Diversity Supplements – New Procedures

  • NIAAA has initiated new procedures for the application and receipt process to be implemented with the Fiscal Year 2016 Diversity Supplement Season – there will now be two receipt dates to submit Diversity Supplement Applications with two corresponding funding dates:
  • February 1 receipt date – May 1 first possible award date
  • May 1 receipt date – August 1 first possible award date
  • Principal Investigators (PIs) may make an inquiry to NIAAA at any time for DS funds and should reach out to their Program Officer or Diversity Supplement staff (see below for contact information).
  • Investigators will be notified approximately 6-8 weeks after the application receipt date of their status and be provided feedback on the review discussion.

Introduction

Diversity Supplements are administrative supplements sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), intended to help increase the numbers of underrepresented scientists in biomedical and behavioral research. Funding is provided to existing NIH research grants to support an underrepresented minority, disabled or disadvantaged student or investigator, who wants to pursue a career in the biomedical or behavioral research sciences. The program supports individuals at the high school, undergraduate, predoctoral (graduate), postdoctoral and investigator levels.  This information applies to applications requesting research supplements to active National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) grants only.

This page clarifies the application process and requirements for NIAAA grantees, including NIAAA-specific limitations and recommendations. It is not intended to replace the detailed information on the program announcement. The full program announcement is available at NIH Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (PA-16-288).

Diversity Supplement funds are awarded to support projects that are consistent with the overarching mission and research priority areas of NIAAA (LINK).

NIAAA will no longer be receiving diversity supplement applications on a rolling deadline.  Two (2) application deadlines have been established:  February 1st and May 1st to receive electronic applications.  No invitations to submit will be required as long as Investigators indicate they are responding to the current funding announcement for diversity supplements (currently, PA-16-288: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-16-288.html).

Investigators are encouraged to contact their Program Official prior to submitting their electronic application and/or Diversity Supplement staff at NIAAA.  All future diversity supplement applications will be reviewed by a Committee for ranking to NIAAA overarching mission and research priority areas (LINK).  Investigators will be notified approximately 6-8 weeks after the application receipt date of their status and be provided feedback on the review discussion.

Receipt Periods

  • February 1 (May 1 first possible award date)
  • May 1 (August 1 first possible award date)

Links

Administrative Requirements

As of March 1, 2012 NIH transitioned to a New Electronic Submission Process for Administrative Supplement Requests via http://www.grants.gov including the Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research and Supplements to Promote Re-Entry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers.  Applicants are required to use one of the two new electronic processes for submitting supplement requests.

More information on these processes can be found on in the Electronic Research Administration’s (eRA) Commons User Guide available at http://era.nih.gov/commons/user_guide.cfm. You can find other information on electronic submission on the eRA Commons applicant’s page as well:  http://era.nih.gov/applicants/index.cfm.

For the general Program Announcement (PA) for Diversity Supplements, supplements are applicable to principal investigators (PIs) at domestic institutions who hold a wide range of active awards.   The mechanisms most commonly supported at NIAAA include R01, P awards (center grants), and U’s (Cooperative Agreements).   This list represents a small number of the grant mechanisms that are applicable; please see the full PA-16-288 for more information.  Note:  NIAAA does not support and will not accept diversity supplement applications to R03s or R21s.

At the time of the application submission the parent grant must have a reasonable period of time remaining at the time of a possible award to support an optimal career development experience.  This will vary depending on the educational level of the supplementee and must be justified in the application, but should generally be a minimum of 2 years.

Supplements are not allowed on grants in a no-cost extension period.

Prior to submission of a supplement application the Principal Investigator (PI) is encouraged to contact their Program Official and/or NIAAA diversity supplement staff (contact information listed below) to discuss the proposed supplement including the administrative requirements, and research and mentoring plan activities (more detailed information on which can be found below).

NIAAA no longer requires prior approval to submit an administrative supplement application in response to PA 16-288 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-16-288.html) or its re-issue. The applicants are advised to follow the submission requirements as described in the active FOA for Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Admin Supp).

Documentation, if applicable, that the proposed research experience was approved by or that an application for such has been submitted to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or human subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the grantee institution must be provided. Other human subjects’ requirement relevant to the parent award must continue to be observed. If no need to update approvals is necessary, please specify.

