NIH seeks to recognize academic institutions for institutional approaches that have clearly succeeded in addressing faculty gender diversity and equity issues.
Though the proportions of women and men are similar at the graduate level for biomedical sciences and in medical schools, women are underrepresented at the faculty level in both science and medicine, particularly in the mid- to senior-level ranks (National Science Foundation 2017 Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities; and 2016 CBE Life Sci Educ. 15(3)). Diversity of thought and expertise have been recognized as attributes that drive innovation, complement dynamic research, and promote excellence. Supporting the sustained advancement of women in biomedical careers has the potential to enhance such diversity in the faculty ranks across scientific fields. Doing so will also promote more inclusive research and clinical environments which are critical to retaining and advancing women in biomedical careers.
Understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to enhancing diversity in academia and that ideas based on evidence are necessary to achieve systemic change, this prize competition will recognize institutions for approaches that have clearly succeeded in addressing faculty diversity and equity issues in biomedical and behavioral science departments, centers, or divisions. The aim is to acknowledge and recognize transformative structures, systems, projects, programs, and processes that were implemented to successfully enhance and sustain gender diversity within the institution. For example, success could have been accomplished through addressing barriers to career advancement, employing mentoring structures, adopting work-life integration and career flexibility programs, enhancing pathways to leadership, implementing specific recruitment efforts, changing workplace culture, or other approaches. This prize competition may build on the outcomes of previous initiatives, such as NIH’s Research on Causal Factors and Interventions that Promote and Support the Careers of Women in Biomedical and Behavioral Science and Engineering (RFA-FM-09-012), the National Science Foundation ADVANCE program, or other programs and/or internal initiatives in support of interventions that improve the climate and career advancement for women faculty at academic institutions.
Critical to this prize competition is the identification of best practices, the sharing of lessons learned, and the delineation of evidence-based approaches that can be broadly translated to, and replicated by, other institutions. These approaches may represent policies, evidence-based programs, tools, and/or activities, or a mixture thereof. Because this prize competition recognizes achievement through past intervention(s), such interventions must have been implemented prior to the launch date of this prize competition. The interventions must also have a demonstrated record as an effective model that can be adapted by other institutions and organizations. The past efforts and interventions should have addressed the full range of faculty career stages, from junior faculty to senior leadership, as well as potential sources of gender-based inequities, such as pay or allocation of resources. Applicants will need to demonstrate how their interventions have directly led to sustained systemic changes within the institution. Therefore, an in-depth assessment of institutional composition, policies, other relevant factors that were potential barriers to gender diversity and equity, and were subsequently mitigated through intervention(s), will need to be included in the submission. Submissions most likely to win the prize competition will have developed tools and/or interventions that can be employed to assist other institutions or academic groups with issues of inclusion and help to create environments that facilitate achievement. These efforts should be amenable to wide dissemination and implementation, as best practices for enhancing faculty gender diversity in biomedical and behavioral sciences.
Up to 10 winning institutions will be awarded a prize of up to $50,000 each. The number of prizes issued to “low- or limited-resourced institutions” as defined below in the Eligibility Rules for Participating in the Prize Competition, will be determined by the judging committee, subject to a final decision by the Award Approving Official.
Additional submissions may be recognized as honorable mentions with non-monetary awards.
Award Approving Official:
The Award Approving Official will be Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the National Institutes of Health.
Payment of the Prize:
Prizes awarded under this competition will be paid by electronic funds and may be subject to Federal income taxes. Awardees will need to provide an institutional bank account and routing information in order to receive the award funds; prize funds will not be paid to individuals. HHS/NIH will comply with the Internal Revenue Service withholding and reporting requirements, where applicable. The NIH reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to (a) cancel, suspend, and/or modify this prize competition, or any part of it, for any reason, and/or (b) not award any prizes if no submissions are deemed worthy.
Symposium to Promote Winners & Disseminate Successful Strategies:
In addition, each winning entry and honorable mention will be invited to a NIH symposium to present interventions that have enhanced faculty gender diversity and reduced potential sources of gender-based inequities in late 2021. NIH will not provide travel funds for event.
