NIH Diversity Supplements and the Updated NIH Definition of Diversity

 NIH provides diversity supplements through a number of NIH Institutes. These institutes and the guidelines for submitting a diversity supplement can be found at PA-18-906 (expiration date September 8, 2021).

In Mike Lauer’s November 26, 2019, NIH OER website blog, he wrote that NIH is expanding their definition of socio-economic disadvantaged to be more inclusive and to diversify the workforce further (unsplit the infinitive). The goal is to broaden the definition of diversity for diversity supplements that support students from high school through post-doctoral training. He noted that NIH’s expanded definition of disadvantaged applies to all NIH programs and includes the following new components:

  • In the expanded definition, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria (from NOT-OD-20-031):
  1. Were or currently are homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act;
  2. Were or currently are in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families;
  3. Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years;
  4. Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor’s degree (see;
  5. Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell grants;
  6. Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) as a parent or child.
  7. Grew up in one of the following areas: a) a U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer, or b) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas (XLS) (qualifying zip codes are included in the file). Only one of the two possibilities in #7 can be used as a criterion for the disadvantaged background definition.

NOT-OD-20-031 (see URL above) notes that the expanded definition adds to the previous definition of diversity as Underrepresented Populations in the U.S. Biomedical, Clinical, Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Enterprise

Individuals from racial and ethnic groups have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). 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, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders. In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be demonstrated convincingly to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in NIH programs to enhance diversity. For more information on racial and ethnic categories and definitions, see the OMB Revisions to the Standards for Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity. Note originated by Grants Facilitation January 24, 2020.

Forms F Introduced In May 2020

Notice number OD-20-026 released on November 22, 2019 announced that new forms were being developed for grant applications submitted on May 25, 2020, or after that date (NIH Cycle 2 submissions and beyond). These forms are referred to as the Forms F Application Package.

Updates to this information have been released, indicating that the new form set will be available on February 25, 2020. An updated How to Apply Application Guide will be available no later than March 25, 2020.

The following are links to a summary of form changes: High-level Summary of Form Changes in FORMS-F Application Packages (PDF) and an annotated form set, Annotated Form Set for NIH Grant Applications. Note originated by Grants Facilitation January 24, 2020.

Responding to Frequent Questions on Flexibilities Related to NIH Funding and COVID-19

Posted on March 26, 2020 by Mike Lauer

The public health emergency due to COVID-19 is causing difficulties in many aspects of our lives. My colleagues and I here at NIH are well aware of the challenges being felt in the research community as institutions are closing, people are being asked to practice social distancing, and resources and attention are justifiably focused on public health needs. We recently updated our website with a slew of additional FAQs, new funding opportunities, as well as a video message from me, where I address some of the most common questions.


The use of the Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) at NIH and how to designate the NOSI number on the SF424 (March 2020).

The Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) notification has been creeping into the lexicon of NIH over the past year and is now becoming a common way for NIH Institutes to provide funding announcements that are focused on the science in an announcement as opposed to the broad spectrum of information included in a program announcement. NOSI’s have less information to read, but the full-scale knowledge of how to submit and eligibility requirements are still necessary reading to fully understand submission requirements. The NOSI provides the link to access the broader scope RFA or PAR.


NOSI’s appear in the NIH Guide  and It is important to note how the NOSI number is designated on the SF424 submission form. The NOSI number goes into Box 4B on the SF424 R&R form. An All About Grants NIH podcast found here provides a transcript or a brief aural presentation, explaining the utility and the efficiencies of the NOSI announcements.

Notice Number: NOT-OD-19-114 Synopsis (
On July 10, 2019, via notice NOT-OD-19_114 NIH reiterated its policy on applicants/recipients reporting financial, other support, and appointment conflicts of interest and foreign components. Upcoming/pending conflicts generated for funded grants may need prior approval. Conflict potential and management can be reported on annual reviews (RPPR) or via updates to program officers. Sources of foreign support, collaboration, and funding are particularly important and may include support obtained outside a funded grant. Note originated by Grants Facilitation July 23, 2019.

