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Strategic Plan: Fiscal Years 2024-2028

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Alcohol Research Enterprise

Health equity is the principle underlying the continual process of ensuring that all individuals or populations have optimal opportunities to attain the best health possible.

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NIAAA is genuinely committed to true change that is sustainable, propels the NIAAA mission, and capitalizes on the full range of talent in the nation. A deeper understanding of the issues that face underserved and underrepresented populations 1 is essential for promoting health equity and ensuring that NIAAA-supported research benefits all.

NIAAA is pursuing new research opportunities to address gaps in minority health and health disparities research, including research on health determinants such as barriers to treatment that contribute to alcohol-related health disparities. Such studies enrich the understanding of the mechanisms of alcohol-associated disorders and inform novel approaches for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

NIAAA recognizes that the experiences and perspectives of the alcohol research workforce help to guide not only the scientific methods that they use and the solutions that they seek, but also the fundamental questions that they ask. NIAAA requires a plan for enhancing diverse perspectives among Specialized Alcohol Research Centers and Comprehensive Alcohol Research Centers to advance the scientific and technical merit of proposed projects through expanded inclusivity.

NIAAA also seeks to initiate and sustain collaborative research partnerships between research centers in minority serving institutions and Alcohol Research Centers to strengthen research capacity and the scientific workforce at these institutions. Supporting and advancing the best science depends on having a diverse and talented scientific and administrative workforce, as NIAAA aims to remain the global leader in scientific discovery and innovation in alcohol research.

1 As defined in the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility, underserved populations are populations sharing a particular characteristic as well as geographic communities who have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life. Underrepresented populations are populations sharing a particular characteristic, who are underrepresented in the U.S. biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences research enterprise, including the NIH workforce and research participants.

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