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Building a Diverse Genomics Workforce Action Agenda: Implementation Plan and Progress Report

The promise of genomics cannot be fully achieved without successfully attracting, developing and retaining a diverse workforce that includes people from groups underrepresented in the genomics enterprise.

Action Agenda Progress Report

NHGRI strives to provide responsible stewardship and integrate genomics into all areas of biomedical research. Developing and maintaining relationships with the genomics community enables NHGRI to cultivate career opportunities for individuals within the field. The 2021 NHGRI Action Agenda for a diverse genomics workforce is an ambitious set of goals and objectives to enhance the representation individuals from diverse backgrounds including those from underrepresented groups in the genomics workforce. The Action Agenda: Progress Report and Implementation Plan details the programs and projects that have been enacted since its release.


NHGRI is committed to leading efforts to build a genomics workforce that reflects the diversity of the human population through the formulation of the NHGRI Action Agenda. This will require enhancing opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds including those from underrepresented groups in genomics to receive access to necessary training to pursue careers in genomics. The Institute has endorsed training programs and established connections with the scientific community resolute on increasing the diversity of the next generation of genomic researchers, clinicians, and trainees. These efforts have and will continue to build relationships with the genomics community that establish connections with future genomics research.  Diversity of the workforce includes persons underrepresented in biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences research, as well as individuals with disabilities, persons from disadvantaged backgrounds, and women at the senior faculty level.

NHGRI Action Agenda Selected Activities

TiDHE Timeline Web

Timeline Entries:


  • Diversity Action Agenda and AJHG Commentary Released
  • Genomic Data Science Network (GDSCN) launches
  • NHGRI Diversity R01 (RFA-HG-21-041) released
  • GREAT R21 (RFA-HG-21-033) released
  • Genomic Science and Health Equity postdoctoral fellowship program launched
  • Industry Roundtables on Workforce Diversity
  • TiDHE Office announced
  • New IRP Summer Internship (iSPSing) launches


  • Health equity in genomics workshop
  • Educational Hub for Enhancing Diversity in Computational Genomics and Data Science released RFA-22-022
  • Nominations open for the Outstanding Award for Enhancing DEIA in the Genomics Workforce
  • HBCU, HSI Roundtables
  • Diversity Centers for Genome Research RFAs released: RFA-HG-22-026, RFA-HG-22-027
  • Human Genetics and Genomics Workforce Survey Released

To be at the forefront of efforts to enhance the diversity of the genomics workforce, the NHGRI Action Agenda for a Diverse Genomics Workforce has the following four major goals:

Goal 1


Develop and support initiatives that provide early exposure and access to careers in genomics.


1.1: Identify best practices in programming designed to provide early exposure to genomics, including barriers and recommendations to eliminate those barriers

1.2: Support and participate in programs that are designed to encourage individuals of diverse backgrounds to pursue genomics careers, especially for persons from groups who are historically underrepresented in science

Goal 2


Develop and support training programs and networks that connect undergraduate and graduate education to careers in genomics.


2.1: Create a systematic network of support for students from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups, as they move to and through graduate training programs in genomics

2.2: Ensure that undergraduate minority-serving institutions (MSI) and community colleges are aware of and tightly connected to this network

2.3: Encourage inclusive climates at all leading graduate-level genomics training programs so as to mentor and promote cohorts of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented groups

Goal 3


Develop and support training, career development, and research transition programs that lead to independent research and clinical careers in genomics.


3.1: Identify and reduce barriers for individuals from diverse backgrounds who want to enter research and clinical careers in genomics

3.2: Facilitate the inclusion and retention of individuals from diverse backgrounds in research and clinical careers in genomics

Goal 4


Evaluate progress towards achieving greater diversity in the genomics workforce.


4.1: Establish a relevant set of metrics for evaluating NHGRI diversity training and career development programs 

4.2: Use these metrics to develop tracking protocols for all individuals supported by these training programs

4.3: Assess all NHGRI training and career development programs, including diversity-targeted programs, with periodic reports to leadership

Last updated: May 15, 2023