As a critical part of the NINDS Strategic Plan for Workforce CultureNINDS continues to look inward—identifying and implementing strategies to create a workplace that is diverse and inclusive, free of harassment and discrimination—to be a model for the greater neuroscience research community.

NINDS continues to work on integrating diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility (DEIA) initiatives into the CORE IDEALS framework, and are consistently and intentionally considering the NINDS demographic information in those efforts.


CORE IDEALS stands for Culture of Respect and Engagement through Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Leadership Support. The CORE IDEALS trans-NINDS workforce committee will oversee the implementation of strategies to enhance workplace culture.

Steering Committee

A CORE IDEALS Steering Committee was assembled in Spring 2021 to oversee ongoing development, implementation, and evaluation of NINDS workforce strategies for a positive workplace. It is the focal point for implementation of NIH-guided initiatives. The Committee represents a cross-section of the NINDS workforce, including intramural, extramural, and Office of the Director staff; of various functions and organizational levels; and consideration for diversity across other key domains.

The Committee oversees initial implementation, continuous monitoring, and improvement of the NINDS Strategic Plan workforce culture goals. Four working groups elicit staff input to develop draft objectives and implementation plans. The Committee advises the NINDS Director, reviews the draft working group plans, and proposes priorities and funding recommendations.

Four CORE Groups

CORE Groups oversee the development and implementation of initiatives, providing recommendations to the Steering Committee for new trans-NINDS workforce strategies. The focus areas are the stated objectives for the NINDS Strategic Plan’s Positive Workforce Culture goal. The CORE Groups are composed of frontline staff along with subject matter experts from the NINDS Office of Management to inform both staff preferences and best practices.

Supportive Work Culture

To promote a positive, productive work environment and workforce culture with a strong sense of community. 

Focus Areas

  • Fostering an open and inclusive culture in which everyone is treated with respect, is heard, and feels at ease when speaking up. 
  • Developing programs to demonstrate accountability, ensure a safe workplace, and provide clear channels of communication. 
  • Offering ongoing bystander and implicit bias trainings, education of anti-harassment policy and resources, and peer assistance and frontline support for common workplace issues. 


Work-Life Satisfaction

To foster a workforce culture that recognizes work-life needs and supports career goals and satisfaction.

Focus Areas

  • Developing a workforce culture that not only challenges individuals to grow professionally but also understands that high quality products come from people who are satisfied at work and in life. 
  • Investing in the well-being and growth of each person who works at NINDS to optimally support scientific progress toward reducing the burden of neurological disorders. 
  • Promoting employee growth and work-life satisfaction through increased opportunities for career development, training, and mentoring. 


Communication & Collaboration

To promote communication and collaboration within and across NINDS' communities.

Focus Areas

  • Promoting effective internal communication is essential to NINDS’ daily operations in support of our mission. 
  • Establishing clear lines of communication at different levels and parts of the organization, and sharing relevant information with appropriate personnel in a timely manner. 
  • Developing, refining, and disseminating an internal communication strategy, creating opportunities to bring people together, quickly assembling high-quality teams, and incentivizing collaboration across NINDS.


Performance Management

To establish effective performance management, with clear procedures, fair policies, and meaningful recognition, accountability, and transparency.

Focus Areas

  • Improving sound performance management for strong foundation upon which good morale and productivity can be built. 
  • Enhancing employee engagement through effective performance management to increase our commitment to advancement of our mission. 
  • Continuing to modify organizational structure and policies, and our processes for hiring, onboarding, accountability, and recognition, to create an environment for leaders and supervisors to lead most effectively and ensure everyone at all levels is empowered to contribute in meaningful ways.