The Office of Training and Diversity (OTD) serves the Division of Intramural Research (DIR) trainees in all programs, including the Postdoctoral, Visiting and Clinical Fellows;Postbaccalaureates;graduate students;and students participating in the Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research. Outreach and recruitment are also key endeavors, with the goal of recruiting outstanding, competitive candidates for DIR training positions. OTD programmatic offerings were expanded again this year. The NIAID Outstanding Mentor Award was developed to recognize the many mentors at NIAID who are dedicated to sharing knowledge, inspiring, and instilling confidence in fellows. A committee of fellows, working with Wendy J. Fibison, Associate Director, OTD, developed the nomination form, determined the evaluation criteria, and followed a blind selection process to identify the winning nominee among a large pool of strong nominations. Patricia A. Rosa of NIAID's Laboratory of Zoonotic Pathogens was the recipient of the Institute's inaugural Outstanding Mentor Award. To further assist senior postdoctoral fellows in finding employment at the end of their fellowship, OTD subscribed to Bio Career Center, a consortium of leading life sciences institutions delivering expanded career options for PhDs and MDs. OTD also offered its first Webinar which included an Introduction to the OTD and Training Programs by Wendy J. Fibison, a scientific presentation by Thomas G. Schwan, titled """"""""Tick-borne Relapsing Fever in North America and Africa"""""""", and a discussion of the NIAID postdoctoral experience by Steevenson Nelson. Email invitations were sent to over 1500 students and faculty who had expressed interest in NIAID's research. Those who attended the Webinar had many questions, which were typed into the session and answered by Dr. Schwan. It was a exciting new approach to interest potential trainees in NIAID's intramural research program. Another new initiative was the participation of OTD in the Rural Alaska Honors Institute, a six-week program held at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for selected high school students from isolated Alaskan communities. Wendy J. Fibison collaborated with the Director and gave a presentation on careers in science and NIH training programs via teleconferencing to the high school students. OTD continued to manage three annual programs: NIAID's Annual Fellows Retreat;Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities (INRO);and the Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research. The Third Annual Fellows Retreat was held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. This was the second time the retreat was held off campus. The retreat was planned by the NIAID Fellows Retreat Committee, which included representatives from most of the labs in Maryland and Montana, with the OTD serving in the advisory capacity. The theme of the retreat was """"""""Communicating Science in the 21st Century"""""""". Ira Flatow, host of Talk of the Nation: Science Friday on NPR, delivered the keynote address. Flatow noted that as print, radio, and television media are closing down their science divisions, it is more important than ever to communicate science effectively. """"""""What you know is important,"""""""" he told the fellows. """"""""Learn how to communicate it."""""""" The day's theme reinforced this notion and provided NIAID's fellows with the tools to enhance their communication skills. A morning session included panelists from four different arenas - academics, Congress, science policy, and industry - who talked about how they use communication to effectively convey science that is understandable. Midday seminars included concrete career development strategies for fellows. The retreat closed with a presentation on the importance of excellent mentoring by Michael M. Gottesman, Deputy Director for Intramural Research, and the presentation of NIAID's inaugural Outstanding Mentor Award. Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities (INRO) is NIAID's centerpiece for outreach to populations underrepresented in biomedical research. Following a nationwide search, 23 talented students were selected from a record number of applications (203), to attend the annual 4-day program of scientific lectures, lab tours and interviews for potential training positions. The visiting students also interacted informally with researchers and current trainees. Several former trainees returned to attend INRO and their input was valuable to INRO students and current trainees alike. INRO 2009 was the seventh year of the program, and was notable for the percentage of students who accepted training positions. By the end of the fiscal year, over fifty percent of the INRO participants had returned to NIAID for training as a postdoc, postbac or summer intern. The NIH Record published an article about INRO 2009. To date, 148 outstanding students have participated in INRO. The 2009 Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research was again fully subscribed, with students coming from around the country to work in DIR labs for 8 to 12 weeks. Nearly one-half of the interns presented their research at the annual NIH Summer Intern Poster Day. Several ongoing OTD projects which support the Institute's diversity mission were continued this year: the Sponsorship Program;the Brown Bag Lunch Series;and the Tracking Project. Competitive trainees from populations underrepresented in biomedical research were again sponsored by OTD, which included stipend, health insurance and one FAES course. This program was fully subscribed in 2009, with 25 trainees being sponsored as postdocs or postbacs. Ten former trainees have taken positions within NIH and the FDA, and continue to contribute to the program. The Brown Bag Lunch Series was held monthly, and provided the sponsored trainees an opportunity to discuss scientific issues informally with guest mentors and to network. The Tracking Project keeps in touch with former trainees as they move to their next educational or employment positions. Tracking the career paths of DIR's minority trainees permits the evaluation of NIAID's success in creating a more diverse biomedical research workforce. It also allows OTD to provide former trainees information about NIAID opportunities and resources, and to enlist them as ambassadors for OTD programmatic outreach. As a result of tracking OTDs large cadre of former trainees still in the research pipeline, NIAID is well positioned to meet its diversity goals in the near future by recruiting these young researchers back to the Institute as research positions become available.

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