The PI will be required to submit a separate budget and progress report for the Diversity Supplement as part of the annual type 5 renewal.   Should the Diversity Supplement awardee receive additional funding, especially an award for which s/he is the PI (like an F31, F32, R or K award), this should be reported immediately to the PO and Grants management officials.

Contact Information

Lynn Morin                                                      Judith A. Arroyo, Ph.D.
Diversity Supplement Coordinator                        Minority Health and Health Disparities Coordinator
Phone: (301) 402-0176                                     Phone: (301) 402-0717
Email: lynn.morin@nih.gov                               Email: jarroyo@mail.nih.gov

Eligibility for the Program

NIAAA will only support applications to High School, Undergraduate and Graduate (Predoctoral) and Health Professional Students as well as individuals in postdoctoral training.  Investigators developing independent research careers are also eligible (see note below on criteria).  Applications for Baccalaureate and Master's degree holders are NOT eligible for supplements to NIAAA unless they are currently enrolled in a degree seeking program.

Candidates who have been supported on the parent grant are also NOT eligible for a Diversity Supplement.

All applications for Diversity Supplements should include a signed statement from the Principal Investigator (PI) and an institutional official establishing the eligibility of the candidate for support under this program.  The statement must include information and, where appropriate documentation on citizenship or Visa status.  The statement must also include a convincing 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: Funding Opportunity Description).

For the supplement program to support individuals with disabilities, the application should include a statement providing information on the disability signed by the PI and countersigned by an Institution official.   The institution should also 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.

An individual who has received previous funding from NIH as an independent PD/PI on a research grant (e.g., R01), as the project leader on a component of a program project or center grant (e.g., P01, P50, G12), or as PD/PI on an individual research career development award (e.g., K01, K02, K07, K08, and K23), or as a Scholar on an Institutional Career Development Award (K12, KL2) is not eligible.
 
CRITERIA FOR INVESTIGATOR LEVEL CANDIDATES FOR DIVERSITY SUPPLEMENTS
 
A candidate for an investigator level Diversity Supplement  (DS) must have a doctoral degree, be beyond the level of a research trainee, typically employed at the junior faculty level (instructor or assistant professor) with at least one year of postdoctoral or equivalent research experience.  On occasion, NIAAA my consider providing support on a DS for Investigator Level candidates who are several years past their post- doctoral training. They are allowed to request support under a DS to conduct research in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical or social sciences as long as their record does not demonstrate that they already have been engaging in research as an independent scientist.  An example would be an MD who is transitioning from a clinical to research career or a junior faculty moving from a teaching college to a research institution. NIAAA will carefully consider the research credentials of the candidate and how the DS will enhance his or her research career capabilities.

Research Plan

The activities proposed in a supplement application must both advance the objectives of the parent grant and support the research training and career advancement of the candidate. Applications will be reviewed on the merit of the research training potential of the application and the application's relevance to the candidate's career potential.

Provide a brief summary or abstract of the parent award plus a detailed description of the research experience proposed for the student or investigator candidate.  Include:

  1. The actual work proposed for the candidate including a timeline for the work proposed;
  2. A discussion of how the proposed research will enhance and foster the candidate's research capabilities and what mentoring the candidate will receive;
  3. How the research plan is appropriate for the stage of the individuals’ research development and that it will enhance the individuals’ research potential; and
  4. The relationship of the proposed research experience to the overall goals of the parent grant.

The research plan should address specific skills, responsibilities, and activities that demonstrate increasing independence as researchers. Include timeline for applying for the next step toward independent research funding.  The proposed research must fall within the scientific scope of the parent grant but not be redundant with the aims already funded in the parent award.   (Note:  NIAAA will not support new research or research that expands the scientific scope of the funded parent project.)

Career Development Plan/Mentoring Requirements

The PI will prepare and submit a detailed career development/mentorship plan that will include:

  1. Objectives for helping the candidate make the transition to the next stage of his/her research career (e.g. routine meetings, supervision in writing, publishing, etc.);
  1. A timelines in Gantt-style format delineating specific research milestones and other activities that will facilitate progress toward independent research funding (i.e., anticipated publications, grantsmanship workshops, timeframe for grant application submissions);
  1. Details of the mentor-candidate interactions:  

The plan should go well beyond simple laboratory assignments and supervision plans or stating that the candidate will attend seminars or lab meetings.  The career development plan should be structured, specific and stage-appropriate for the candidate and include parameters such as the frequency of meetings, topics to be discussed, and how progress will be monitored.

