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Increasing Diversity

Inclusion of underrepresented groups in clinical research

The National MS Society is committed to expanding engagement of underrepresented groups in research and in clinical trials so that solutions are developed for everyone affected by multiple sclerosis. Grant proposals for clinical research are required to describe the planned composition of the study population in terms of sex/gender and racial/ethnic diversity. Any exclusions based on sex/gender or race/ethnicity must include a rationale and justification. The Society considers the NIH Guidelines (link) as an example of an appropriate approach to inclusion of underrepresented groups. Grant proposals must include an outreach plan for recruiting and retaining diverse study participants. The MS Minority Research Engagement Partnership Network has developed this toolkit to assist researchers in their outreach to underrepresented populations. Additionally, annual reporting must include subject accrual broken down by group.


Expanding engagement of underrepresented groups in research workforce and research studies

American Association for the Advancement of Science - provides tools to  strengthen and diversify the science and technology workforce

International Women in Multiple Sclerosis - A supportive and inspirational community for women and minorities working in the field of MS, features mentorship program

Enhancing the Diversity of Clinical Trial Populations - Guidance from the FDA on Eligibility Criteria, Enrollment Practices, and Trial Designs  

MS Minority Research Engagement Partnership Network - a multi-stakeholder network that has come together to define and address the issue of racial/ethnic minority underrepresentation in MS research, features Research Professionals Toolkit

The Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard provides guidance, tools, and webinars to improve diversity in clinical research

Project Implicit - Harvard University's non-profit organization to educate the public about hidden biases

Scientific Workforce Diversity Office - leads NIH’s effort to diversify the national scientific workforce and expand recruitment and retention, features National Research Mentoring Network

Society for Neuroscience - provides resources and professional opportunities for Women in Neuroscience and Diversity Initiatives to engage scientists of diverse backgrounds

Read more

Achieving diversity in Research - a collection of articles from the Nature group

Perceptions and Preferences Regarding Multiple Sclerosis Research Among Racial and Ethnic Groups (Int J MS Care, 2021).

Babcock, Linda and Laschever, Sara, Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide, Princeton University Press, 2021.

Brown, Brené,  The gifts of imperfection, Random House, 2020.

Heim, Pat, Hardball for Women, The  Penguin Group, 2005.

Shillcutt M.D., Dr. Sasha K., Between Grit and Grace, Health Communications, Inc., 2020.


© 2023 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.