The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences workforce.

NIH-funded Diversity Supplemental Grants offer a tremendous opportunity to support underrepresented individuals, disabled trainees and junior faculty. Awards are additional funds, specifically designated for diversity initiatives by the NIH.

The NIH expects efforts to diversity the workforce to lead to the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups. Goals are to:

  • Improve the quality of the educational and training environment
  • Balance and broaden the perspective in setting research priorities
  • Improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols
  • Improve the nation’s capacity to address and eliminate health disparities

Fast facts

  • $450.6 million to support research in Missouri (FY 2014)
  • 80 %+ — or $372 million — was awarded to Washington University researchers
  • Of the 815 NIH-funded grants awarded to Washington University School of Medicine during fiscal year 2014, nearly 70% were eligible for Diversity Supplement funding.

Who is eligible to apply?

Principle investigators who hold the following types of grants are generally eligible to submit a request for an Administrative Supplement to the parent grant:

  • R01, R10, R18, R22, R24, R37, P01, P20, P30, P40, P41, P50, P51, P60, U01, U10, U19 U41, U42 or U54.

Principle investigators who hold any of the following also may apply for a supplement under this program:

  • Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15)
  • Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21)
  • Small Grant Award (R03)

What can funds be used for?

Diversity supplemental grants may be used to recruit any of the following:

  • High school students
  • Undergraduate students
  • Post-baccalaureate studens and post-master’s degree students
  • Predoctoral students
  • Postdoctorals
  • Faculty members who wish to participate in ongoing research projects while further developing their own independent research potential
  • Established investigators who become disabled may be eligible for additional support or special equipment that will facilitate a continuing contribution to the goals of the parent grant.

How do I apply?

An application for a diversity supplemental grant is short and easy to write, has no set deadline and can be submitted by the principal investigator of any existing NIH-funded grant or contract. You will need to submit letters of support.

Features of the application process include:

  • No required peer review
  • Applications can be approved by NIH project officers
  • Relatively simple application

Who can help me with the application?

Washington University School of Medicine Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team members have experience assisting with the development and support of supplemental grant application.

Additional university resources can provide guidance on how to support the university’s commitment to recruiting and developing individuals from underrepresented backgrounds in research efforts in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.