Policy - About


At the heart of our program is our policy development. We work closely with our NIH stakeholder community on the development of agency policy in the civil rights and diversity and inclusion arenas. Through committees consisting of partners at our institutes and centers, our office leadership and staff, we harness the ideas and perspectives needed to develop legally sound policy for the agency. Each year the NIH Director issues a policy statement to the workforce, underscoring its commitment to a workplace free of discrimination and declaring a value proposition for diversity and inclusion. To uphold that commitment, our committees and the policies we develop serve to articulate the rights and responsibilities of every manager, supervisor, and employee and are consistent with current law. Our equity, diversity, and inclusion experts conduct comprehensive research and stay abreast of changes in statutes, regulations, Executive Orders, new guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Personnel Management, in order to ensure that our NIH policies remain current and that our workforce understands these changes.

A US Army Uniform and a suit hung on the wall.

Moving Forward

We recognize that strong and robust policies in civil rights as well as diversity and inclusion are critical to agency employees to understanding their rights and responsibilities. Under new leadership, EDI is on the cusp of developing a new portfolio of policy for NIH. We think this is so important that we restructured our organization to support a Senior Policy Advisor position that reports directly to the Director of EDI. This Policy Advisor will be responsible for leading the development of policies in a variety of civil rights and diversity and inclusion areas. We will not develop policy in a vacuum. Rather, we will work closely with our partners to help develop this policy portfolio over time. At the National Institutes of Health all program policies are documented in the NIH Manual Chapters. Working closely with the Office of Management Assessment, we will follow the proper protocol to get EDI policies published in the NIH Manual Chapters. These will be the official policies for our program portfolio.

Manual Chapters

The NIH Policy Manual is an official mechanism of issuing NIH-wide policy and all Manual Chapter (MC) issuances are accessible via the NIH Policy Manual system, located at https://policymanual.nih.gov.

Existing Policy

Each year, the agency Director signs an EEO Policy Statement. These policy statements, signed over the many NIH Director terms, will serve as an annual reflection of the NIH commitment to these important civil rights and diversity matters. Some of the historical policy statements appear below. We would encourage you to check back from time to time to see how we are progressing in developing policy.

EEOC Management Directives


Periodically, the agency receives DEIA and EEO guidance and direction from federal policy and regulatory entities via of memoranda. The memoranda may also be established within NIH and coincides with existing statutory or executive authority.