Sunday, December 20, 2020

Needs of the Underserved: California Scientists Seeking Millions for Stem Cell Research Will Need to Measure Up

Directors of California's $12 billion stem cell agency tomorrow are expected to require scientists seeking hundreds of millions in research dollars to specifically address the needs of underserved communities.

If the researchers fail to do so, their applications will receive a score that reflects that shortfall. The immediate impact will fall on scientists who apply for funding from the $182 million expected to be handed out during the next six months.

Below is language from a "concept plan" before the board. This particular version comes from the plan that applies to basic research applications. Nearly identical language is also contained in plans for the translational and clinical rounds.

All of the concept plans can be found on agenda for the meeting, which also contains instructions for participating in the online meeting, which is open to the public. Written comments are always useful as well as oral presentations. Written material can offer needed backup for the briefer oral comments and are directly in front of CIRM directors and staff. Comments should be emailed to

The new language is in red. The strike-throughs indicate language to be removed. 

“Addressing the Needs of Underserved Communities

in CIRM-Funded Projects

“All applicants for the DISC2 program will be required to provide a statement describing how their overall study plan and design has considered the influence of race, ethnicity, sex and gender diversity. 

"Applicants should discuss the limitations, advantages and/or challenges of their research proposal in developing a product or tool that addresses the unmet medical needs of the diverse California population, including underserved racial/ethnic communities. Examples include use of models and tools that account for population diversity (e.g. HLA types, gender, genomics data, cell models). 

"Applicants should also address how the research team has or will incorporate diverse and inclusive perspectives and experience in the implementation of the research project. 

"The GWG and CIRM’s governing board will evaluate consider these statements as a review criterion in their evaluations and in making funding recommendations. Priority will be given to projects with the highest quality plans in this regard."

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