Lindsey A. Criswell and Janine A. Clayton

Dear Colleagues, 

We are pleased to announce a new and exciting program designed to create a more robust cadre of researchers dedicated to women’s health research. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) are partnering to launch a pilot program to support and train research scholars by helping them acquire and hone team science leadership and mentoring skills. The Team Science Leadership Scholars Program (LSP) will be funded by ORWH and embedded within the Accelerating Medicines Partnership® Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Diseases (AMP® AIM) program, which NIAMS and ORWH both support1.

The LSP is a joint initiative that aligns NIAMS’ goal of supporting team science and collaboration with the ORWH vision of preparing leaders in women’s health research. In this respect, AMP AIM provides the necessary structure and expanse to advance leadership and mentoring skills of promising researchers committed to working within a large network of stakeholders. The scientists chosen to participate in the pilot program will have the opportunity to leverage the expertise of professionals with diverse knowledge and skill sets to help tackle complex issues, which is a core tenet of the AMP AIM program. We firmly believe that this initiative has the potential to develop a cohort of scientists who can lead complex, high-impact research programs in academia, industry, and the public health sector.

As Dr. Clayton mentioned in a blog post earlier this year, “mentoring is a critical communication channel through which we as a biomedical research community can both gain an understanding of the challenges faced by women in science and provide support.” We believe that the framework designed for this pilot program could be applied to future projects—in both the government and the private sector—seeking to enhance team science leadership and mentoring skills.

Those accepted into this pilot program will get to see firsthand how team science and diversity lead to innovation and better health outcomes for all. As Dr. Criswell said recently, “research shows that more diverse teams that capitalize on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform less diverse teams. Simply put, diversity enhances excellence, creativity, and innovation”—a thought reiterated in Dr. Clayton’s blog post on mentoring.

As it is finalized, we plan to share details about this program in the coming weeks. Please keep a lookout for more information on our websites.


Lindsey A. Criswell, M.D., M.P.H., D.Sc.
Director, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

Janine A. Clayton, M.D., FARVO
NIH Associate Director for Research on Women’s Health
Director, Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH)


1 The AMP AIM program is managed through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, with additional support from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Eye Institute, and thirteen public and private partners.