More on the NIH "Understanding Interventions" program to enhance diversity in science

A comment to a prior post on the NIH RFA requesting study of factors which may be hindering or assisting efforts to enhance diversity was trapped in the spam filter. It has a number of interesting links so I thought I'd better elevate it to a full post.

I was pleased to see the interest in our "Understanding Interventions" program. Note that this program has been in existence since 2003 (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-GM-03-011.html ), and the currently funded grants are listed at http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Minority/interventions_partinst.htm . Presentations made by some of these investigators to the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council are available (see http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Minority/LessonsInterventions.htm ) as are additional reports about progress to date (see http://www.understandinginterventions.org/ ).
This program has also served as a model for an NIH-wide program directed toward developing evidence for factors and programs that promote careers of women in biomedical and behavioral science and engineering (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-GM-09-012.html and https://loop.nigms.nih.gov/index.php/2009/06/17/getting-more-women-into-science/ ).
Jeremy Berg
Director, National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Following this link, I ran across this powerpoint file which I found fascinating. There are longitudinal workups of the numbers of women and the standard ethnic/racial minority categories across various educational stages, enrollment in different types of STEM programs, etc.
Odd bits:

  • Slide 5: High school completion rates by sex and racial/ethnic category
  • Slide 7: Why is trigonometry so low? Because it is wrapped into classes being categorized otherwise?
  • Slide 18: Women's representation in engineering is strongly dependent on subfield
  • Slide 20: Graduate enrollment has grown fastest 1995-2006 in biological sciences and computer sciences.
  • Slide 23: Women and minority share of degrees awarded declines as the degree becomes more advanced.
  • Slide 33: Women are ~45-50% of law, dental and medical degrees and about 78% of veterinary degrees.
  • Slide 50: Postdoctoral representation by discipline (ooo, wish this was broken down with more categories!)
  • Slide 56: Minority participation in job sectors (check engineering versus engineering managers)
  • Slide 58: Minorities more likely to work in government jobs (perceived or actual difference in career bias?, seems like a node to learn something important...)
  • Slide 59: Full professordom still the province of men

Okay, hopefully that piques your interest. (Forgot to identify some slides on the participation of foreign nationals, the H1B visa stats so if you are into that, there are data for you too).

5 responses so far

  • Wow, Jeremy commented on our BLOG!?!?!?
    I'M NOT WORTHY!!!!!

  • BTC says:

    The only factor hindering/assisting is the culture within the ethnic group. Somehow East Asians are not hindered by the "white dominance", but the subject of the Asian success (despite the undeniable racial difference and past discrimination) is carefully sidestepped as extremely politically incorrect.

  • yolio says:

    BTC, that is assessment is totally clueless.

  • BTC says:

    No, yolio. It just violates a taboo.

  • Rachel says:

    I would agree with your guess on slide 7 - my high school did not offer a separate "trigonometry" class. I believe we covered those topics in "pre-calculus" and perhaps a bit in geometry as well.

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