Introduction and Background:
The Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity (COSWD) leads and oversees NIH efforts to improve biomedical research and the Nation’s health through a more diverse scientific workforce. Workforce diversity and inclusion is imperative to optimize the strength of the NIH research enterprise. Therefore, the purpose of the office of Scientific Workforce Diversity is to develop and implement initiatives enhancing diversity and promoting equity throughout the
biomedical research workforce, including the extramural and intramural components of the NIH.

The Cobb Institute is uniquely positioned to successfully run the Cobb Scholars Initiative and its mentoring program for young scientists, because it is tightly connected with key diverse organizations, like the Student National Medical Association, the National Medical Association Post-Graduate Section, and the NMA-NIH Research Fellows. In addition to these organizations, Morehouse School of Medicine and the Association for Academic Minority Physicians have committed to work with the Cobb Institute to make this initiative a success. Morehouse School of Medicine and the Association for Academic Minority Physicians, bring assets that will compliment the Cobb Institute, as it seeks to implement the Cobb Scholars Initiative.

An important goal of the Cobb Institute is to establish a sustainable and meaningful group of leaders in the field of minority health and health disparities by enhancing the number and quality of minority investigators and provide career pathways for those that may not have the opportunity to grow and contribute to the community. This collaboration between COSWD/NIH and NMA – Cobb Institute, as well as MSM and AAMP collaboration, will help support this mission to enhance the diversity of the scientific and biomedical workforce and build a bridge between the institutions.

The Cobb Scholars will be an important resource to the NIH as it fulfills its mandate to develop a diverse group of scientists for our nation’s workforce. In particular the Cobb Scholars will be a networking resource for the NIH Intramural program. It is expected that scientists will be recruited through the Cobb Scholars to the intramural summer research programs, NRMN sponsored mentorship training, and recruited to scientist and principal investigator positions at the NIH. In future years it is hoped that joint meetings between Cobb Scholars and NIH would occur to further the ability of scholars to network with NIH.