NIAAA encourages Investigators to plan for two (2) publications per year depending on the stage of career of the candidate.

  1. The PI must describe how s/he will assist the candidate in achieving the objectives and goals they have described in their candidate statement (see information below);
  1. The final mentoring objective should be preparing an application for the next step in the candidate’s research career development.  This can include an application for an F31, F32, K-award, R03, and R21 or in the case of high school students, application to an undergraduate program.

Candidate Statement/Biosketch

  • A current biographical sketch or curriculum vitae, format available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/SF424R-R_biosketch_VerB.doc, from the candidate that details their education, training and work experience, science and research experiences, and publications.  Publications, including manuscripts in preparation that demonstrate the candidate’s alcohol research interest and experience, should be listed. 
  • The candidate should discuss how the planned activities are related to or will facilitate achievement of their future career goals, outlining his/her short- and long-term research objectives and include evidence of scientific achievement or interest in the area of alcohol research.
  • If the candidate is enrolled in a master's level program or is in postbac status, s/he should indicate plans to enter a Ph.D. or equivalent program.
  • The specific source of current funding must also be listed.  Under no circumstances can the candidate have received support from the parent grant.  Support on other NIH funded awards should be discussed with the Program Official and NIAAA staff during development of the application.  Candidates that are currently on an NIH Training Grant (typically T32s) are not eligible for a diversity supplement until their term on the training grant has ended.

Transcript Requirements

A strong emphasis is placed on the GPA as it is a reflection of academic performance. Official transcripts must be provided for high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, post-masters, medical students or graduate students.

Budget and Salary Requirements

  • All budgets should be submitted using the R&R Detailed Budget Form.  If the initial budget period requested is less than 12 months, the budget must be prorated accordingly.   For example, if the diversity supplement starts May 1st and the current grant year ends December 31st, the first budget period should prorate all expenses for eight months.
  • No equipment, including computers, will be considered allowable expenses. 
  • Applications that come in with budgets that exceed 25% of the parent grant may require a higher level of review, which may delay funding.
  • The salary should be consistent with the institutional salary policies.  Institutional salary rates that exceed the hourly minimum wage must be justified.  In general NIAAA follows NRSA and K award salary caps (see NOT-OD-16-062 for NRSA information and NIAAA website for K award limitations).
  • NIAAA will not allow budget requests for any personnel other than the candidate for diversity supplements. Salary for Senior/Key Personnel are not supported by NIAAA. Some allowances for support staff necessary for a disabled candidate can be considered. 
  • Reasonable Accommodations:  As part of these awards, funds may be requested to make changes or adjustments in the research setting that will make it possible for a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions associated with his/her role on the project.  See PA for specific types of accommodations that may be provided under these awards.
  • Our "Cost Provisions Cheat Sheet" should help you to develop your budget and staff are available to assist you should you have any questions.

Submission and Receipt of Applications 

All candidates for diversity supplement support must have a profile in the eRA Commons.  You can find instruction on how to create profiles on the eRA Commons website.

Electronic diversity supplement applications are due via www.grants.gov no later than: 

  • March 1 (June 1 possible award date)
  • June 1 (September 1 possible award date)

The processing of applications during the first few months of a new fiscal year is often delayed pending Federal Budgetary processes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This FAQs document is a summary of guidelines and policies that NIAAA and the NIH have established on research supplements for underrepresented minorities and persons with disabilities.  It is not intended to replace the NIH-issued Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, NIH Guide, PA-16-288, issued August 7, 2015.  We strongly encourage anyone interested in applying for funding through the NIAAA research supplements program to use these FAQs and NIAAA instructions for NIAAA-specific guidance.

What are Diversity Supplements?

Diversity supplements are administrative supplements sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), intended to help increase the numbers of underrepresented scientists in biomedical and behavioral research. Funding is provided to existing NIH research grants to support a minority, disabled, or disadvantaged student or investigator who wants to pursue a career in the biomedical or behavioral research sciences.

