH mission to provide mentorship, professional development, mentor/mentee training, networking and resources to individuals from the undergraduate to early career faculty levels. NRMN’s research projects include a variety of experimental interventions intended to explore evidence-based mentoring and networking approaches to advance careers of individuals from diverse backgrounds. The NRMN Resource Center provides a web-based mentor networking platform, online training sessions, and other resources for mentors and mentees throughout their biomedical education and career. The NRMN Coordination Center promotes synergies among the NRMN projects as well as providing feedback and guidance on data collection.


The CEC, based at the University of California, Los Angeles, is responsible for coordinating and evaluating the outcomes of DPC activities. Coordination efforts include: supporting consortium-wide working groups, helping develop and plan publications, managing the DPC website and organizing the DPC annual meeting. The CEC’s evaluation work includes designing a detailed evaluation plan to assess the outcomes and impact of BUILD and NRMN’s training and mentoring approaches based on consortium hallmarks of success and logic models. As needed, the CEC offers support to Consortium sites to ensure progress of data collection and to address any issues that arise. The data collected are indicative of program outcomes and will have implications for recruiting, training and mentoring of diverse groups nationwide. The CEC will also coordinate dissemination of effective approaches to the broader biomedical research training community.

For more information about the Diversity Program Consortium, contact:

Dr. Alison Gammie
DPC Program Leader
Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institutes of Health
45 Center Drive MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200