Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation

Enhancing and maintaining

cultures of inclusive excellence

The FIRST Cohort award recipients proposed a range of approaches to hire and support diverse faculty, including multi-level mentoring, sponsorship, and professional development.

The NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Program aims to transform culture at NIH-funded extramural institutions by implementing a cohort faculty recruitment model and by building a self-reinforcing community of scientists committed to diversity and inclusive excellence (IE). Implementing and sustaining cultures of inclusive excellence within the program has the potential to be transformational for biomedical research at the awardee institutions and beyond. This community will be built through recruitment of a diverse group of early-career faculty who are competitive for an advertised research tenure-track or equivalent faculty position and who have demonstrated strong commitment to promoting diversity and inclusive excellence.

The validated C-Change Faculty Survey is being used to assess institutional culture at all FIRST Program awardee sites

Morehouse School of Medicine

Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC) Institution

Similar to the grants awarded to the FIRST Cohort institutions, funding for the FIRST CEC institution is provided by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund. Morehouse School of Medicine is honored to have been selected as the FIRST CEC institution. As the FIRST CEC, Morehouse School of Medicine collaborates with FIRST Cohort institutions to identify and harmonize a set of common data elements to be used by each institution to facilitate an objective evaluation of the FIRST program goals.

Cornell University

Cornell has developed a search process that will power our Hiring Initiative and lead to 10 hires in 3 clusters: quantitative biomedical sciences (including biomedical engineering, systems biology, epidemiology, and quantitative modeling), infection biology (including immunology, bacteriology, and public health) and health equity (including behavioral science, public health, and health communication).

Drexel University

Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health and Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions

Our program supports the career advancement of 12 early-career faculty focused on understanding and eliminating health disparities in cross-cutting thematic areas or clusters: aging, chronic disease, and/or environmental determinants. As a culture of inclusive excellence is fundamental to rigorous science and effective action, we seek to create and sustain institutional practices/policies that promote diversity and inclusion across Drexel University.

University of Michigan

The mission of the Michigan Program for Advancing Cultural Transformation (M-PACT) is to promote greater inclusive excellence in the biomedical and health sciences at the University of Michigan and beyond by hiring and supporting 30 new tenure-track assistant professors with a demonstrated commitment and expertise in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) via their research, teaching, and/or service activities.

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School / The University of Texas at Dallas

The UTSW-UTD FIRST will jointly recruit a cohort of exceptional junior faculty from broad backgrounds. The FIRST Scholars will, with intentional effort by both institutions, catalyze inclusive excellence and vitality at all levels.

We are the only FIRST institutions to incorporate both a large academic medical center with a Carnegie R1 research university. We are in a unique position to deliver a bench-to-bedside–and-back translational science approach. Our FIRST program will foster interdisciplinary collaborations among Scholars in Biomedical Engineering, Brain Science, and Cancer, which are areas of growth and have high potential for interdisciplinary collaborations that will benefit the Scholars.

Vanderbilt University

In a series of cluster hires, Vanderbilt FIRST will recruit 18-20 tenure-track, early-career scientific faculty with a commitment to inclusive excellence. Vanderbilt FIRST will implement bold, progressive, and equity-focused policies that enhance diverse faculty hiring, retention, promotion, and tenure, and employ strategies to cultivate inclusivity, cohesion, and belonging.

The University of Texas at El Paso

The UTEP FIRST (United Toward Equity and Progress: Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation) project focuses on maintaining inclusive environments to support early-career faculty across the university. This institutional-supported program will provide a framework to significantly impact health disparities, including a FIRST cohort of six faculty hires, by directing the training of students who will be the next-generation researchers.

Florida State University

The mission of the FLORIDA FIRST Health Science Brigade (aka The FLORIDA FIRST Brigade) is to transform institutional culture at Florida State University to generate a self-sustaining scientific community dedicated to inclusive excellence. The program recruits new tenure-track assistant professors from diverse backgrounds using a cohort-based model and invests in the development, mentorship, advancement, and retention of new faculty in two broad domains of research excellence: (1) chronic disease prevention and management; and (2) mental health.

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

The NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Cohort Cluster Hiring Initiative is a transformative undertaking at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to promote and sustain an academic culture of inclusive excellence by recruiting, hiring, and advancing 12 dynamic, promising early-stage investigators in the biomedical sciences, particularly those who are underrepresented in science and medicine (URiSM), who are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.

Northwestern University

The Northwestern University Recruitment to Transform Under-Representation and achieve Equity (NURTURE) Program seeks to accelerate institutional culture change toward inclusive excellence through innovative institutional initiatives in hiring, mentoring, promotion and tenure, evaluation, and institutional accountability to ensure that all faculty can thrive. NURTURE aims to hire early career faculty in these “Cells to Communities” research areas: Cancer, Cardiovascular and Brain, Mind and Behavior.

San Diego State University

SDSU FUERTE (Faculty Unified towards Excellence in Research and Transformational Engagement) will increase scientific workforce diversity through hiring nine ethnically diverse early-stage research faculty with commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in science. Expertise of new faculty (Fall 2022) includes one of three FUERTE research foci: Cancer research; Environmental Health, and Obesity/Physical Activity/Nutrition. FUERTE provides comprehensive faculty development programming and team-mentorship to support faculty thriving and research independence.

University of Alabama at Birmingham and Tuskegee University

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) / Tuskegee University (TU) FIRST Partnership was established to create systemic and sustainable culture change to further support inclusive excellence in research at both institutions. Both institutions are committed to building a self-reinforcing community of scientists committed to inclusive excellence.

University of California, San Diego

The UC San Diego FIRST Program will enhance institutional transformation and inclusive excellence by hiring 12 tenure-track assistant professors in 4 cluster areas: Cancer, Cardiovascular Sciences, Immunology/Infectious Diseases, and Neurosciences. The FIRST cohort will receive strong mentorship in research and career development, academic promotion guidance, integration into the university, and access to networks of colleagues and communities of diverse scholars.

University of Maryland School of Medicine / University of Maryland Baltimore County

The University of Maryland FIRST program is a partnership between the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Our overarching goal is to create a comprehensive model dedicated to ensuring a diverse, scholarly environment and encouraging outstanding individuals to enter the academic profession through a commitment to inclusive excellence.

University of New Mexico

The primary goals of the University of New Mexico (UNM) FIRST program are to recruit, promote, and retain a diverse cohort of biomedical faculty (this includes obtaining NIHR01s or equivalent funding) and to systemically transform UNM institutional culture toward inclusive excellence. This includes providing ongoing support for UNM faculty, chairs, and UNM leadership to implement innovative campus-wide policies and processes to increase hiring, promotion, and retention of female and diverse faculty.

University of South Carolina

USC’s FIRST program is designed to recruit diverse early-stage faculty who are committed to inclusive excellence and whose work focuses on health disparities and equity. The program will provide support for these individuals through mentorship, training, and professional development activities tailored to meet their needs. The program will also address institutional-level systems and barriers to ensure their success and well-being.

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