NIH Green-Lights $241M Cluster Hiring Program

February 3, 2020

A top advisory group for the National Institutes of Health has approved a $241 million cluster hiring initiative to support such goals as research in emerging areas and faculty diversity, Science reported. The nine-year program, called Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation, or FIRST, will help about a dozen universities and medical schools pay for 10 or more new professors each. These new hires won’t all be from underrepresented groups, most likely, but must all have a proven record of working to make science more inclusive, according to Science. Cluster hiring is becoming more popular but remains relatively understudied. FIRST will fund a team to conduct a program review to help generate more data as to -- in the words of the NIH’s chief diversity officer Hannah Valentine -- "what works and why."

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