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Special Populations Research Forum

What Do We Do?

The Special Populations Research Forum (SPRF) provides a resource for NIH and HHS staff to share best practices and lessons learned in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in intramural and extramural training and research. The SPRF seeks to promote:

  • Community: Connect NIH and HHS staff with a shared common interest in DEI.
  • Exchange: Foster an environment for the sharing of knowledge and experience.
  • Support: Enable opportunities for NIH staff to create, innovate, and implement NIH scientific and training programs designed to diversify the nation’s research enterprise.
  • Professional Development: Elevate career and professional development of its members through peer mentoring and mutual support. 
  • Recruitment & Retention: Share best practices for recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations in biomedical and behavioral research.
  • Network: Serve as a resource to the NIH’s diversity and workforce development communities, supporting a range of NIH-wide events, including the NIH Research Festivals and Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS).

Who Are We?

The SPRF includes people from across NIH and HHS: intramural, extramural, administrative staff, support staff, contractors, fellows and trainees from all areas of expertise. 

Why Should I Join?

The SPRF community welcomes all NIH and HHS staff with an interest in enhancing the diversity of the Nation’s research enterprise. As the NIH mission statement describes, one of the goals of our agency is “to exemplify and promote the highest level of scientific integrity, public accountability, and social responsibility in the conduct of science.” 

  • Stay on top of what is happening in the DEI space across the NIH and HHS, often from the experts leading them. 
  • Join a network of NIH and HHS staff who seek to share professional development and career advancement opportunities across the agency.
  • Meet new people by participating in professional networking events and mentoring activities.
  • A place to be genuine about your passions with like-minded colleagues. Mentoring by you and for you at the right time, with the right perspective.
  • Engage in DEI activities that may have an impact across multiple NIH institutes and centers (e.g. clinical trial recruitment and retention for underrepresented populations). 


Lola Olufemi, Ph.D., NINDS


Shauna Clark, Ph.D., NCI


Mia Rochelle Lowden, Ph.D., NIH/OD/ORIP


• Clinical Research Recommendation Committee (Contact: Lola Olufemi, Ph.D., NINDS)
• Mentorship (Contact: Rosalina Bray, MS, NIH OD/OER)
• Newsletter (Contact: Taisa Coleman, MS, NICHD)
• Resources and Website (Contact: Dawn Morales, Ph.D., NIMH)
• Speaker (Contact: Rosalina Bray, MS, NIH OD/OER)

Mailing List

To join the Special Populations Research Forum mailing list, please visit the Special Populations Research Forum Listserv home page, then click the “Subscribe or Unsubscribe” link in the right sidebar.

The page was last updated on Thursday, January 27, 2022 - 10:37am