Project Details


SUMMARY The barriers to research and career success for underrepresented groups in academic medicine have been widely documented—an inhospitable climate, discriminatory policies, lower financial compensation, lack of leadership opportunities, a sense of marginalization, and racism, among others. Strategies to eliminate these barriers have been largely unsuccessful as evidenced by the persistent “representation gap.” Research suggests that while strategies focused on individuals are useful, an integrated approach will be necessary to effect systemic change. Efforts toward inclusive excellence are underway at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) with such transformative initiatives as the Mount Sinai Health System (MSHS) Task Force to Address Racism; a novel recruitment program to attract junior and senior Black/AA and Latinx faculty (The Biomedical Laureates Program); creation of the Office for Gender Equity; establishment of the Institute for Health Equity Research; and launch of The Center for Scientific Diversity. The purpose of the proposed FIRST Cohort program is to accelerate inclusive excellence at our institution and, by extension, contribute to accelerating inclusive excellence more broadly in the national biomedical research enterprise. Building on current initiatives, our goals are to (1) foster sustainable culture/climate change; (2) promote inclusive excellence by hiring a diverse cohort of new early-career faculty; and (3) support faculty development, mentoring, sponsorship, and promotion. Our primary outcome is for FIRST Cohort faculty hires to secure an NIH R-award by the conclusion of the grant period. We will pursue three related aims. First, we will modify the MSHS Task Force To Address Racism Roadmap for Change with key strategies as the basis for an ISMMS Roadmap for Inclusive Excellence to include (1) development of a process to collect accurate, comprehensive demographic faculty data and to make this data accessible; (2) engagement of the faculty in regular climate surveys and the sharing of results with faculty and institutional leaders; (3) departmental/Institute level review of advancement & promotion practices, policies, and processes; among other key strategies. Second, we will recruit a diverse Cohort comprised of 4 clusters of 3 faculty per cluster to be embedded within our interdisciplinary Institutes. We will develop a new recruitment protocol to ensure fairness and equity in the hiring process, require bias reduction training for search committee members, and establish standardized interview processes. Next, we will provide an integrated program of faculty development to include both career advancement and professional development activities (e.g., individual development plans, mentor/sponsor committees, Grants-in-Progress workshops, individual coaching around such issues as work-life integration, peer mentoring, etc.) Cluster Sponsors will lead the way in identifying opportunities for formal and informal networking across the ISMMS and in the larger scientific community. With the support of an institutional investment, all FIRST Cohort faculty will be retained at the conclusion of the award period. We will conduct a rigorous evaluation of the program and collaborate closely with NIH CEC as required.
Effective start/end date24/09/2131/08/23


  • National Cancer Institute: $499,287.00
  • National Cancer Institute: $5,499,277.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.