Who is eligible to apply for Diversity Supplements?

NIAAA principal investigators who hold active grants are eligible to apply for diversity supplement funding, with the exception of the R03 and R21 funding mechanisms.

Who is eligible to receive Diversity Supplement funding through NIAAA?

High school, undergraduate, and graduate students, and postdoctoral and independent investigators who belong to ethnic or racial groups determined to be underrepresented nationally in biomedical or behavioral research are eligible to receive diversity supplements. Specifically, African American, Hispanic American, Native American and Alaskan Natives, and Pacific Islander applicants will be given preference. (NIAAA will consider support of Asian students/fellows in behavioral or clinical research with human populations on a case by case basis.) In addition, persons with disabilities (physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities) are eligible to receive diversity supplements. Candidates for diversity supplements must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.

Who determines the eligibility of a supplement candidate?

The Institution from which the supplement is submitted determines eligibility of candidates based on statistical or quantitative evidence of the underrepresentation of that particular group in biomedical or behavioral research at that Institute or in the scientific research community.  Many refer to the National Science Foundation statistical data for further justification.

For supplements to support individuals with disabilities the application should include a statement providing information on the disability signed by the PI and countersigned by an Institutional Official.

How much support (funding) is provided?

  • NIAAA does not support salary for Senior/Key personnel. 
  • Salary and other direct costs for diversity supplements funded by the Institute are determined by the eligibility level of the minority candidate.  Please refer to NOT-OD-12-033 for additional information for NRSA stipends.
  • Please remember when developing the supplement application to use the word “salary”.  Using the word “stipend” will hold up processing the application.
  • Applications whose budgets exceed 25% of the direct costs of the parent grant will need to be reviewed and approved by our Council Advisory Board and subject to delay in award.

How long can I receive support from the Diversity Supplements program?

Whereas, a person is eligible to receive up to five years total funding support through the NIH Diversity Supplements program, NIAAA tends to award supplement in the 2-3 year range.  Recipients of prior diversity or disability supplement funding from NIH institutes other than NIAAA are eligible to apply for NIAAA funding.

Who do I contact at NIAAA if interested in applying for Diversity Supplements?

Lynn Morin                                                                 Judith A. Arroyo
Diversity Supplement Coordinator                                Minority Health and Health Disparities Coordinator
Phone: (301) 402-0176                                             Phone: (301) 402-0717
Email:  lynn.morin@nih.gov                                      Email: jarroyo@mail.nih.gov

When can applications be sent to NIAAA? Are there special submission dates?

Applications for diversity supplements are now being submitted via an electronic submission process at www.grants.gov.  More information on the electronic submission process can be found on the Electronic Research Administration’s (eRA) website:  http://era.nih.gov.

Applications submitted to NIAAA are due:

  • March 1 (June 1 possible award date); or
  • June 1 (September 1 possible award date)

Applications for diversity supplement funds will be reviewed by Program and Diversity Supplement staff prior to prioritizing by the Divisions.  The NIAAA Centers and Training Committee review and rank the applications based on NIAAA overarching mission and research priority areas (LINK). 

Investigators will be notified approximately 6-8 weeks after the application receipt date of their status and be provided feedback on the review discussion.

What Is the Review Procedure for Diversity Supplements?

Diversity supplement applications submitted to NIAAA are by Program and Diversity Supplement staff prior to prioritizing by the Divisions.  The NIAAA Centers and Training Committee review and rank the applications based on NIAAA overarching mission and research priority areas (LINK).

Investigators will be notified approximately 6-8 weeks after the application receipt date of their status and be provided feedback on the review discussion.

How long will it take to receive a decision on my application?

Supplement applications will be reviewed by the subcommittee of NIAAA program staff no later than one month after the receipt date.  The Investigator will be notified approximately 6-8 weeks after the application receipt date of their status and will be provided feedback on the review discussion.

How can I find out more about the diversity supplements program?

Complete information about the NIH diversity supplements program can be found in the NIH program announcement Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, NIH Guide, PA-16-288 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-16-288.html), issued May 25, 2016.