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Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research

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The NICHD encourages academic institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations, which in turn, increases the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences.

Through these supplements, managed through the Office of Health Equity, Principal Investigators (PIs) who hold certain research grants (listed below) can apply for additional funds to support and recruit students, postdoctoral students and fellows, and eligible investigators from the following groups:

  • Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups;
  • Individuals with disabilities; and
  • Individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, which inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research.

Watch this video to learn more about what the supplements offer. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions below, or consult our additional guidance on applying.

A text alternative is available at

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible?
How many years should be remaining on the parent grant?
How many supplements can a parent grant have?
What are the application deadlines and submission guidelines?
What types of plans are required with the application?
Can the trainee travel to attend or present at conferences?
Who can I contact for more information about these supplements?

Who is eligible?

These research supplements are available to:

  • PIs at domestic institutions who hold an active R01, R10, R18, R22, R24, R35, R37, R43, R44, R41, R42, P01, P20, P30, P40, P41, P50, P51, P60, U01, U10, U19, U41, U42, U54, or S06 grant
  • Those who hold active P20, P30, and P60 grants, but only if the projects contain research components
  • Those who hold S06 awards, but only to support postdoctoral fellows and faculty

In addition, those who hold active Small Grant Awards (R03), Academic Research Enhancement Awards (R15), or Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21) may be eligible, depending on the awarding component. PIs should check with the appropriate awarding component before submitting an application for a supplement.

How many years should be remaining on the parent grant?

In general, PIs should only submit applications for supplements is they have at least 2 years left on the parent grant at the time of award.

Exceptions to this guideline may be considered for smaller grants (e.g., R03s, R21s, and R15s), on a case-by-case basis. 

A parent grant with only one year remaining will only be considered if the proposed application is for summer experience (up to 3 months) for high school, undergraduate, or predoctoral students or faculty members.

We will not accept applications for parent grants in a no-cost extension.

How many supplements can a parent grant have?

  • A parent grant can support up to two high school or undergraduate research supplements simultaneously.
  • The parent grant can only support a single supplement at the post-baccalaureate, post-master, graduate, post-doctoral, or investigator level.

What are the application deadlines and submission guidelines?

  • There are no specific receipt dates for supplement applications. They may be submitted at any time.
  • NICHD strongly encourages electronic submission of the completed request, including all appropriate signatures and supporting documents, to be submitted as a single PDF document.
  • Email applications to using the subject line with only, “NICHD DIVERSITY SUPPLEMENT APPLICATION PDF”, in all caps. 

What kinds of plans are required with the application?

The application requires three specific plans, described below.

Research Plan

The Research Plan should present evidence that the proposed experience is appropriate for the stage of the individual's career, and that it will significantly enhance the individual's research potential, while furthering the individual's ability to pursue a research career.

Graduate, postdoctoral and investigator level candidates are expected to have defined research projects. Candidates at the high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and post-masters are generally not expected to conduct independent projects, although such a situation is encouraged if the applicant’s experience allows for a more independent project; short-term research training may assume partial or complete responsibility for some aspects of the parent grant.

Note: projects or specific aims deleted during the initial peer review of the parent grant may not be proposed as the research basis for research supplement support.

Career Development Plan

The expectation is that the PI will prepare a detailed Career Development Plan that will include objectives, benchmarks, and associated timelines.

The PI of the parent grant should describe how the research experience will foster the research capabilities of the candidate and explain how the research experience is related to the research goals and objectives of the parent grant.

The Career Development Plan should also include plans for transition to the next stage of the candidate’s career level. For graduate, post doctoral, and investigator level candidates, a projected timeline delineating specific research milestones and other activities that will be made in an attempt to secure independent research funding (i.e., anticipated publications, grantsmanship workshops, timeframe for grant submissions and type of independent research support the candidate seeks).

Mentorship Plan

The PI should describe in detail how he/she will assist the candidate in achieving the objectives and goals outlined in the supplement application. 

The Mentorship Plan should include:

  • Guidance on preparation of oral scientific presentations
  • Instructions on how to critically evaluate the literature and experimental design
  • Training in scientific writing (including grant proposal preparation), such as manuscripts, abstracts;
  • Instruction in responsible conduct of research and how to design experiments
  • Guidance in the ethical conduct of research (including training in animal and human subjects' protection, if applicable)

Specific parameters such as the frequency of meetings, topics to be discussed, and how progress will be monitored should be documented in the application.

The PI should provide evidence of mentoring experience and success (e.g., a list of past trainees and their current positions). If the PI is a junior faculty member, it may be appropriate to include an experienced co-mentor in the application.

In addition, if the PI has previously been awarded any supplement(s), he/she should describe:

  • The outcome of the previous supplement(s) including the current status of the candidate(s) (i.e., title of current position and name of institution)
  • The outcomes of the prior development/mentorship plan
  • Any unexpected positive or negative occurrences that affected specific aspects of the development/mentorship plan or success of the candidate(s)
  • How these prior experiences influenced the development/mentorship plan proposed for the current candidate(s)

Can the trainee travel to attend or present at conferences?

The PI may request funds for the candidate to attend one scientific meeting each year of the award. The specific amount requested will depend upon the career stage of the applicant. 

Who can I contact for more information about these supplements?

Regina Smith James, M.D.
Director, Office of Health Equity, NICHD
Phone: 301-435-2692
Mail: 6100 Executive Blvd., Room 5E03, Bethesda, MD 20892

You can also visit the most recent program announcement for Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research to learn more.

Last Reviewed: 09/22/2014

Contact Information

Name: Dr. Jean Flagg-Newton
Acting Director
Office of Health Equity
Phone: 301-435-2722

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