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Billion-Dollar Diversity Initiative

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is launching a billion-dollar initiative aimed at boosting the diversity of the scientific workforce, the Scientist says.

The approximately $1.5 billion initiative, dubbed the Freeman Hrabowski Scholars Program, will support 150 early career faculty members in the basic biomedical sciences who are committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in science. According to HHMI, 30 faculty members will be added to the program every other year for a term of five years, with the possibility of one renewal. The scholars, it says, may receive up to $8.6 million over 10 years. It adds that it is currently accepting applications for 2023.

"Often when people talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion, it's because they're worried about violence in the streets or they realize it's the right thing to do to give everybody opportunities," Freeman Hrabowski, the president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County and after whom the program is named, tells Inside Higher Ed. Hrabowski, it adds, is known for his commitment to diversity.

"But this signal from Howard Hughes Medical Institute is that bringing more people into science and medicine is crucial — it's critical to the future of humankind," he adds there.

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