The National Microbiome Data Collaborative’s (NMDC) vision is to empower the research community to harness microbiome data exploration and discovery through a collaborative integrative science ecosystem. The NMDC team is constructing this discovery portal in the midst of a technological and data revolution. With the advent of new technologies and massive amounts of data being produced by these technologies, the scientific community’s capacity for innovation, experimentation, and adaptation has increased dramatically. Data, and particularly open data, play a crucial role in advancing innovation, governance, and self-determination among vulnerable communities (Carroll 2020). Yet, “vulnerable populations remain both under-studied and under-consulted on the use of data…restraining the utility of big data applications” to contribute to inclusive innovation (Jackson 2019).”

Diversity within microbiome research, in all its forms (racial, gender, sexual identity, class, and more), strengthens research teams and practice, and helps advance science. Significant parallel, non-technical efforts are required to ensure microbiome data science, new technologies, and infrastructure developments work in the best interests of the research community and society at large. We are committed to supporting the diversity of experiences, expertise, backgrounds, needs, and perspectives of the microbiome research community, and to actively work towards an inclusive culture at a programmatic and individual level.

Understanding that engagement of vulnerable populations and working to correct these systemic exclusions of data lead to higher quality data generation and more diverse outcomes, the NMDC has constructed an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accountability (IDEA) strategic plan. This strategy is a living document that will grow and evolve as the NMDC Team continues to engage with the community for feedback and work with partners to make an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment. If you would like to engage with the NMDC, please reach out to Our Goals:

Goal 1: Promote transparency and accountability within NMDC’s Team and Operations.

Goal 2: Promote transparency and accountability within NMDC’s Governance Structure.

Goal 3: Engage and support diverse stakeholders and users.

You can find more information about the NMDC IDEA Stategic Plan. on the NMDC website.