The Office of Training and Diversity (OTD) serves the Division of Intramural Research (DIR) trainees in Maryland and Montana at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML), including Postdoctoral, Visiting and Clinical Fellows;Medical Students;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, and an ORI staff on Detail to the OTD. OTD continued to manage four annual programs: NIAID's Annual Fellows Retreat;Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities (INRO);the OTD Sponsorship Program;and the Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research. An exciting initiative continued for a third year, the Fellows Advisory Committee comprised of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. At monthly meetings, the members make recommendations regarding enhancing the learning environment in DIR, explore new programs to support the trainees'career development, and discuss issues related to the DIR experience. This committee plans the annual fellows retreat, determining the theme, format, and agenda;inviting speakers;hosting attendees at the retreat;and reviewing the program evaluations. The process is concluded with recommendations for the following year. The Sixth Annual Fellows Retreat was held on the Bethesda campus. The theme was NIAIDs Global Health Research. Ambassador Mark R. Dybul, former U.S. global AIDS coordinator under the George W. Bush Administration and co-director at Georgetowns ONeill Institute for National and Global Health Law, gave the keynote address. The retreat featured panel discussions about the various facets of implementing and running global health research programs. More than biological in nature, global health problems are influenced by cultural, economic, and political forces, and this was stated in a variety of ways throughout the program. The day ended with a review of NIAIDs broad-reaching international research and an introduction to NIAIDs Office of Global Research by its senior international scientific advisor Dr. Karl Western. Western explained the offices pivotal role in establishing diplomatic relationships with several counties, and supporting and expanding the Institutes international activities. 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 at the fellows retreat. 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. The 2012 award was bestowed on Dr. Kim Y. Green, chief, Caliciviruses Section, Laboratory of Infectious Diseases (LID). In addition to her mentoring contributions, Dr. Green actively pursues opportunities toward advancing women in science. She is the NIAID representative for the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers and during the previous year was on the committee to organize a workshop honoring the Institutes women scientists. Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities (INRO) is NIAID's centerpiece for outreach to populations underrepresented in biomedical research. Following a nationwide search, 20 talented students were selected from 151 applications, to attend the annual 4-day program of scientific lectures, interviews with potential mentors and lab tours. The visiting students also interacted informally with researchers and current trainees. Eleven 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 2012 was the tenth year of the program, and was notable for the percentage of students who accepted training positions. By the end of the fiscal year, fifty percent of the INRO participants had returned to NIAID for training as a postdoc, postbac or summer intern. Since INRO was started in 2003, over 200 outstanding students have participated in the program. To assist strong applicants who were not selected for INRO2012 in finding training positions, the """"""""Share-the-Wealth Program"""""""" created two years ago, was expanded. For those applicants who had given permission, their applications were shared with Training Directors in other NIH institutes. The Marketing Database, a resource developed by OTD, was revised and expanded. With nearly 10,000 entries, this is a valuable recruitment tool for DIR's training 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 Rocky Mountain Fellows Organization sponsored several seminars for the postdocs at RML. The 2012 Summer Internship Program was 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. For the twelfth consecutive year, under the leadership of Elizabeth Fischer and Anita Mora, RML scientists teamed with local Montana middle schools to present an Introduction to Research program for seventh and eighth grade students. The objectives are to broaden the student definition of a scientist by providing diverse role models with varying interests and skills;and to encourage interests in becoming scientifically literate citizens whether they choose a career in traditional sciences or in fields ranging from politics, to journalism, to business. Many RML scientists volunteered their time and shared their research experience with participating students. To date the BRASS program has involved 300+ volunteers and reached more 700 Montana students. Many past BRASS participants have gone on to pursue careers in science because of their experience in this program. New programs were developed and offered to the DIR postdocs. One initiative focused on grant-writing, with one seminar structured for incoming postdocs, and one for postdocs planning to submit a K22 grant in the near future. A career development seminar series was offered, featuring NIAID alumnae who had recently transitioned to a variety of career positions. The Infectious Diseases Summer Seminar Series was developed to give postdocs teaching experiences with a more general audience, in this case, the NIAID summer interns. 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. This program was fully subscribed in 2012, with 28 trainees receiving stipends and health insurance. Eleven former trainees hold positions within NIH and FDA. To foster a network of current and former trainees, a LinkedIn group was created by Wendy J. Fibison, adding a digital approach to providing former trainees information about NIAID opportunities and resources, and to enlist them as ambassadors for OTD programmatic outreach. 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