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.
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.
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:
Supplements are available and this program supports individuals at the high school, undergraduate, pre-doctoral (graduate), post-doctoral, and junior investigator levels.
PDs/PIs with grants from the following NIH institutes and centers (ICs) are eligible to apply for a diversity supplement:
The following activity codes, awarded from the above ICs, are eligible to apply for diversity supplements:
DP1, DP2, DP4, DP5
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
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 http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27) 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 (https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-1997-10-30/html/97-28653.htm).
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 http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/2013/pdf/tab7-5_updated_2014_10.pdf.
C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria:
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 https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_tva.asp), and are subsequently less likely to be represented in biomedical research. For background see Department of Education data at, https://nces.ed.gov/; https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_tva.asp; https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/advancing-diversity-inclusion.pdf.
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 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5008902/ ).
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 https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/, 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).
While the candidate writes certain portions of the application, such as the personal statement, the application is submitted by the PI.
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.
There are so many reasons! Here are a few of our favorites:
Recipients of diversity supplements reap many benefits:
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Complete information about the NIH Diversity Supplements Program can be found in the NIH Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) PA-21-071 (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-21-071.html).
All three ITHS partner institutions also have web pages with relevant information about these supplements for their investigators:
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.