Women continue to be underrepresented at nearly every institution of higher education in the United States in the fields of biomedical, behavioral sciences, and engineering. This is particularly true among mid- to senior-level faculty ranks. NIH has taken steps to address this issue through the creation of the NIH Prize for Enhancing Faculty Gender Diversity in Biomedical and Behavioral Science.

The NIH Prize for Enhancing Faculty Gender Diversity in Biomedical and Behavioral Science recognizes institutions whose biomedical and behavioral science departments, centers, or divisions have achieved sustained improvement in gender diversity. 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 acknowledges and recognizes transformative approaches, systems, projects, programs, and processes that have successfully enhanced and sustained gender diversity within an institution. All prize past and future recipients and honorable mentions substantially contribute to systemic change aimed at addressing gender diversity and equity issues among faculty members within their institutions' biomedical and behavioral science departments.

2021 Prize Competition Forum Recap

ORWH hosted a forum titled "Effective Approaches to Fostering Faculty Gender Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Celebrating Progress," on October 5, 2021, from 12:00–5:00 p.m., to recognize the winning institutions and honorable mentions that were recently awarded the NIH Prize for Enhancing Faculty Gender Diversity in Biomedical and Behavioral Science. This event was in partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) STEMM Equity Achievement (SEA) Change initiative and in collaboration with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

The forum presented the winners' effective, evidence-based practices and featured four panels exploring challenges and discussing ways to improve the existing career paradigm for many women in biomedical and behavioral science. The practices and strategies presented at this forum will help foster supportive and inclusive environments at academic and research institutions in which women faculty members can further their careers and remove barriers to implementing transformative change. There were discussions about implementation of interventions, outcomes, lessons learned, and future goals.

Forum Panels

  • Vision for Institutional Change
    • Panelists explored how their institutions' vision for change is informed by a focus on advancing faculty gender diversity, equity, and inclusion. Panelists also discussed how their vision inspires and guides institutional change. Click here to view graphic notes of the panel discussion.
  • Training for Inclusive, Equity-Minded Environments
  • Reducing Barriers to Career Advancement
    • Panelists discussed institution or programmatic-level changes that reduce or remove barriers to the career advancement of women. Examples included changes to the policies and procedures for recruiting, hiring, promotion, and tenure. Click here to view graphic notes of the panel discussion.
  • Effective Tools for Assessing and Monitoring Outcomes

Speakers for the event included NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D.; Sudip Parikh, Ph.D., the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); and Shirley Malcom, Ph.D., the Senior Advisor to the CEO of AAAS and Director of the AAAS STEMM Equity Achievement Change program.