Diversity Supplements and FAQ's

Diversity Supplements

Diversity Supplements allow an investigator to help train the next generation of future scientists and increase diversity of the research workforce in their lab. Awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), Diversity Supplements offer additional funding to an existing NIH grant with two more award years left. These funds enable investigators to recruit and retain diverse candidates who have demonstrated interest in research to fill crucial rolls in the lab and may be submitted for: high school and college students, post baccalaureate, post masters, GRAs, post docs and faculty from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups or from disadvantaged background with award amounts based on career level.

Frequently Asked Questions

Requirements and Templates

Guidelines and templates are provided when indicated to assist in your application.

  1. NIH Face Page (required for paper applications only.) Include the title and grant number of the parent grant and the name "Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, PA-15-322.”
  2. Research Plan Component: Do not exceed six pages and include #3-5 below.
  3. A summary or abstract of the funded parent grant or project
  4. A plan and timeline for the research and career development experiences proposed for the candidate.  Click for template.
  5. A description of how the research and career development experiences will expand and foster the research capabilities of the candidate; how the proposed experiences relates to the specific research goals and objectives of the parent grant; evidence of adequate mentoring experience and success; evidence that the candidate will receive research mentoring.  Click here for template.   
  6. Project/Performance Site Locations: Include the primary site where the proposed supplement activities will be performed. If a portion of the proposed supplement activities will be performed at any other site(s), identify the locations in the fields provided.
  7. Senior/Key Personnel Form: List the PD/PI as the first person (regardless of their role on the supplement activities). List any other Senior/Key Personnel (with a role on the supplement), followed by the Candidate who is being added through this supplement, or for whom additional funds are being requested through this supplement. Candidates for diversity supplement support must have a profile in eRA Commons, and the candidate’s Commons Username should be entered on the Senior/Key Personnel form.
  8. Candidate’s Biosketch: Include evidence of scientific achievement or interest, any source(s) of current funding, and statement from the candidate outlining her/his research objectives and career goals.  Click here for template. 
  9. Initial and Entire Proposed Period of Support Budget: A proposed budget entered on budget pages related to the percent effort (where appropriate) for the research experience of the candidate during the first and future years. If the initial budget period requested is less than 12 months, the budget must be prorated accordingly.
    -Senior/Key Personnel: Starting with the PD/PI first and the diversity candidate second, provide the name, role, person-months requested, base salary, requested salary, fringe benefits, and total funds requested for each person. If the initial budget period requested is less than 12 months, the budget must be prorated accordingly.
    -Other Personnel: Costs for Other Personnel should not be requested for this supplement program.
    -Equipment: In general, equipment may not be purchased as a part of this supplement. See FOA for additional information on equipment and other budgeting information based on candidate’s career level.
  10. IRB and IACUC Documentation: Documentation, if applicable, that the proposed research experience was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or human subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the grantee institution must be provided. Adherence to the NIH policy for including women and minorities in clinical studies must also be insured if additional human subjects' involvement is planned for the supplement component.
  11. Applicant Eligibility Statement: A signed statement from the PD(s)/PI(s) and an institutional official establishing the eligibility of the candidate for support under this program. The statement must include clearly presented information on citizenship. The statement must also include a description of how the appointment of this specific candidate will address the issue of diversity within the national scientific workforce or within the workforce or the relevant population at the grantee institution (see Section I: Enhancing Diversity). Finally, the statement must additionally describe any current or previous PHS research grant support the candidate has received. The strength of this statement will be considered by the NIH administrative review committee along with all other material provided.  Click here for template.
  12. Subrecipient (Sub-awardee institution) Approval: If any of the research is to be conducted at a site other than the grantee institution, an appropriately signed letter from the institution where the research is to be conducted must be submitted. The request must be signed by the candidate, the Principal Investigator, and the appropriate institutional business official.
  13. Candidate Transcript: A copy of the most recent official transcript if the candidate is a high school, undergraduate, baccalaureate or master's degree holder, or graduate student.
  14. Reasonable Accommodations: If the request is for a supplement based on disability, the institution should indicate what, if any, reasonable accommodations the institution has supported or plans to provide along with a full description of how any additional support for accommodation might be used. The relationship of the proposed accommodation to the proposed project must be described.

Success and Eligibility

1. Which NIH awards are eligible?

  • The NIH accepts Diversity Supplement applications on the following awards: R01 (or RL1), R03, R15, R21, R21/R33, R34/U34,R18, R24, R37, R41, R42, R43, R44, R41, R42, RC1, RC2, RC3, RC4, RM1, DP1, DP2, DP3, DP4, DP5/UP5, P01 (or PL1), P20, P2C, PM1, P30, P40, P41, P50, P51, P60, SC1, SC2, SC3, U01 (or UL1), U10, U18, U19, U41, U42, U54, U2C, UG1, UH2/UH3, UM1, UM2.

At the time of a supplemental award, the parent award must have support remaining for a reasonable period usually defined as two years or more.

2. What makes a successful application?

  • The project must be an integral part of the parent grant, contribute significantly to the candidate's research career development, and enhance their research skills.

