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NIH Diversity Supplements Hub

NIH Diversity Supplements Hub

Welcome to the ITHS central hub for National Institutes of Health (NIH) Diversity Supplements! Here you will find information about diversity supplements and their eligibility requirements, as well as links to three partners with grants eligible for diversity supplements: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and the University of Washington School of Public Health. We encourage program directors (PDs)/primary investigators (PIs) and potential diversity supplement candidates to explore this page and those of all three institutions to learn more about these valuable funding opportunities.

Why diversity in research?

Simply put, diverse teams create better results. Diverse research participation results in better science. Diversity is a key element of excellence, and without a biomedical and health research workforce that represents the patients or participants it wants to serve or engage, we cannot be truly excellent.

What are diversity supplements?

Diversity Supplements are administrative supplements sponsored by the NIH, intended to help increase the number of underrepresented and disadvantaged scientists in biomedical and behavioral research. Supplement funding is awarded (after review and acceptance) to existing NIH research grants, or parent grants, to support individuals who are:

  • A member of an underrepresented racial/ethnic minority,
  • Individuals with disabilities, and/or
  • From a disadvantaged background.

Supplements are available and this program supports individuals at the high school, undergraduate, pre-doctoral (graduate), post-doctoral, and junior investigator levels.


Which NIH Institutes or Centers (ICs) have diversity supplements?

PDs/PIs with grants from the following NIH institutes and centers (ICs) are eligible to apply for a diversity supplement:

  • National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • National Eye Institute (NEI)
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
  • National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
  • National Institute on Aging (NIA)
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
  • National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
  • National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
  • National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
  • National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
  • National Library of Medicine (NLM)
  • Fogarty International Center (FIC)
  • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
  • National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
  • Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP)
  • Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)
Which parent grants are eligible for a diversity supplement?

The following activity codes, awarded from the above ICs, are eligible to apply for diversity supplements:

DP1, DP2, DP4, DP5
G12, G20
P01, P20, P2C, P40, P41, P50, P51, P60, PM1, PN2
R00, R01, R03, R15, R18, R21, R24, R33, R34, R35, R37, R41, R42, R43, R44, R61, RC1, RC2, RC3, RC4,RF1, RM1
SC1, SC2, SC3, S06
U01, U10, U13, U18, U19, U24, U2C, UL1, U41, U42, U44, U54,U56, UC2, UC4, UF1, UG1, UG3, UH2, UH3, UM1, UM2

Who is eligible to receive a diversity supplement?

Specific candidate eligibility criteria, from the NIH website, are:

A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the NSF to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.  In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be demonstrated convincingly to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in this program.  For more information on racial and ethnic categories and definitions, see the OMB Revisions to the Standards for Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity (

B. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.  See NSF data at

C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria:

  1.  Were or currently are homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Definition:;
  2. Were or currently are in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families (Definition:;
  3. Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years (Definition:;
  4. Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor’s degree (see;
  5. Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell grants (Definition:;
  6. Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as a parent or child (Definition:
  7. Grew up in one of the following areas: a) a U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer (, or b) a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas  (qualifying zipcodes are included in the file). Only one of the two possibilities in #7 can be used as a criterion for the disadvantaged background definition.

Students from low socioeconomic (SES) status backgrounds have been shown to obtain bachelor’s and advanced degrees at significantly lower rates than students from middle and high SES groups (see, and are subsequently less likely to be represented in biomedical research. For background see Department of Education data at,

D. Literature shows that women from the above backgrounds (categories A, B, and C) face particular challenges at the graduate level and beyond in scientific fields. (See, e.g., From the NIH: A Systems Approach to Increasing the Diversity of Biomedical Research Workforce ).

Women have been shown to be underrepresented in doctorate-granting research institutions at senior faculty levels in most biomedical-relevant disciplines, and may also be underrepresented at other faculty levels in some scientific disciplines (See data from the National Science Foundation National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, special report available at, especially Table 9-23, describing science, engineering, and health doctorate holders employed in universities and 4-year colleges, by broad occupation, sex, years since doctorate, and faculty rank).


