Supplemental Funding from the NIH Promotes Diversity in Research

The National Science Foundation has shown that individuals from certain racial and ethnic groups, including Black/African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are greatly underrepresented in health sciences across the nation. In addition, individuals with physical or mental disabilities or who come from disadvantaged backgrounds experience significant barriers to joining the health science research workforce.

Smiling technician using microscope in laboratory

Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research from the National Institutes of Health are designed to create a pipeline for under-represented individuals to help them overcome those barriers.  Investigators with current NIH grants may apply for supplemental funding to recruit or retain under-represented trainees at various stages in their career, from high school students to early career principal investigators.

NIH Diversity Supplements foster the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all backgrounds, which in turn improves our ability to recruit research participants from diverse backgrounds to better address and eliminate health disparities among under-represented populations. Workforce diversity in health research will also improve training environments by inviting a greater range of ideas and balancing perspectives to address research questions and determine research priorities.

In order to apply for the Diversity Supplement, investigators should have at least 2 years remaining on existing NIH grants to support a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow, or at least 1 year remaining for high school, undergraduate, or post-baccalaureate student support.

Diversity Supplements are supported using funds specifically set aside for this purpose and thus can be approved by NIH Project Officers without peer review. This significantly expedites the review process and removes yet another barrier to funding for under-represented individuals.

Many Institutes or Centers accept these applications on a rolling basis, though some may have specific application deadlines. Applicants are strongly urged to consult the following Program Announcement (PA-15-322) for guidance and should contact their program officer prior to submitting an application.

For more information, contact John P. Cullen, Ph.D., CTSI Director of Diversity and Inclusion.

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