Diversity Supplements

The Diversity in Biomedical Research Council (DBRC) is charged with improving awareness of mechanisms to enhance the diversity of our faculty, Post Docs, and students engaged in Biomedical /Translational research. One such mechanism is NIH’s Administrative Supplements to Enhance Diversity known as Diversity Supplements. Awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), Diversity Supplements offer additional funding to an existing NIH grant with two or 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. Eligible candidates may be high school and college students, post baccalaureate, post master's, GRAs, post-doctoral candidates and faculty from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, or individuals from disadvantaged background (high school or undergrad only).  Award amounts are based on career level and have a 95 to100 percent funding success rate for eligible and complete applications.

Below is a Q and A outlining the key details of the application process, covering Success and Eligibility, Submitting Your Application, and Managing Your Award.

The NIH accepts Diversity Supplement applications on these awards: R00, R01, R03, R15, R18, R21, R21/R33, R24, R33, R34, R37, R41, R42, R43, R44, R61/R33, RC1, RC2, RC3, RC4, RM1, DP1, DP2, DP3, DP4, DP5, P01, P20, P2C,  P30, P40, P41, P50, P51, P60, PM1, PN2, SC1, SC2, SC3, U01, U10, U18, U19, U41, U42, U54, U56, U2C, UC2, 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.

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

There are three potential issues:

  1. The candidate is already funded on your NIH award. (You can apply for a supplement on a different award but only after the one funding the candidate has ended.)
  2. The candidate does not meet NIH’s diversity criteria.
  3. The Institute or Center may have expended its funding for the fiscal year in question.

The following groups are eligible to apply for diversity supplements:

  • Individuals underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Individuals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds

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

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.

The Research Plan Component should not exceed six pages and should include an abstract, timeline, research plan, and mentoring information. The PI also submits the candidate’s biosketch, an eligibility statement signed by the PI and an authorizing official (i.e., GCO), a budget, and other documentation.

Due dates may vary by awarding Institute or Center. See Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts for more details.

Diversity supplement budgets are limited to no more than the amount of the current parent award and must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. Direct costs for individual administrative supplements range 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.

There are four ways to submit your application:

    1. System-to-System application on InfoEd: the forms and data that you complete on InfoEd are exported onto the NIH Federal SF424 forms. View instructions
    2. eRA Commons View instructions
    3. Paper form 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.) View instructions
    4. Submit as a subaward as part of another institution’s NIH grant. View instructions

Yes. All applicants must submit an InfoEd application.

Each NIH awarding Institute / Center (IC) may have specific project start date information. Visit the IC website or contact the IC staff.

Each NIH awarding Institute / Center (IC) may have specific project start date information. Visit the IC website or contact the IC staff.

Sometimes NIH issues a NoA for the supplement only, sometimes it issues a revision to the current year parent NoA, and sometimes it includes the award as part of a future-year parent NoA.

No, we include the supplemental funds in the parent fund account.

The NoA lays out the reporting requirements for the individual diversity supplement. In most non-competitive (Type 5) applications, you must include the progress report and budget for the supplement in the progress report and budget for the parent award–but you are required to clearly delineate the amounts associated with the diversity supplement. The progress report must include information about the activities supported by the supplement even if you are not requesting support for future years.

Contact Allison Gottlieb, Director of Sponsored Program Education, Grants and Contracts Office, at allison.gottlieb@mssm.edu.

Who can help answer other questions?

  • Elizabeth Urbanski
    Program Manager, Dean’s Office, Staff to Diversity in Biomedical Research Council
  • Crispin Goytia
    Program Manager for The Centers for Community and Academic Research Partnerships, Conduits – The Institutes for Translational Sciences

We strongly encourage you to contact the awarding Institute or Center prior to submitting your application. Some institutes and centers stop accepting applications for funding during a fiscal year because they have already expended their entire budget for that year.