funding. NIAID co-funds the AIDS Infrastructure Initiative of RCMI and supported 15 RCMI projects at eight institutions in FY 1996. To further enhance these efforts, NIAID offered its own AIDS Infrastructure for Minority Institutions RFA in FY 1990 and FY 1993 to provide funding for RCMI projects at three additional institutions.

NIAID has also collaborated with the National Institute of Mental Health to support an initiative pairing NIAID's 12 Centers for AIDS Research investigators with RCMI investigators to increase collaborations between ethnic minority and majority institutions. Eleven projects at seven schools were ultimately funded. In 1995, NIAID established its own Enhancement Awards for Underrepresented Minority Researchers to enable these individuals to establish clinical or basic AIDS research programs. Nine individuals were funded. Furthermore, NIAID's Office of Research on Minority and Women's Health has developed a number of outreach programs, including one for Washington, D.C., area high school science students and teachers, and other collaborations with the Interamerican College of Physicians and Scientists to increase awareness of NIAID programs and resources among Hispanic investigators.

Ethnic Minority Issues at NIAID

In 1994, the NIAID director established the Minority Scientists Advisory Committee (MINSAC) as a standing committee to advise the director on issues and concerns of the minority scientific community and provide suggestions on ways that the Institute can attract highly qualified minority scientists to its intramural and extramural programs. In particular, MINSAC has conveyed concerns regarding the underrepresentation of minorities in tenure, tenure-track, and postdoctoral positions within NIAID's intramural research program, resulting in the creation of additional lines to attract minority scientists. In addition, MINSAC has initiated the development of a minority constituency catalog, including minority scientists, institutions, and organizations, to assist in the identification of qualified minorities to participate in the NIH peer-review system.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

NIDDKD directs approximately 70 percent of its budget to investigator-initiated grants. These awards are largely focused on basic research to understand underlying mechanisms of disease and pathogenesis. Like other ICDs, NIDDKD uses RFAs or program announcements sparingly and largely in response to congressional directives or the need to stimulate research in small program areas.

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