Recruitment & Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity (IRFN)

We are particularly aware of the importance of attracting candidates from underrepresented groups into research, and the HNRC has a standing committee devoted to this issue (Underrepresented Scientists Outreach Committee, organized by Dr. Cherner who is herself Hispanic). Historically 23% of trainees that the HNRP have attracted have been from underrepresented ethnic groups, and 54% have been women. Since we will be taking candidates who have already been successfully accepted into existing training programs, we will
necessarily have to rely on the diversity efforts of those programs. From discussions with the training directors, most programs have diversity recruitment and retention efforts in place. UCSD also has a dedicated Vice Chancellor for Diversity (who is also a faculty member in the School of Medicine) who is actively leading campus-wide diversity efforts.

Underrepresented ethnic/racial minorities (URM): Current figures indicate that 13% of MDs and 9.6% PhDs in UCSD School of Medicine training programs belong to URM groups as defined by NIH, with an additional 29 and 26% respectively representing other ethnically diverse groups.

Disabled persons and those from socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds: At present, UCSD does not have figures for these groups at the postdoctoral level, but numbers of such trainees are understood to be low.

We plan to continue work closely with the individual training directors in order to attract qualified candidates from underrepresented groups. Indeed, because our experience at the HNRP has been that individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups are often attracted to HIV/AIDS research, we hope that the availability of the IRFN opportunity might enhance recruitment of such candidates. On our website, we will have statements explicitly encouraging applications from all underrepresented groups. We hope that by creating a visible, accessible, and well-organized training program, the IRFN will be perceived as an attractive option for trainees from diverse backgrounds who show promise for a successful research career.


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