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All Along the Pipeline

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has announced a $2 billion effort to improve diversity and inclusion in science by supporting students and researchers along the academic pipeline, Stat News reports.

At the community college and undergraduate level, HHMI says it is going to, for instance, help faculty members create inclusive learning spaces while also exposing students to science through discovery-based research opportunities. Meanwhile, at the post-baccalaureate level, it plans to provide 200 individuals with employment and training in HHMI labs, and then directly support 500 PhD students.

According to Stat News, the plan has largely been positively received. "You want to make sure these kinds of efforts have lasting impact. That this is a 10-year plan says a lot," Amita Sehgal, an HHMI investigator at the University of Pennsylvania, tells it.

Some critics, though, say HHMI could do more with scholarships earlier on in, it says. The University of Michigan's Lola Eniola-Adefeso also tells it the plan could have been improved with more input from underrepresented groups. "If you don't set up your program right, what could be game changing could instead end up yielding more of the same — no change," Eniola-Adefeso adds at Stat News.