The overall purpose of the NIH Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC) at UCLA is to provide operations and data coordination and support, and to conduct a longitudinal evaluation, in support of the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) and the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) programs (known collectively as the NIH Diversity Program Consortium). These new signature NIH initiatives are designed to promote diversity in the NIH-funded biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social sciences (collectively termed "biomedical") research workforce. The GEC will promote a collaborative environment across BUILD sites and NRMN network, and NIH, and will work closely with the NIH Diversity Program Consortium Executive Steering Committee (ESC) to ensure the successful achievement of all Consortium objectives. With more than 2,000 full-time and 1,000 affiliated faculty members, the David Geffen School of Medicine, complemented by world-class health, social, and life science programs in the Schools of Public Health, Public Affairs, Nursing, Dentistry, Graduate Education and Information Studies, Engineering and Applied Science, Letters and Science and others, is well-positioned to provide a supportive home for the CEC and a robust environment for the successful coordination and evaluation of Consortium biomedical pipeline and academic career development activities. The CEC will build on nationally recognized Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) training and evaluation programs at UCLA that integrate biomedical research training with pipeline-generated diversity such as the national Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA (including surveys of students and faculty across diverse learning environments), UCLA Undergraduate Research Center in Sciences, NIA-funded Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research Program and National Coordinating Center at UCLA, UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). The CEC brings over 25 years of successful NIH-funded project administration and evaluation for national research and research pipeline networks extending across diverse trainee populations in both research-intensive and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). The overall goals of the CEC are to establish the infrastructure required for the successful achievement of the BUILD and NRMN goals, promote a collaborative environment across the BUILD, NRMN arid the NIH, and provide high-quality evaluation of BUILD and NRMN activities.
The effective coordination and administration of the CEC is crucial to the success of the NIH efforts to enhance the diversity of the workforce as it is only through availability of timely and comprehensive information over the course of the initiative that the CEC will be able to provide BUILD, NRMN, and the NIH with feedback on progress in the various domains of the initiative and with the information needed for an iterative process of program adjustment to maximize the benefit of BUILD and NRMN activities to enhance research capacity and accelerate success in developing diversity in the biomedical workforce.