The Office of Training and Diversity (OTD) serves the Division of Intramural Research (DIR) trainees in Maryland and Montana labs at all levels, including Postdoctoral, Visiting and Clinical Fellows;Postbaccalaureates;Graduate Students;and Summer Interns. Outreach and recruitment are also key endeavors, with the goal of recruiting outstanding, competitive candidates for DIR training positions. Wendy J. Fibison, Ph.D., is the Associate Director, and the office has a staff of four. An exciting new initiative this year was the creation of the Advisory Committee to the Associate Director, OTD, which is comprised of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. At the monthly meetings, the members make recommendations regarding enhancing the learning environment in DIR, explore new programs to support the trainees'career development, discuss issues related to the DIR experience, and identify resources. This committee also plans the annual retreat which includes determining the retreat theme, format, and agenda;inviting speakers, and hosting attendees at the retreat. OTD programmatic offerings were expanded again this year. In response to requests from fellows, special seminars were given by experts on the following topics: """"""""Applying for an Academic Position"""""""";""""""""Work-Life Balance"""""""";""""""""Managing Relationships in the Workplace"""""""";and """"""""Generational Diversity"""""""". The NIAID Outstanding Mentor Award, developed in 2009 to recognize the many mentors at NIAID who are dedicated to sharing knowledge, inspiring, and instilling confidence in fellows, was awarded again this year. A committee of fellows, working with Wendy J. Fibison, followed a blind selection process to identify the winning nominee among a large pool of strong nominations. Philip M. Murphy, M.D., Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, was the recipient of the Institute's second 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 second Webinar which included an Introduction to the OTD and Training Programs by Wendy J. Fibison, a scientific presentation by Jesus G. Valenzuela, titled """"""""Insects: The Unspoken Hero of Vaccine Development"""""""" and a discussion of the NIAID graduate student experience by Mariel Figueroa. Email invitations were sent to nearly 2000 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 the presenters. It was a exciting new approach to interest potential trainees in NIAID's intramural research program. OTD again participated 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 science careers;basic, translational and clinical research;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 Fourth Annual Fellows Retreat was held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The retreat was planned by the NIAID Fellows Retreat Committee, which included representatives from Maryland and Montana labs, with the OTD serving in the advisory capacity. Anthony S. Fauci, Director, NIAID, delivered the keynote address titled: """"""""Biomedical Research and Public Service: Reflections on a Career at the National Institutes of Health"""""""". Breakout sessions included the topics: """"""""Making a Career Transition"""""""";""""""""Human Research: How To Plan and Start a Project on People"""""""";""""""""Grant Applications"""""""";and """"""""Making the Most of Your NIH Opportunities"""""""". Guest speakers participated in the popular Mentors Lunch. Plenary sessions included a presentation by Kelly L. Warfield, """"""""How Vaccine Research is Changing"""""""";and Sandra Crowe, """"""""Since Strangling Isn't an Option"""""""". The presentation of NIAID's Outstanding Mentor Award to Philip M. Murphy, and a reception concluded the retreat. Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities (INRO) is NIAID's centerpiece for outreach to populations underrepresented in biomedical research. Following a nationwide search, 26 talented students were selected from a record number of applications (191), 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. Twelve former trainees at a variety of career stages, returned to attend INRO and their input was valuable to the INRO visiting students, current trainees, and mentors alike. INRO 2010 was the eighth 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. To assist strong applicants who were not selected for INRO 2010 in finding training positions, the """"""""Share-the-Wealth Program"""""""" was created. For those applicants who had given permission, their applications were shared with Training Directors in other NIH institutes. Since INRO was started in 2003, 160 outstanding students have participated in the program. The Marketing Database, a resource developed by OTD, was revised and expanded in 2010. There are nearly 10,000 entries, making this a valuable resource for recruitment to DIR's training programs and scientific positions. It is used for the INRO program, as well as for promoting NIAID and NIH open positions, and to announce OTD's webinars and other special programs. The 2010 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 and health insurance. This program was fully subscribed in 2010, 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. To foster a network of current and former sponsored trainees and INRO students, a LinkedIn group was created by Wendy J. Fibison. This also gave OTD a digital approach to providing 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.

Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Zip Code