Notice Number: NOT-MH-19-033 Synopsis (
On June 17, 2019 via notice NOT-MH-19-003 the National Institute of Mental Health announced an institute-specific data sharing/management policy:
Widespread data sharing by research communities adds significant value to research and accelerates the pace of discovery. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has established an informatics infrastructure to enable the responsible sharing and use of data collected from and about human subjects the entire research community. Consistent with authorities under the 21st Century Cures Act, researchers who are funded by NIMH are required to deposit all raw and analyzed data (including, but not limited to, clinical, genomic, imaging, and phenotypic data) from experiments involving human subjects into this infrastructure.
Unless NIMH stipulates otherwise during the negotiation of the terms and conditions of a grant award, this Notice applies to all grant applications and awards that involve human subject research submitted after January 1, 2020 and applies to all Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) that NIMH participates in. The Notice does not apply to following types of applications:

• Fellowship (F)
• Research Career Development (K)
• Training (T)
• Small Business (SBIR/STTR)
• Small Grants (R03)
• Education (R25)
• Awards related to AIDS applications
(Note originated by Grants Facilitation July 23, 2019)

Notice Number: NOT-OD-19-114 Synopsis (
On July 10, 2019, via notice NOT-OD-19_114 NIH reiterated its policy on applicants/recipients reporting financial, other support, and appointment conflicts of interest and foreign components. Upcoming/pending conflicts generated for funded grants may need prior approval. Conflict potential and management can be reported on annual reviews (RPPR) or via updates to program officers. Sources of foreign support, collaboration, and funding are of particular importance and may include support obtained outside a funded grant.

Notice Number: NOT-AI-19-061 Synopsis (
On July 15, 2019 via notice NOT-AI-19-061 to be enacted for NIAID K01 awards submitted October 12, 2019 and forward – new and reissues are allowed in the areas of epidemiology and data science only.

Notice Number: NOT-GM-19-058 Synopsis ( -diversity grant opportunities.

On August 19, 2019 via notice NOT-GM-19-058  provided notice of a webinar to occur on September 24, 2019, 1:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern time (3 hrs earlier Pacific Time) that will focus on preparing UE5 or K99/R00 applications as part of the Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) Program. The Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) program is designed to facilitate the transition of talented postdoctoral researchers from diverse backgrounds, for example individuals from groups underrepresented in the biomedical research workforce at the faculty level, into independent faculty careers in research-intensive institutions. The program has two components: an institutionally-focused research education cooperative agreement (UE5 limited submission) and a post-doctoral career transition award (K99/R00) to enhance diversity. The applications will be reviewed as PARS with due dates in November 2019 and February 2020 respectively. There are two submissions allowed for the UE5 (opportunity ends Nov. 3, 2020) and the K99/R00) opportunity uses standard submission dates for the K99/R00 and the opportunity ends in November 2022.

: Notice Number: NOT-OD-19-139 Synopsis

Sexual and Gender Minority Populations (SGM) in NIH-Supported Research have an expanded definition and inclusion. NIH provides this new (Release Date: August 28, 2019) definition of SGM populations. SGM populations include, but are not limited to, individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, and/or intersex. Individuals with same-sex or -gender attractions or behaviors and those with a difference in sex development are also included. These populations also encompass those who do not self-identify with one of these terms but whose sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or reproductive development is characterized by non-binary constructs of sexual orientation, gender, and/or sex. NIH encourages inclusion of individuals from these SGM populations in research submissions and data analysis.


Collaborative Program Grant for Multidisciplinary Teams (RM1 - Clinical Trial Optional) Funding Opportunity Purpose 

PAR 20-103 

Due date April 27, 2020 and then January and May until January 2023. 

Only NIGMS Institute signed on at this time. 

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is designed to support highly integrated research teams of three to six PDs/PIs to address ambitious and challenging research questions that are important for the mission of NIGMS and are beyond the scope of one or two investigators. Collaborative program teams are expected to accomplish goals that require considerable synergy and managed team interactions. Project goals should not be achievable with a collection of individual efforts or projects. Teams are encouraged to consider far-reaching objectives that will produce major advances in their fields.

Applications that are mainly focused on the creation, expansion, and/or maintenance of community resources, creation of new technologies, or infrastructure development are not appropriate for this FOA.