Diversity Supplements

Purpose of Diversity Supplements

NIH Diversity Supplements attract disabled, disadvantaged or underrepresented minority trainees to biomedical research careers. The supplements also are a great way to obtain added resources for funded research projects.

Applications for Diversity Supplements

  • Can be submitted by the Principal Investigator of many existing NIH-funded grants or contracts
  • Are short and easy to write
  • Can be approved by NIH Project Officers and are supported using funds specifically set-aside for this purpose
  • Often have a quick review, no set deadline, and a relatively high probability of funding

Pre-Submission Grant Reviews are provided approximately 4-6 weeks before submission deadlines by CTSI's Integrating Special Populations (ISP) Program. 

NIH Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Admin Supplement) PA-21-071 provides funding for trainees and faculty from underrepresented groups to work on an existing NIH-funded project in a particular area of interest.

  • The application information (which can be accessed via the link above) describes the requirements for all levels of trainee, from high school through college, graduate school, and postgraduate studies to the investigator level.
  • Trainees must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States or to individuals who have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States (i.e., in possession of a Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551).
  • Diversity Supplements must support work within the scope of the original project.
  • Due dates may vary by awarding IC. See Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts for more details.
  • Diversity Supplements are much less competitive than peer-reviewed grant funding mechanisms, and can provide an excellent entry point for a research career.
  • Budget requests must follow the budget cycle of the existing grant.
  • Supplemental funding may not extend beyond the existing grant’s project end date.

Principal Investigators who hold an active R01, R03, R10,R15, R18, R22, R24, R35, R37, P01, P20, P30, P40, P41, P50, P51, P60, UM1, U01, U10, U19, U41, U42, U54, or UL1 grant are generally eligible to submit a request for an Diversity Supplement to the parent grant. See a complete list of eligible grants.

First step: Principal Investigators interested in submitting an application for a diversity supplement should begin by contacting the NIH staff (Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts) of the administrating IC of the parent grant. Some institutes have specific application instructions and requirements.

The NIH definition is included in "Section I. Funding Opportunity Description" of  PA-21-071, and is summarized here:

The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research:

  • Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. (See more information).
  • Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment
  • Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who meet specific criteria.

The NIH believes that by providing research opportunities for qualified individuals at various career levels, the number entering and remaining in health-related research careers will increase. Accordingly, Principal Investigators are encouraged to consider administrative supplements under this program for candidates at the following career levels:

  • High School Students who have expressed an interest in the health-related sciences.
  • Undergraduate Students who wish to pursue graduate level research training in health-related sciences.
  • Post-Baccalaureate Students and Post-Master's Degree Students who have recently graduated and wish to pursue further graduate training in health-related research.
  • Predoctoral students and Health Professional Students who wish to develop their research capabilities in the health-related sciences.
  • Individuals in Postdoctoral Training who wish to participate as postdoctoral researchers in ongoing research projects and career development experiences in preparation for an independent career in a health-related research.
  • Investigators developing independent research careers 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.

To enhance training and education of supplement awardees, consider inclusion of fees or tuition costs in the supplement budget for pertinent courses or workshops.

CTSI’s Grants Submission Unit (GSU@mednet.ucla.edu) can provide additional advice and may be available to help support the application.

CTSI Grants Library contains samples of successful Diversity Supplements and can be accessed online.