Professor Trenette Clark Goings, Ph.D., has been invited to serve as a standing member on a scientific review panel for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The highly selective appointment is a significant honor given that only 3.2% of all NIH reviewers are Black and even fewer are social workers.
“This selection means the opportunity to share my voice in a way that I think will improve science and health outcomes for everyone – including families and children,” Goings said. “I will be objective and fair and given my perspective as a Black woman who grew up in a rural persistently poor county with few resources and many adversities; I will bring a unique perspective.”
Goings, the Sandra Reeves Spears and John B. Turner Distinguished Professor of Social Work, has gained national recognition for her achievements as a scholar in the substance use field since joining the School in 2010.
Her work, which has been largely heralded and funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, focuses broadly on reducing health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities. To achieve this goal, Goings studies the epidemiology and etiology of health-risk behaviors, primarily substance use, among African American, Afro-Caribbean and biracial adolescents. Her research targets groups disproportionately affected by substance misuse and HIV but for whom few evidence-based programs are available.
Beginning July 1, Goings will serve a four-year appointment on the NIH’s “Community Influences on Health Behavior Study Section, Healthcare Delivery and Methodologies Integrated Review Group” under the Center for Scientific Review. As a standing member, she will be expected to review at least 36 NIH study applications per year and vote on another 135 applications for funding.
As a scientist considered a leader in her discipline, Goings said she’s especially proud to represent the field of social work at the federal level.
“I will lift up the profession’s name, and I think this appointment minimally enhances social work’s visibility in national spaces,” she said. “We are clearly qualified to be at the table.”