PAIRED Project

The goal of the Portal for Advancing Inclusion Research Excellence and Diversity (PAIRED) project is to help match Mount Sinai investigators funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with trainees, including those who are underrepresented in science and medicine. This will enable us to increase the number of diversity supplement applications submitted at Mount Sinai in order to expand research opportunities for these trainees and junior faculty.

Diversity sparks innovation, improves scientific excellence, and improves the overall quality of research. Indeed, research shows diverse teams consistently outperform homogeneous teams. As outlined in Mount Sinai’s values: “We are better together by including the diverse perspectives of each team member to achieve outcomes far superior to those any individual could achieve alone.”

PAIRED is a Center for Scientific Diversity initiative aimed at matching NIH-funded investigators with trainees, including those from groups underrepresented in science and medicine. We are working to increase Diversity Supplement applications within our institution.

The NIH funds Administrative Supplements to Enhance Diversity (also called Diversity Supplements). These opportunities offer additional funding to an existing NIH grant with two or more award years left to enable investigators to recruit and support diverse candidates. These candidates include people from backgrounds that are underrepresented in science and medicine. Diversity Supplements enable trainees to receive hands-on experience and mentorship in biomedical research.

This diversity supplement is designed to provide support for research experiences for individuals from diverse backgrounds from high school to the faculty level. Please see for NIH’s eligibility criteria: (

Through the PAIRED project, more than 15 Mount Sinai NIH-funded investigators have expressed interest in applying for a diversity supplement to promote diversity in health-related research. To identify an investigator whose research interests you, visit the PAIRED Find an Investigator page. Once you have selected a Mount Sinai NIH-funded investigator, you can submit an application via the PAIRED application portal.


Sabrina Delva, BS
PhD Student, City College of New Yorkacco
Mentor: James Iatridis, PhD

"My ability to pursue a PhD in biomedical engineering has been made possible because of this supplement, which covers the majority of the associated costs. Through this program, I am receiving extensive mentoring and training in preparation for my journey toward earning a doctorate. The Diversity Supplement provides me with an opportunity I might not have had otherwise. My NIH-funded Principal Investigator, Dr. Iatridis, has been incredible! Dr. Iatridis constantly encourages me to look for a deeper significance in my work and explore how it might generate significant advances in research. He gives me the freedom to make my own discoveries while advising me on how to attain the results I am striving for. I have enjoyed working with Dr. Iatridis and look forward to my future scientific endeavors".

Kashaf Zaheer, BA
Post-Bacc Research Intern, Icahn Mount Sinai
Mentor: James Iatridis, PhD

"The Diversity Supplement has helped me pursue post-baccalaureate research and training, which will prepare me to apply for admission to a top MD/PhD program. In my research training, I have learned the ins and outs of the research procedure, from paper review to wet lab work to writing papers and grant applications. This opportunity has shown me how excited I am to conduct research that has a clear clinical application. My mentor, Dr. Iatridis, has been a knowledgeable, flexible, candid, and resourceful mentor during my time in the Orthopedics Department. He was also my mentor for the Summer Undergraduate Research Program during the summer of 2021. I owe my motivation in pursuing an MD/PhD to his guidance both in the past and in the present. He has connected me to various faculty/students/programs in the medical field, including the Postbachalaureate Research Education Program and graduate school, to help me build a strong application for MD/PhD programs. Throughout my training he urges me to think like an MD/PhD by drawing connections between my research and its applications to patient care".

Jamilia Sly, PhD
Assistant Professor, Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn Mount Sinai
Mentors: Deborah Erwin, PhD, and Lina Jandorf, MA

"The Diversity Supplement helped me transition from Postdoctoral Fellow/Instructor to Assistant Professor. It gave me additional protected time to hone my qualitative research and analysis skills, which was instrumental to helping me get a career development award (K01). I hope that more early-career scientists from underrepresented backgrounds will become aware of Diversity Supplements and apply for funding".

The PAIRED project was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under Award UL1TR004419 and by the Office of Faculty Development (OFD) Faculty Innovative Idea Prize. The content does not necessarily represent the official view of the NIH or OFD.