Anti-Racism Resources for the Biomedical Research Training Community

“Each person is shaped by their family, their community, and ultimately society. To understand each other and have the maximal impact on achieving equity and justice, we must understand our society.”

— Dr. Keith Norris, M.D., Ph.D.
     Principal Investigator of the CEC, Executive Vice Chair of the UCLA Department of Medicine for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The Diversity Program Consortium is a trans-NIH program that aims to engage a more diverse field of individuals in biomedical research careers. The impetus for this initiative traces back to a 2011 NIH-commissioned study that identified gaps in NIH funding success rates for Black researchers specifically.1 The study found that Black Ph.D. scientists’ chance of being awarded NIH funding was 10 percentage points lower than of White scientists—even after accounting for the applicant’s educational background, country of origin, training, previous research awards, publication record, and employer characteristics. Another study followed in 2019 finding topic choice—a previously unstudied aspect of the review process—as a key contributor for this funding disparity.2 Black scientists tended to propose research at the community and population level, exploring topics such as health disparities. These topic areas received poorer scores from application reviewers, whereas more fundamental and mechanistic investigations received higher award rates. After controlling for the applicant's prior achievements and multiple other variables, the study found that topic choice alone accounts for over 20 percent of the gap in award funding.

As we continue our work to support diversity in biomedical research, it is important to remember that the 2011 study uncovered a significant disparity in funding for Black and African American scientists. The biomedical research community has an opportunity to center Black scientists, researchers, and students, so that efforts for diversity are equitable. By elevating Black students, faculty, and institutions, we elevate all students, faculty, and institutions. As officials from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences stated in a recent NIGMS Feedback Loop blog post:3

“Our commitment to a diverse workforce can’t be realized until our Black students, postdocs, and colleagues have the same opportunities to enter and advance within the biomedical research community as anyone else.”

Efforts to increase equity and diversity in biomedical science must be informed by anti-racism. Anti-racism recognizes that racism is systemic/institutional, interpersonal and internalized,4 and that combatting racism involves functions such as reducing the incidence of racist practices, fostering a non-racist culture, supporting the victims of racism, empowering racialized subjects, and transforming racist relations into better relations.

The following are anti-racist resources compiled for the DPC community and others who work towards inclusive excellence in the biomedical sciences. This page will be maintained and updated by the Coordination & Evaluation Center. Suggestions are welcome, please email


4 Berman, G., & Paradies, Y. (2010). Racism, disadvantage and multiculturalism: Towards effective anti-racist praxis. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 33(2), 214-232. doi:10.1080/01419870802302272
Hage, G. (2016). Recalling anti-racism. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 39(1), 123-133. doi:10.1080/01419870.2016.1096412

Recap of DPC Annual Conference Webinar:
Infusing Equity-Mindedness in the Biomedical Sciences: Strategies & Implications for STEM Educators.

frank_harris_webinar The CEC hosted an informative and timely webinar in lieu of the in-person Annual Grantees Conference cancelled due to COVID-19. The webinar was led by Dr. J. Luke Wood and Dr. Frank Harris III, nationally-renown experts in racial (in)equity and anti-racist strategies in education, who are the founders of the Center for Organizational Responsibility and Advancement. Their talk provided an overview of pressures facing underserved students and equity-minded practices for teaching students in a virtual setting. The webinar recording is available to DPC community members via the DPC Intranet. For more information, please contact

Webinar recording (requires login)

frank_harris_webinarJ. Luke Wood, Ph.D. is a Distinguished Professor of Education and the Vice President of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity at San Diego State University. Dr. Wood is also the Co-Director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL) a national research and practice center that has data collection and training partnerships with over 150 schools, colleges, and universities across the nation.  Wood’s research focuses on factors affecting the success of boys and men of color education and has authored over 140 publications, including nearly 70 peer-reviewed journal articles.  His forthcoming book, Black Minds Matter: Black Minds Pedagogy as a Tool for Civil Resistance, will be released this fall.  During the Obama administration, his research was featured through the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans and the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.

Dr. Wood is a former recipient of the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from which he served as research fellow at the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research (SIHER) at Stanford University. Wood received his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies with an emphasis in Higher Education and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education from Arizona State University (ASU). He also holds a master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership in Student Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in Black History and Politics from California State University, Sacramento (CSUS).

frank_harris_webinarFrank Harris III, Ed.D. is a Professor of Postsecondary Education and Co-Director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL) at San Diego State University. He is best known for his expertise in racial [in]equity in postsecondary education and has made important contributions to knowledge about college student development and the social construction of gender and race in college contexts. His work prioritizes populations that have been historically underrepresented and underserved in education and has been published in leading journals for higher education and student affairs research and practice. He has delivered more than 1,000 academic and professional presentations throughout his career. Before joining the faculty at San Diego State, Harris worked as a student affairs educator and college administrator in the areas of student affairs administration, student crisis support and advocacy, new student orientation programs, multicultural student affairs, academic advising, and enrollment services.

Dr. Harris earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies at Loyola Marymount University, a master’s degree in speech communication at California State University Northridge, and a doctorate in higher education from the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California.

Anti-Racism – Talking about Race, Racism & Anti-Racism
Academic Literature and Scholarship regarding Racism and Anti-Racism in the Biomedical Sciences

Disclaimer: NIGMS does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or services. Some documents on this site may provide links to other Internet sites only for the convenience of World Wide Web users. NIGMS is not responsible for the availability or content of these external sites, nor does NIGMS endorse, warrant, or guarantee the products, services, or information described or offered at these other Internet sites.

The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.
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