Fostering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness Within the Research Workforce [HRA Members Meeting, Virtual, Spring 2021]

The session will focus on racial disparities and opportunities to foster and support diversity, equity, and inclusiveness within the research workforce, specifically at the postdoc and early career faculty level. Candidates from underrepresented backgrounds may lack the social structures and networks to sustain career development in research, so the role of professional communities and mentorship relationships may be even more important. Can foundations work with academic institutions, federal funders, and other stakeholders to address this through recruitment, retention, mentorship, and networking strategies? What are the key parameters and metrics of success to consider?

Gerard Honig, PhD
Associate Director of Research Innovation | Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

Linda Sealy, PhD
Senior Advisor to the Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Linda Sealy, Senior Advisor to the Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, has been on the faculty of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at Vanderbilt University since 1986. She completed her Ph.D at the University of Iowa followed by postdoctoral research at UCSF where she was a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellow. She was also a Scholar of the Leukemia Society of America during her years as an early career faculty member. Her research interests include the relationship between cell signaling and transcription in the control of cancer cell growth.  Since 2007, Linda has served as Co-Director, then Director, of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD), an NIH-sponsored grant for the graduate training of underrepresented students. Under her leadership, the IMSD program has propelled Vanderbilt to the top echelon of institutions training underrepresented Ph.Ds. Her advocacy for holistic admission in graduate recruiting and eliminating the GRE requirement has been recognized nationally as a critical advance in expanding the pipeline of graduate students to include underrepresented groups. Linda has won numerous awards at Vanderbilt for her contributions to diversity in graduate education, including the Levi Watkins Jr. Faculty Award for Promoting Diversity and the inaugural Bishop Joseph A. Johnson Jr. Distinguished Leadership Professor Award.  In 2018 she received the AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award.  Linda is a proud member of the unconquered and unconquerable Chickasaw Nation.

Joy Jones, PhD
Chief Program Officer | National Medical Fellowships

Dr. Joy L. Jones joined National Medical Fellowships in 2012 as Program Director to launch the NMF Primary Care Leadership Program (PCLP), an innovative national service-learning program designed to build the pipeline of diverse primary care providers. In her current role as Chief Program Officer, she oversees the strategic direction, expansion, integration, implementation, supervision, and evaluation of NMF’s growing portfolio of Scholarships and Programs.

Dr. Jones has more than 17 years of experience providing technical assistance and institutional support for capacity development including proposal writing, program development and implementation, strategic planning, human capital development, and program monitoring and evaluation. She has been a consultant to public and private institutions in the US and internationally.

She holds a PhD in International Development, Tulane University Law School’s Payson Center for International Development; Master of Science in International Development, Tulane University; Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies and Public Policy, George Washington University.

Alison Gammie, PhD
Director, Division of Training, Workforce Development and Diversity | NIGMS, NIH

Alison Gammie, Ph.D., is director of the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity, which supports the National Institute of General Medical Sciences’ (NIGMS) research training, career development and diversity-building activities. Prior to coming to NIGMS, she was a Senior Lecturer at Princeton University, where, in addition to teaching, mentoring and running a research laboratory, she served as an academic advisor, an Associate Member at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and the Director of Diversity Programs & Graduate Recruiting. Honors include Princeton’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Graduate Mentoring Award and the American Society for Microbiology Hinton Award for advancing the research careers of under-represented minorities.