Several factors contribute to FSU’s potential to create cultural transformation through an innovative
approach to hiring, supporting, and retaining URM faculty. First, our College of Medicine was founded in 2000
to train physicians to serve rural communities throughout the panhandle region and the State of Florida. Given
the racial and ethnic diversity of these areas, we have created a rich community-based network upon which to
integrate academic health-science efforts across our Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, and Arts and Sciences.
Second, in 2013, the Florida Board of Governors designated FSU as one of two "preeminent universities"
which triggered an increased state commitment of $75 million from 2013 to 2018. FSU leadership invested
these funds to advance health-science research, including the creation
of the Equity Research Corner (a
consortium of eight centers and institutes) with the mission to address equity issues related to health, social,
and educational barriers at the levels of individuals, families, and communities
. Third, FSU has created
resources to support faculty conducting clinical translational research through our NIH-funded Clinical
Translational Science Award subaward. Fourth, FSU has committed in its Strategic Plan (Goal III) to
institutional change to foster diversity, inclusion, and equity at all levels and through the President’s Task Force
of Anti-Racism, Equity, and Inclusion. We will leverage these resources to test the robustness of The
FLORIDA-FIRST BRIGADE for promoting a self-reinforcing community of scientists committed to
inclusive excellence. In response to RFA-RM-20-022, we propose three specific aims for the Overall Core:
Aim 1. Achieve significant and sustainable cultural change at FSU to ensure inclusive excellence and
diversity at the macro (institutional), meso (hiring unit/Center/department), and micro (faculty) levels.
Aim 2. Recruit, hire, and retain 6 new URM faculty within the clusters of chronic disease prevention and
management or mental health to form The FIRST Cohort as a replicable model for promoting diversity, equity,
and inclusive excellence in health-science research at FSU.
Aim 3. Develop and implement a systems-levels approach (macro, meso, micro) to establish individual
research and career development plans and mentorship plans for each member of The FIRST Cohort.
By recalibrating the standard institutional practices for URM faculty recruitment, development, and
retention, The FLORIDA-FIRST BRIGADE has the potential to promote diversity and inclusive excellence1 for
The FIRST Cohort and serve as an innovative model for the next generation of FSU health-science faculty.