Research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogenous teams.1 Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, Research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogenous teams. Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. Benefits that flow from a diverse scientific workforce include fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global and national competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments for our students, improving research quality, advancing the likelihood that underserved populations participate in, and benefit from health research. For example, underrepresented minority (URM) patients are more likely to choose a URM physician and are more satisfied with their care when a URM physician leads it. In spite of advanced research, minority faculty still have inequitable access to information, professional development and research resources. The problem is not unique to UAMS, it is a societal problem across institutions and funding agencies. Grant award probability of African American principal investigators (PIs) still remains at 55% that of White PIs with similar academic achievement. A structured research-mentoring program could help strengthen the research acumen of minority faculty, provide a community of belonging and real support to ensure their success in becoming independent investigators.
The TRI-DDEI STARs Program
The TRI-DDEI STARs program aims to build a peer support community of URM faculty in Biomedical, Clinical, Behavioral and Social Sciences Research to support career development and research success. This will be done by:
- Establishing of a structured peer support group who engage in a 3-month program of grant training and development. This model addresses issues of isolation often felt by URM faculty in academic settings. It also provides and encourages the development of innovative research ideas in a safe environment. This peer support group can also help improve confidence and self-efficacy in clinical and translational research development and execution by under-represented faculty.
- Providing practical research skill development and grantsmanship.
- Offering access to research mentors and research support services, i.e. IRB protocol development, recruitment, etc.
- Supplying $10,000 in funding as a TRI DEI Equity, Diversity, and Grantsmanship Expertise (EDGE) research project.
- Eligible participants should have a terminal degree; must be full-time faculty at UAMS, UAMS-NW, ACH/ACRI, or CAVHS who hold non-temporary positions at the rank of Instructor, Assistant Professor, or Associate Professor; and must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
- Faculty must meet the NIH definition of under representation in Biomedical, Clinical, Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
If you would like more information or have questions, please contact Paul Duguid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRI and DDEI missions can be found at ddei.uams.edu and and https://tri.uams.edu, respectively.