Project Details


nclusive scientific environments and a diverse biomedical research workforce are essential drivers of NIH’s mission of discovery and innovation to improve human health for all. Unfortunately, the vast majority of NIH-funded academic institutions in the US have failed to achieve true inclusivity, so that women, racial/ethnic minorities, and other underrepresented groups (URGs) face formidable barriers to advancing to full tenured professorship. Transformational initiatives are clearly needed at the nation’s top academic institutions. Thus, we propose the Northwestern University Recruitment to Transform Under-Representation and achieve Equity (NURTURE) Program, which will employ a faculty cohort model to enhance the diversity of tenure-track biomedical faculty and create a culture of inclusive excellence. Centered in the world class research environment of Northwestern University (NU), NURTURE aims to disrupt systemic barriers that impede full participation of women and URG biomedical researchers as faculty by investing in inclusive cultural change at NU. NURTURE builds on the collective strength, expertise, and experience of NU institutional leaders and program investigators. It proposes new policies toward inclusive excellence such as transforming “business as usual” siloed fiefdom structures to transdisciplinary scientific neighborhoods that will foster growth and accomplishment in the research, career, and personal trajectories of faculty. This transformation will rely on innovative approaches to faculty development that combat isolation and promote thriving for URG and women faculty. The NURTURE program is supported by an Administrative Core, a Faculty Development Core, and an Evaluation Core that will work together to ensure the successful completion of program goals. NURTURE has a high likelihood of success, as demonstrated by: 1) a diverse MPI and senior leadership team with a longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, community building, and faculty career development; 2) substantial institutional support, including 14 new faculty hires; and 3) team science-driven partnerships that share a vision of transformative institutional change to promote a culture of scientific excellence and inclusion, while ensuring that each member can also achieve the individual goals required for professional development and promotion. This will be accomplished by completing the following four specific aims over 5 years: Aim 1―Realize sustainable institutional culture change at NU to create a nurturing diverse and inclusive biomedical research community that fosters sustained excellence; Aim 2―Recruit and hire 14 new URG and women tenure-track faculty who embrace scientific and inclusiveness excellence, forming a 3-cluster NURTURE Cohort in the transdisciplinary scientific neighborhoods of: (1) Brain, Mind, and Behavior; (2) Cancer; and (3) Cardiovascular under the shared theme Cells to Community; Aim 3―Develop and implement innovative programs to foster successful faculty development, retention, progression, and promotion of members of the NURTURE Cohort; Aim 4―Evaluate the outcomes of NURTURE and adapt our approach as needed to ensure the success of the cohort.
Effective start/end date9/9/228/31/27


  • National Cancer Institute (5U54CA272163-02)


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