CBI Diversity

The UMass CBI community prides itself on being a highly interactive and inclusive group that fosters excellent CBI training and research.

  • The benefits of CBI training are available to all UMass graduate students who choose to pursue the CBI curriculum.
  • Through a combination of NIH funding and matching funds provided by UMass, CBI Traineeships are available to both US and international students, on a competitive basis.
  • Fully 100% of CBI labs are involved in training undergraduate and/or graduate students from under-represented groups, and many CBI program members and alumni are from traditionally underrepresented groups on the basis of ethnicity, disability and/or economic disadvantage. This commitment to training individuals from underrepresented groups promotes diversity in the workforce and encourages an inclusive environment that is comfortable and conducive for the training experience.
  • The CBI Program has historically demonstrated a strong commitment to support students who are traditionally underrepresented in the STEM fields. In fact, about half of the underrepresented students affiliated with the CBI Program in the past five years have received funding.
  • With a number of programs designed to foster success, UMass is a destination of choice for students from under-represented groups to pursue graduate education in STEM disciplines:
    • Disability Services is committed to full access for all persons at UMass Amherst, and promotes the empowerment of people with disabilities and their full integration into campus life and the community.
    • PREP funds one-year post-baccalaureate internships to bridge to graduate school.
    • NEAGEP and IMSD provide mentoring and graduate fellowships.
    • STEM Diversity Institute (SDI) oversees these and other programs promoting success for a variety of under-represented groups at all levels, undergraduate through faculty.
At UMass Beyond
Disability Services at UMass Institute for Accessible Science (IAS)
Stem Diversity Institute at UMass (SDI) AccessSTEM, University of Washington
The Northeast Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate at UMass (NEAGEP) Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
The Initiative for Maximizing Student Development at UMass (IMSD) NIGMS Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity (TWD)
Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program at UMass (PREP) ACS Diversity Resources
Summer Program for Undergraduate Research at UMass (SPUR) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Research Experiences for Undergraduates at UMass (REU) NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research


Why are the CBI community and NIH committed to training individuals from underrepresented groups? 
The answer from NIH  (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-08-226.html):
The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences workforce. The NIH expects efforts to diversify the workforce to lead to the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups; to improve the quality of the educational and training environment; to balance and broaden the perspective in setting research priorities; to improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and to improve the Nation’s capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.
Accordingly the NIH continues to encourage institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations and thus to increase the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences such as: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. Institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will increase diversity on a national or institutional basis.

What groups are considered under-represented?
A. Racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in health-related sciences.
B. Individuals with disabilities.
C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

What Race/Ethnicity groups are considered underrepresented?
from http://www.niaid.nih.gov/researchfunding/glossary/pages/u.aspx#underrep
Racial and ethnic groups such as blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders

What is considered a disability?
from http://www.niaid.nih.gov/researchfunding/glossary/pages/u.aspx#underrep
a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities

What is considered a disadvantaged background?
From http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-08-226.html
1. Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size, published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels at http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/index.shtml. For individuals from low income backgrounds, the institution must be able to demonstrate that such candidates have qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance or they have received any of the following student loans: Health Professional Student Loans (HPSL), Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program, or they have received scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need.
2. Individuals who come from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that have demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.