Eligibility Rules for Participating in the Prize Competition:
The prize competition is limited to U.S.-based, accredited public or private non-profit academic institutions that grant baccalaureate or advanced degrees in biomedical, behavioral, or health sciences, as listed in the U.S. Department of Education database of accredited institutions and programs. This includes Hispanic-serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions, and Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs). It also includes both biomedical and behavioral research-intensive institutions and low- or limited-resourced institutions (see definition of “low- or limited-resourced institutions” below, the R15 definition link, and the determination page).
Each institution (also defined here as an “entity”) must designate a point of contact who is responsible for all correspondence regarding this prize competition. A point of contact representing the entity should be employed by and/or acting at the behest of the entity, such as the President, Provost, Chancellor, or other senior-level administrator.
- To be eligible to win a prize under this competition, an entity—
- Shall have registered to participate in the prize competition under the rules promulgated by the NIH, as published in this announcement;
- Shall have complied with all the requirements set forth in this announcement;
- Shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States;
- Shall not be a federal entity or federal employee acting within the scope of their employment;
- Shall not be a federal employee of the Department of Health and Human Services (or any component of HHS) acting in their personal capacity;
- Who is employed by a federal agency or entity other than HHS (or any component of HHS), should consult with an agency ethics official to determine whether the federal ethics rules will limit or prohibit the acceptance of a prize under this prize competition;
- Shall not be a judge of the prize competition, or any other party involved with the design, production, execution, or distribution of the prize competition or the immediate family of such a party (i.e., spouse, parent, step-parent, child, or step-child).
- To be defined as a “low- or limited-resourced institution” that engages in biomedical or behavioral research, the entity must meet the eligibility criteria of one of the two categories listed below–
- 1) Undergraduate-Focused Institutions
- The entity must be an accredited public or non-profit private school that grants baccalaureate degrees in biomedical sciences.
- At the time of prize competition submission, all the non-health professional components of the entity together have not received support from the NIH totaling more than $6 million per year (in both direct and F&A/indirect costs) in 4 of the last 7 fiscal years.
- A signed letter is required from the Provost or similar official with institution-wide responsibility verifying the eligibility of the applicant institution at the time of prize competition submission.
- 2) Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools
- The entity must be an accredited public or non-profit private school that grants baccalaureate or advanced degrees in health professions or advanced degrees in biomedical and behavioral sciences.
- At the time of the prize competition submission, the entity must not have received support from the NIH totaling more than $6 million per year (in both direct and F&A/indirect costs) in 4 of the last 7 fiscal years.
- A signed letter is required from the Provost or similar official with institution-wide responsibility verifying the eligibility of the institution at the time of prize competition submission.
- Only one submission per institution is permitted.
- Federal grantees may not use federal funds from a grant award to develop their prize competition submissions or to fund efforts in support of their prize competition submissions.
- Federal contractors may not use federal funds from a contract to develop their prize competition submissions or to fund efforts in support of their prize competition submissions.
- By participating in this prize competition, each entity agrees to assume any and all risks and waive claims against the Federal Government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from participation in this prize competition, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.
- Based on the subject matter of the prize competition, the type of work that it will possibly require, as well as an analysis of the likelihood of any claims for death, bodily injury, property damage, or loss potentially resulting from prize competition participation, no entity participating in the prize competition is required to obtain liability insurance or demonstrate financial responsibility in order to participate in this prize competition.
- By participating in this prize competition, each entity agrees to indemnify the Federal Government against third party claims for damages arising from, or related to, prize competition activities.
- An entity shall not be deemed ineligible because the entity used federal facilities or consulted with federal employees during the prize competition if the facilities and employees are made available to all entities participating in the prize competition on an equitable basis.
- By participating in this prize competition, each entity warrants that it is the sole author or owner of, or has the right to use, any copyrightable works included in the submission, that the works are wholly original with the entity (or is an improved version of an existing work that the entity has sufficient rights to use and improve), and that the submission does not infringe upon any copyright or any other rights of any third party of which the entity is aware. In addition, by participating in this prize competition, each entity grants to the NIH an irrevocable, paid-up, royalty-free, nonexclusive worldwide license to reproduce, publish, post, link to, share, and display publicly (e.g., on websites) the submission and its contents on the web or elsewhere. Each entity will retain all other intellectual property rights in their submissions, as applicable. To participate in the prize competition, each entity must warrant that there are no legal obstacles to providing the above-referenced nonexclusive license of entity’s rights to the Federal Government. To receive an award, the entity will not be required to transfer their intellectual property rights to NIH, but the entity must grant to the federal government the nonexclusive license recited herein.