Who submits the application for a diversity supplement, the candidate or the PI?

While the candidate writes certain portions of the application, such as the personal statement, the application is submitted by the PI.

I’ve heard that IC eligibility differs from what’s listed in the funding announcement for diversity supplements? How do I know which eligibility requirements apply to my application?

It’s true that eligibility requires may vary between ICs. For all applications, we highly recommend talking with your PO about candidate eligibility, as well as your proposed project for the candidate.

Why should a PD/PI apply for a diversity supplement?

There are so many reasons!  Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Obtain additional funding on a project to support an outstanding student, post-bac, trainee, or early career faculty member.
  • The application and review process is faster than most NIH applications since they don’t go through a full review; they also have a high funding rate.
  • Demonstrate your commitment to expanding the diversity of our research workforce.
  • Gain additional opportunities for mentorship and developing careers of candidates who are underrepresented in the health-related research workforce.
Why should a candidate apply for a diversity supplement?

Recipients of diversity supplements reap many benefits:

  • Prepare for graduate school or other future work by working with mentors on research projects.
  • Conduct their own work within the larger context of the parent grant award.
  • May have the opportunity to travel and assist in manuscript publication.
  • Advanced candidates may have a mentored grant writing experience and, depending on the length of their project, may experience the full lifecycle of grants from grant writing, developing protocols, recruitment, enrollment, data management and analysis, and dissemination of findings.
What type of research projects are supported by NIH Diversity Supplements?

The proposed research experience must be an integral part of the approved, ongoing research of the parent award, and it must have the potential to contribute significantly to the research career development of the candidate.

When are applications due?

Submission dates vary by IC. NIH provides a table containing important information and contact details for each IC. Generally, applications require the following components for submission: cover form, biosketches, research plan, career development plan, mentor qualifications, candidate career goals statement, statement of eligibility (citizenship status clearly stated), transcript(s), and letter of recommendation(s).

Does the project for a diversity supplement need to focus on advancing diversity?

No. While the parent grant can of course focus on advancing diversity, it is not a requirement of a diversity supplement. Projects can include bench research, translational research, etc. The main goal of a diversity supplement is to advance the career of a diverse candidate.


Can a candidate be supported on another NIH or federal grant and receive a diversity supplement?

Maybe. However, in most cases, receiving funding from the parent NIH research grant will make the candidate ineligible to apply for a diversity supplement on that same grant.

How long can a candidate/trainee receive funding?

It depends both on the educational or career level of the recipient, and the amount of time left on the parent award. The time period of award can range from a summer for a high school student, to as much as five years for an early faculty member; however, most supplements range from one to three years in length. The time of support cannot exceed the time of funding left on the parent grant, which does not include a no-cost extension period. It is recommended at a minimum that at the time of application at least two years remain on the grant.

Can a parent grant support more than one diversity supplement candidate at a time?

A parent grant may support more than one diversity supplement at a time; however, each request must be strongly justified and include assurances that each candidate will receive appropriate mentoring.

Can a candidate have more than one diversity supplement?

Candidates may receive support from only one NIH administrative supplement at a time but may be supported by more than one supplement during the development of their research careers.

Learn More

How can I find out more about the NIH Diversity Supplements program?

Complete information about the NIH Diversity Supplements Program can be found in the NIH Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) PA-21-071 (

All three ITHS partner institutions also have web pages with relevant information about these supplements for their investigators:

Fred Hutch NIH Diversity Supplement Info

Seattle Children’s NIH Diversity Supplement Info

University of Washington NIH Diversity Supplement Info

Where are there other funding opportunities for increasing the diversity of our workforce?

NIH Diversity Supplements aren’t the only available funding opportunity aimed at increasing the diversity of our workforce. Click the links below to learn about other funding opportunities.

ITHS Funding Opportunities Page

Child Health Equity Research Program for Post-doctoral Trainees (CHERPP-T) Program

Seattle Children’s Underrepresented Minority Students in Research Internship Program

UW Medicine Center for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (CEDI)