University of Michigan Commits to Boost Faculty Diversity in the Biomedical Sciences

The University of Michigan will invest $79 million to support and recruit 30 new faculty members to the Ann Arbor campus as part of a nationwide effort to enhance inclusion and equity across the biomedical and health sciences community. The Michigan Program for Advancing Cultural Transformation (M-PACT) is supported by a five-year, $15.8 million grant awarded from the National Institutes of Health along with a $63.7 million investment by the University of Michigan.

Administered by the Office of the Vice President for Research, in partnership with the Office of the Provost, M-PACT will recruit 30 new tenure-track assistant professors across 11 schools, colleges, and units into three interdisciplinary research clusters: social and behavioral research, basic biomedical research and clinical-translational research. Recruitment efforts will begin this fall, and all new M-PACT scholars will have primary appointments in University of Michigan schools and colleges.

The program will be led by Robert Sellers, the Charles D. Moody Collegiate Professor of Psychology and professor of education in the Marsal Family School of Education along with Reshma Jagsi, an adjunct professor of radiation oncology in the university’s medical school.

“M-PACT will serve as a model for institutions committed to inclusive excellence,” said Professor Sellers, who was the university’s inaugural chief diversity officer and vice provost for equity and inclusion for eight years. “This innovative program will demonstrate that a cohort and cluster model of faculty hiring, development, and sponsorship, which intentionally targets challenges that disproportionately affect underrepresented minority scholars, cannot only improve the careers of the promising researchers in that cohort, but also transform broader institutional culture.”

Professor Sellers has been on the faculty at the University of Michigan since 1997. He previously taught at the University of Virginia. Dr. Sellers is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., and earned a Ph.D. in personality psychology from the University of Michigan.

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