Michigan Program for Advancing Cultural Transformation

U-M launched the Michigan Program for Advancing Cultural Transformation (M-PACT)  with a five-year, $15.8 million grant from the National Institutes for Health Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (NIH FIRST)  initiative, along with a $63.7 million university investment in June 2023. The mission of M-PACT is to achieve greater inclusive excellence in the biomedical and health sciences at the University of Michigan and beyond.  M-PACT will achieve its goal of inclusive excellence by recruiting 30 new tenure-track assistant professors with a demonstrated commitment and expertise in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) via their research, teaching, and/or service activities across 11 biomedical and health science schools and colleges across the University. Also, the program will help to support the 30 new hires up through tenure by creating a supportive ecosystem that will provide  the scholars with cutting-edge mentoring, relevant professional development experiences, and the appropriate resources needed for them to thrive.  In addition, M-PACT will use innovative, evidence-based practices, policies, procedures, and programs to transform the culture of the participating units to becoming more diverse, equitable, and inclusive in order to become more effective in meeting their research, teaching, and service missions.  Finally, M-PACT will utilize a multimethod approach to rigorously assess, evaluate, and document both processes and outcomes associated with the program in order that the success experienced at the University of Michigan can be shared with the broader biomedical and health science community.


What U-M Brings

RIPE Conditions for Cultural Transformation

  • U-M DEI Strategic Plan in place since 2016
  • Demonstrated Committment to inclusive excellence as core value
  • Existing DEI Infrastructure

STRONG Institutional Commitment

  • Significant financial commitment
  • Leadership commitment to DEI
  • Buy-in: 11 health science units

EXISTING Resources for Developing Diverse Pools of Faculty Candidates

  • Various UM Pipeline Programs
  • Existing Partnerships in MSIs

EXISTING Capacity & Facilities for Faculty Development, e.g…

  • National Center for Institutional Diversity
  • UM ADVANCE Program
  • Office of DEI
  • Michigan Integrative Well-Being & Inequality Training Program
  • Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture & Health
  • Curtis Center for Health Equity Research & Training


  • PI, Co-I’s and Key Personnel
  • Cluster leads
  • Sponsor-mentors


What U-M Will Do


  • Oversight & support for 3 cores
  • Develop & implement support for M-PACT faculty hiring plan across units
  • Support/training to recruit diverse candidates
  • Workshops to minimize bias during review, interview & hiring processes
  • Implement NextProf-Health Sciences (HS) for pipeline development & recruitment
  • Manage Star recruitment funding to compete for high-quality candidates
  • Convene annual M-PACT conference for diversity pipeline programs & faculty recruitment
  • Disseminate lessons learned from M-PACT


  • Develop & implement 4-year fac/research development programs
  • Facilitate research-specific training in clusters
  • Oversee Sponsor-Mentor training & progress
  • Provide financial support for Scholar development, e.g., for Sponsor-Mentor activities outside program, small grants for pilots or collaboration, etc.


  • Annual survey & interview of M-PACT
  • Scholars for self-reports on experience
  • Mentors for self-reports of performance
  • Unit leaders for self-reports of program progress, impact
  • Documentation of M-PACT Scholar progress (grant proposal development & success, publication development & submission, research program development)
  • External reviews of the administrative practices, processes & functioning of M-PACT for continuous improvement


Program Deliverables


  • U-M adoption of evidence-based best practices for all faculty hiring
  • NextProf as a new source of talented potential faculty with demonstrated committments to DEI for UM/others
  • Evidence-based knowledge on transfusing practice of inclusive excellence into HS institutions
  • Annual M-PACT conference for networks of institutions to form sustainable partnerships around diversifying HS faculty


30 new tenure-track faculty with demonstrated commitment to DEI (significant % being URMs):

  • conducting HS research at UM
  • well-prepared for promotion and tenure
  • well-prepared, supported & encouraged to pursue NIH funding
  • have knowledge, skills & competencies for advancing DEI in HS research and professional environments, positively impacting trainees, units, institution & disciplines/fields


Reports on:

  • Best practices for unit, school/college & cluster mentoring for successful career development
  • Effective recruitment & retention practices
  • What constitutes positive DEI institutional cultures in HS units


Program Impact


30 M-PACT Scholars will be a critical mass of leaders who will make significant change in HS research via research productivity & as mentors of future generations of researchers more likely to be URMs


  • A significant number of the M-PACT scholars and their trainees will become regular NIH grant recipients, serve as NIH reviewers


  • Via participation in M-PACT, scholars will galvanize UM leaders and senior faculty (Cluster Leads, Sponsor Mentors, unit mentors, deans, EOs) to become more effective DEI change agents


  • Emperical evidence of the efficacy of cohort-based models for hiring & nuturing URM faculty (& faculty with DEI commitments) to becoming professionally successful & personally affirmed


  • Documented evidence on conducting effective faculty searches that yield strong, diverse pools of candidates, & how how to mitigate biases in search processes


  • U-M sill serve as an evidence-based model for other insitutions to draw on to make inclusive excellence both a core value & standard operating procedure

Contact the Michigan Program for Advancing Cultural Transformation team

If you have a question or need assistance, please contact the team: NIH.MPACT.Info@umich.edu or 734-647-5925.