Beginning in Spring 2021, The BRAIN Initiative® will include a new component in most FOAs requiring that applications include a Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP) in the proposed research. When a PEDP is required, applications submitted without such a plan will be considered incomplete and will be withdrawn prior to peer review. Evaluation of the applicant’s PEDP will be made during the peer review stages as part of the scorable criteria and during programmatic reviews, and will be used to inform funding decisions.
last updated: July 21st, 2021
A “Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives” (PEDP) is a summary of strategies to advance the scientific and technical merit of the proposed project through inclusivity. Broadly, diverse perspectives refer to the people who do the research, the places where research is done, as well as the people who participate in the research as part of the study population. The PEDP is submitted as a 1-page “Other Attachment” to be included in grant applications submitted in response to specified Funding Opportunity Announcements. Within the Research Strategy, applicants should align their description with the PEDP strategies and milestones, and are encouraged to refer to information included in the PEDP attachment. In the 1-page PEDP summary, applicants are expected to show how enhancing diverse perspectives is supported throughout the application and how this strengthens the scientific and technical merit of the project (in terms of significance, investigator(s), innovation, approach, and environment), as appropriate.
It is anticipated that every PEDP will be unique and will depend on the content and structure of the scientific aims, the required expertise, the environment, and the performance site(s). The BRAIN Initiative® encourages innovative and sustainable approaches that support scientific excellence by fostering inclusive environments and promoting culture change.
Key Elements to be included in a PEDP for a proposed research program:
- Summary of strategies (and their rationales) that advance the scientific and technical merit through expanded inclusivity
- Timeline and milestones for the PEDP
- Approaches to assessing progress towards meeting the PEDP defined goals
Examples of potential strategies that advance inclusivity in alignment with research goals can include, but are not limited to:
- Inclusion of personnel (MPIs, PIs, Co-Is, Consultants)…
- …from groups historically underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce (e.g. women, underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, those with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds).
- …located within, or who have done training within, multiple geographic locations, especially those regions underrepresented in BRAIN Initiative funding.
- …representing different career stages.
- …from different types of institutions and organizations (e.g. research intensive and research-active, undergraduate-focused, minority-serving, community-based, and industry).
- …from varying scientific fields to contribute to transdisciplinary aspects of the proposed project (e. g. neuroscientists, computational biologists, engineering, mathematics, physicists, computer and data sciences, and bioethics).
- Training and mentoring opportunities to encourage participation of students, postdoctoral researchers, and co-investigators from diverse backgrounds (e.g. existing institution-based programs such as undergraduate research experience programs, or new individual opportunities for trainees, fellows, etc.).
- Activities to enhance recruitment of research participants from diverse groups, including those from under-represented backgrounds.
- Plans to use the project infrastructure (i.e., research and administrative structure) to support career-enhancing research opportunities for junior, early-, and mid-career researchers.
- Inclusion of community advisory boards or other relevant steering committees to inform research project design and/or dissemination of results.
Publication plans that describe equitable processes to determine inclusive authorship and authorship order and ensure proper attribution. Opportunities promote visibility of junior faculty, post-docs, trainees, etc. by serving as first authors and/or presenting at National/International scientific meetings.
Partnerships with advocacy groups or professional societies to help recruit study participants for clinical research and/or to aid with dissemination of research results.
Outreach activities to various public stakeholders (e.g. educators, patients, policy makers, etc.) to improve engagement and understanding of BRAIN Initiative research.