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Guidance for Collecting Demographic Diversity Data via Survey

Published: Wednesday, November 9, 2022


In 2019 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released the “Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity” that identified populations that should be prioritized to ensure national scientific workforce diversity goals are achieved.

To achieve this aim, identified offices on campus, including the Offices of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Institutional Research (IR), collaborate to understand the diversity attributes (ethnicity, disadvantaged status, disability status, etc.) of HSC faculty, staff, and students. These activities inform a number of functions including institutional planning, decision-making, and external reporting efforts.

Reports on these data attributes are often included as a component of required annual reporting, as an example, or may be considered necessary in certain applications. In many cases, these data are available from the University already and need not be surveyed again. Prior to conducting your survey, please confirm with the DEI and IR offices to see if the data you need, or reliable proxy measures, are already available.

Survey Guidelines:

In cases where data collection is necessary, please adhere to the following guidelines to ensure your data collection activities result in valid, complete, and properly aggregated data:

  • Include procedures to maintain the anonymity and confidentiality of survey respondents.
  • Make clear to survey recipients that their participation is voluntary and they are free to not participate.
  • Ensure that responses cannot be traced back to respondents.
  • Ensure that no personally identifiable information is captured.


  • Survey instruments that are a component of an Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved research study don’t require further review.

If your survey instrument does not meet the exclusion criterion but you believe it needs to collect identifiable information, please contact the office of DEI at

You will be contacted to discuss your request and clarify the specific information you need. Please allow at least 3 business days for the completion of your request.


Thank you for your commitment to implementing evidence-based best practices to create more inclusive research and patient care environments at OUHSC.

Mary Beth Humphrey, MD, PhD

Interim Vice President for Research
Professor of Medicine, Section of Rheumatology
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center