HeroX Launches $500K Prize Challenge on Behalf of the National Institutes of Health to Improve Gender Diversity and Equity in Academia

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — HeroX, the world’s leading platform for crowdsourced solutions and Base 11 today launched a prize competition, the “NIH Prize for Enhancing Faculty Gender Diversity” on behalf of the National Institutes of Health to improve gender diversity and equity among faculty in biomedical and behavioral fields in colleges and universities. Although there is a near equal number of male and female students in the biomedical science field and in medical schools, women are underrepresented in the faculty, particularly in the mid-career to senior-career positions and challenges remain in ensuring faculty members are treated in an equitable manner.

“We are seeking to foster more inclusive and equitable environments in academia,” said Janine A. Clayton, M.D., Director of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health, which is overseeing the competition. “Women generally experience greater challenges in their professional careers than their male counterparts. Colleges and universities must provide women faculty with the support required for them to reach their full potential. And of course, everyone will benefit from the knowledge, skills, and perspectives the women scientists will bring to the research enterprise.”

“This project will aggregate concrete, evidence-based practices from institutions of higher learning across the United States,” said Christian Cotichini, CEO of HeroX. “Crowdsourcing is especially powerful in situations like this, because we are able to learn from large research institutions and smaller, more specialized schools alike. This is an opportunity to study and borrow the creative and resourceful solutions being implemented across the country.”

“It’s imperative that research and teaching institutions recruit, retain, and promote women and people of color not only because it’s proven that diverse teams perform better, but because it’s the right thing to do,” said Ingrid Ellerbe, executive director of the nonprofit Base 11. “The Gender Diversity Prize offers an exciting opportunity to recognize and reward institutions that have been working toward gender equity and to widely share their programs and practices to further advance women in science.”

The Prize: Institutions from across the United States have the opportunity to be recognized in this prestigious prize competition by sharing successful approaches to improving gender diversity within their institution. The NIH will award up to 10 institutions with $50,000 each for a total of $500,000 in prizes.

There are a number of different approaches to enhancing diversity in academia. The ultimate goal of the NIH is to source a range of transformative structures, systems, projects, programs, and processes from around the globe. These best practices will then be consolidated into a toolkit that can be implemented by institutions seeking to improve the representation of women on their faculty.

How to Enter: The prize competition is limited to U.S.- based, accredited public or private non-profit academic institutions that grant baccalaureate or advanced degrees in biomedical, behavioral, or health sciences, as listed in the U.S. Department of Education database of accredited institutions and programs.

To learn more about the prize, visit herox.com/NIHGenderDiversityPrize


HeroX is a social network for crowdsourcing innovation and human ingenuity, co-founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur, Christian Cotichini and XPRIZE Founder and Futurist, Peter Diamandis. HeroX offers a turnkey, easy-to-use platform that supports anyone, anywhere, to solve everyday business and world challenges using the power of the crowd. Uniquely positioned as the Social Network for Innovation, HeroX is the only place you can build, grow and curate your very own crowd.

Explore the latest challenges at www.herox.com


Base 11 is a nonprofit workforce development accelerator focused on solving the STEM talent pipeline crisis being fueled by the underrepresentation of women and minorities. Base 11 facilitates partnerships with industry, academia and philanthropy which deliver to employers a pre-recruitment pipeline of well-trained, highly skilled STEM talent. Through Next Frontier programs, facilities and events, Base 11 and its partners set students — and those returning to the workforce — on direct pathways to four-year STEM degrees, well paid STEM jobs, and the opportunity to launch their own STEM related business. For more information, please visit www.Base11.com. Base 11 is a DBA of the Center for Innovations in Education, a nonprofit 501(c) 3 – IRS exemption EIN# 26-4365936.

Media Contact:
Alexandra Pony



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