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Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research

As part of an NIH-wide program, principal investigators holding NIGMS research grants may request supplemental funds to improve the diversity of the research workforce by supporting and recruiting students and postdoctoral fellows from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; individuals with disabilities; and individuals from socially, culturally, economically or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research on a national basis by the National Science Foundation (see the most recent report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering Link to external Web site): African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans/Alaska Natives who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment, Hawaiian Natives and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands. In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting and individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be convincingly demonstrated to be underrepresented by the grantee institution may be included in the request. Individuals with disabilities are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. NIGMS will consider supplemental support of one or more individuals on a grant at the high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate student or postdoctoral fellow levels. Although NIGMS does not support supplements for underrepresented ethnic or racial groups at the investigator level, established investigators (PDs/PIs) who become disabled during the current project period may request funds for reasonable accommodations to permit completion of the currently funded research project.

NIH expects that efforts to diversify the workforce will lead to:

  • Recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups.
  • Improvement in the quality of the educational and training environment.
  • A greater range of ideas to address research questions.
  • A balanced perspective in determining research priorities.
  • Improved capacity to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols.
  • Improved capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.

Principal investigators at domestic institutions who have an active NIGMS research grant, program project grant, center grant or cooperative agreement research program with a reasonable period of research support remaining at the time of the supplemental award are eligible to submit a request to NIGMS for an administrative diversity supplement to the grant. NIGMS does not support diversity supplements on SCORE grants or to IDeA (COBRE and INBRE) grants. Typically a grant should have at least 2 years remaining in order to request a supplement for a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow; for high school, undergraduate or post-baccalaureate students, the grant should have at least 1 year remaining. Individuals may receive support under these programs on only one grant at any time, but may be supported by more than one grant during their research training. Please see the program announcement for a list of eligible grant mechanisms.

Grantee institutions should submit requests for supplements to NIGMS grants directly to NIGMS. Please see the NIGMS Diversity Supplements Program Philosophy before submitting an application. For additional information, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, July 2, 2008 (PA-12-149), or contact Dr. Marion Zatz at 301-594-3833.

Program Details

Application and Submission Procedures

Application and Supplementary Information

Please see the program announcement and the NIGMS Diversity Supplement Program Philosophy for specific application requirements. NIGMS strongly encourages electronic submission via the Commons of the completed request, including all appropriate signatures and supporting documents, to be submitted as a single PDF document.

Submission and Review Process

Applications may be submitted at any time and are administratively reviewed within NIGMS on a rolling basis. Applicants should be aware that applications submitted after May 1 may not be awarded until the following November due to the change in fiscal year on October 1. In addition, applicants requesting supplements to support a summer research experience are strongly encouraged to submit their applications no later than April 1 to allow sufficient time to review an application and reach a timely funding decision. We anticipate applicants will receive notification of a funding decision approximately 10 weeks after receipt of the application. This is a competitive program and funding is not guaranteed.

Contact Us

Marion Zatz, Ph.D.
Director, Diversity and Career Re-entry Supplements Program

This page last reviewed on January 28, 2014