- Each entity agrees to follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and policies.
- Each entity participating in this prize competition must comply with all terms and conditions of these rules, and participation in this prize competition constitutes each participant’s full and unconditional agreement to abide by these rules. Winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements herein.
Basis Upon Which a Winner Will Be Selected
A panel of federal employees serving as judges will review the prize competition submissions based on the following criteria:
- Extent to which there is qualitative and quantitative, measurable data prior to, during, and/ or post intervention(s) that can be used to evaluate the success of the intervention(s) (20% of overall score)
- Extent to which there is demonstrated evidence of implementation of intervention(s) at the institution or department level (10% of overall score)
- Extent to which intervention(s) had impact on enhancing gender diversity of faculty after implementation (15% of overall score)
- Extent to which there is evidence of dissemination of knowledge for enhancing gender diversity and reducing potential sources of gender-based inequities within the institution (10% of overall score)
- Extent to which the intervention(s) has had an enhanced impact on the climate and inclusivity at the institution or departmental level (10% of overall score)
- Extent to which the intervention(s) led to increased, measurable markers of career advancement of diverse faculty compared to pre-intervention (10% of overall score)
- Extent to which each intervention(s) has been generalizable to external institutions and/or disseminated broadly. (10% of overall score)
- Extent to which effective efforts to enhance diversity at the applicant institution have become systemic and sustained. (15% of overall score)
Low- or Limited-Resourced Institutions: Recognizing that disparities exist amongst institutions, in order to ensure fairness of judging, judges will evaluate entries in two pools. Entries from research intensive institutions will be judged against each other. Separately, entries from “low- or limited-resourced institutions” (see definition above) will be judged against each other.
How To Enter
Registration Process for Participants
Submission requirements and the online submission platform will be available closer to the Submission Start Date above.
All applications must be in English and be submitted by the deadline, using the online submission platform (not yet available). Submissions should be no more than 10 pages (not including supporting data tables). Detailed instructions on submission requirements, format, and submission process are pending.
The submission should include the following:
- Provide a detailed overview of past issue(s) that the institution encountered with gender diversity prior to initiation of the intervention(s).
- Provide data on state of faculty gender diversity prior to the implementation of the listed intervention(s).This would include aggregate institutional data on biomedical and behavioral science department faculty; gender; race/ethnicity; faculty rank; non-tenure eligible, tenure eligible, tenured; job satisfaction; startup packages, and any other relevant data. This can also include demographic changes of students and postdoctoral fellows by department.
- Describe the specific intervention(s) that the institution utilized to impact gender diversity. This should include a description of the environment in which the intervention was implemented, the resources and staff (including staff type) needed to implement. E.g. the student to faculty ratio, etc.
- Describe the effect of the intervention(s). Provide data on post intervention outcomes. Include additional reports and data sources that reviewers can use to affirm impact of outcome(s) from intervention(s). This could include feedback from current and/or former faculty who have participated in, been impacted by, the intervention.
- Describe how the intervention(s) had an impact on climate and/or culture in the institution and/or department.
- Describe how the intervention(s) led to increased, measurable markers of career advancement for diverse faculty as compared to pre-intervention.
- Report on efforts to disseminate the approach(es) and outcome(s) of the intervention(s) within and external to the institution (publications, workshops, meetings, trainings, etc.). If applicable/known, include information about uptake by other institution(s).
- Provide information on ongoing and future efforts to enhance diversity at your institution, particularly with regard to biomedical, biobehavioral, and/or clinical areas.
- For eligibility as a “low- or limited-resourced institutions,” a signed letter is required from the Provost or similar official with institution-wide responsibility verifying the eligibility of the applicant institution at the time of prize submission.