For NIH Staff

NIH is committed to:

1. Creating and maintaining a work environment that is free of racism, discrimination, harassment, and other inappropriate behaviors.

2. Identifying and removing any barriers that may perpetuate structural racism that exclude people of color from professional advancement and leadership opportunities at NIH.

These commitments apply to all NIH staff including employees, contractors, trainees, and volunteers.

The NIH Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) is responsible for developing and ensuring compliance with laws, regulations, and policies that support civil rights, equity, diversity, and inclusion. These policies articulate the rights and responsibilities of every manager, supervisor, and employee in support of these efforts. Learn more about NIH’s expectations of its workforce, actions being taken to address structural racism, and how to report discrimination on the EDI website.

The NIH Office of Human Resources (OHR) is responsible for ensuring a recruitment process that allows NIH to attract diverse talent and established the Corporate Recruitment Unit (CRU) in 2009 to execute coordinated outreach efforts toward that end. CRU partners with the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices, including EDI and the Scientific Workforce Diversity Office, to identify, plan, and execute outreach efforts that promote the NIH mission and the value of a diverse workforce necessary to achieve the NIH mission. OHR/CRU developed the Trans-NIH Recruitment Committee to learn best practices on recruitment efforts and initiatives across the NIH and offer collaboration on planning and participation in the recruitment of candidates that brings diverse viewpoints to the enterprise. Learn more about OHR’s diversity recruitment efforts.


“Failure to acknowledge, recognize, and correct past cruelties will always lead to repeated uncivil behavior.”

— Treava S. Hopkins-Laboy,
Former Acting Director, NIH Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


UNITE will lead the NIH-wide effort, working closely with EDI, to:

  • Define an inclusive culture
  • Promote positive behavior and growth opportunities
  • Make harassment and discrimination reporting and investigation safe and accessible
  • Enhance anti-racism training
  • Identify and dismantle any processes that perpetuate systemic racism
  • Enhance and implement recruitment strategies for diversity at all levels within the NIH community
  • Implement policy changes that promote anti-racism and identify and remove barriers to professional growth for underrepresented staff
  • Make diversity, equity, and inclusion a leadership priority across NIH

Concrete actions to achieve these goals include:

  • Appoint a diversity, equity, and inclusion officer in every NIH Institute and Center (IC) with direct access to the IC Director to track, advance, and coordinate IC-specific diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and actively participate in NIH-wide diversity efforts.
  • Require each NIH IC to create an anti-racism plan.
  • Systematically gather and make public data on the demographics of NIH’s workforce across all science, health/research, and infrastructure positions.
  • Implement approaches to support the expansion of the NIH Distinguished Scholars Program.
  • Establish an Anti-Racism Steering Committee and promote practices that create effective mentoring and enhance retention and promotion at all levels within the NIH community.
  • Promote existing recruitment tools and other best practices for recruiting a diverse applicant pool.
  • Revise NIH Manual Chapter 1311 (Preventing and Addressing Harassment and Inappropriate Conduct) to acknowledge racial discrimination and harassment more explicitly.
  • Expand internal anti-harassment campaign to include anti-racism and make NIH staff aware of options for reporting racist actions.
  • Update the portraiture around the NIH campus to reflect the diversity of our society.
  • Seek input from internal NIH stakeholders through listening sessions and an online Request for Information to inform NIH strategies to enhance diversity and inclusion in the NIH workforce.

This page last reviewed on November 9, 2022