3. Are there reasons why the NIH would not fund the application?

  • Yes. Below are three important considerations.
  1. The NIH won’t fund the diversity supplement if the candidate is already funded on your NIH award. You can apply for a supplement on a different award but the one he/she is participating on must first end.
  2. The candidate does not meet the diversity criteria as defined by the NIH.
  3. The Institute or Center may stop accepting applications because they have already expended their entire budget for that particular fiscal year.

4. Who is eligible to be a candidate for a diversity supplement?

  • The NIH is particularly interested in encouraging the recruitment and retention of the following of candidates:
    • Individuals underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders
    • Individuals with disabilities
    • Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds

There are additional determining factors included in the NIH Diversity Supplement Funding Opportunity Announcement

5. At what stage of the candidate’s training or career can I apply?

  • Diversity supplements may be submitted for: high school and college students, post baccalaureate and post masters, GRAs, post docs and faculty from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups or from disadvantaged backgrounds and who have a demonstrated interest in research. The awards are different for each career level. Please be aware that the NIH generally considers financial disadvantages to end upon attainment of a college degree.

Submitting Your Application

6. How long is the application and what needs to be included?

  • The Research Plan Component should not exceed 6 pages and includes an abstract, timeline, research plan, and mentoring information. The PI also submits the candiate’s biosketch, signed statements, a budget, transcripts, and other documentation.  Refer to the Requirements and Templates section above for Mount Sinai's templates on the required supporting documentation.  

7. What is the deadline to apply?

8. How much funding do investigators typically apply for and receive?

  • Application budgets are limited to no more than the amount of the current parent award and must reflect actual needs of the proposed project. Direct costs for individual administrative supplements vary from less than $5,000 to more than $100,000 depending on the career level of the candidate. The NIH typically awards the requested amount.

9. How do I submit my application to the NIH?

  • There are 4 ways to submit your application.
    1. You can submit  via a System-to-System application on InfoEd. The forms and data that you complete on InfoEd are exported onto the NIH Federal SF424 forms.  Click here for instructions.
    2. You can submit your application on eRA Commons.  Click here for instructions.
    3. You can submit a paper copy application using the NIH PHS 398 application kit. This is the NIH’s required submission method for parent awards that were originally multi-project applications (e.g., P01, U54.)  Click here for instructions.
    4. You can be part of another institution’s NIH grant and submit as a subaward.  Click here for instructions.

10. Do I also need to submit an InfoEd application?

  • Yes. An InfoEd application is required for all applications. See above for further instructions.

11. What’s the earliest start date of the supplement?

  • Since the FOA states, “The decision to fund a supplement will take approximately 10 weeks from receipt of a complete application,” the earliest start date would be 10 weeks from submission. However, each NIH awarding Institute / Center (IC) may have specific project start date information. You are encouraged to contact the IC Staff and visit the IC website.

12. When will I hear whether the supplement has been awarded?

  • Since the FOA states, “The decision to fund a supplement will take approximately 10 weeks from receipt of a complete application,” expect to hear back 10 weeks after you submit. However, each NIH awarding Institute / Center (IC) may develop a different timeline. You are encouraged to contact the IC Staff and visit the IC website.

Managing Your Award

13. Will I receive a new notice of award (NOA) if funded?

  • The NIH may issue a NoA for the supplement only. Alternatively, the NIH may issue a revision to the current year parent NoA or include the award as part of a future year parent NOA.

14. Will the Mount Sinai Finance Office issue a separate fund number for the supplement?

  • No, the funds for the supplement are included in the parent fund account.

15. How do I report on the progress to the NIH?

  • Reporting requirements are specified in the NOA’s terms and conditions of award as applicable to the supplemental activities. In most non-competitive (Type 5), applications the progress report and budget for the supplement must be included with, but clearly delineated from, the progress report and budget for the parent award. The progress report must include information about the activities supported by the supplement even if support for future years is not requested.


16. Who can help determine eligibility?

  • Allison Gottlieb
    Director of Sponsored Program Education, Grants and Contracts Office

17. Who can help answer other questions?

  • Elizabeth Urbanski
    Program Manager, Dean’s Office, Staff to DBRC
  • Crispin Goytia
    Program Manager for The Centers for Community and Academic Research Partnerships (CCARP), Conduits – The Institutes for Translational Sciences
  • NIH Awarding Institute/Center (IC) Contact Person
    You are strongly encouraged to contact the awarding Institute or Center (Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts) PRIOR to writing and submitting your application. Some Institutes and Centers have been known to stop accepting applications for funding during a fiscal year because they have already expended their entire budget due to an unforeseen increase in the number of applications that particular year.

Contact Us

Elizabeth Urbanski, MPA
Program Manager, Dean's Office, Staff to DBRC

Allison Gottlieb, MS
Director of Sponsored Programs Education
Grants and Contracts Office

Crispin Goytia
Program Manager for The Centers for Community and Academic Research Partnerships (CCARP), Conduits – The Institutes for Translational Sciences