Instructions to Principal Investigators Applying for Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Diversity Supplements) at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Applications for FY 2021 will be accepted until May 11, 2021.

Overview

The Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health Related Research (or "Diversity Supplement") program was established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to improve the diversity of the research workforce by recruiting and supporting post-baccalaureates, pre-doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows, and eligible early-stage investigators from groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in health-related research. This supplement opportunity is also available to PD(s)/PI(s) of research grants who are or become disabled and need additional support to accommodate their disability in order to continue to work on the research project.  For more specific information, please refer to the NIH Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) PA-21-071.

NIDA-specific Guidance

In addition to the information found in PA-21-071, NIDA provides the following guidance for Principle Investigators interested in applying for a diversity supplement award on behalf of the candidate/trainee. Principle Investigators (PIs) and Candidates/Trainees are encouraged to contact Angela Holmes, Ph.D. in the NIDA Office of Diversity and Health Disparities prior to submission of an application by phone (301-827-2487) or by email (angela.holmes2@nih.gov) to discuss important eligibility and timeline considerations, and the guidance provided below:

  • The PI of an eligible NIDA grant (referred to as the "parent grant") is the applicant who submits the diversity supplement application to NIH/NIDA on behalf of a candidate/trainee who will be supported by the award. Note: The candidate/trainee who will be supported by the diversity supplement must have an NIH eRA Commons account.
  • For post-baccalaureate candidates/trainees, it is expected that the parent grant has at least 1 year of support remaining at the time an application is submitted to NIH/NIDA.
  • For pre-doctoral candidates/trainees, it is expected that the parent grant has at least 2 years of support remaining at the time an application is submitted to NIH/NIDA.
  • For post-doctoral candidates/trainees or early-stage investigators, it is expected that the parent grant has at least 18 months of support remaining at the time an application is submitted to NIH/NIDA.
  • The diversity supplement start date will be the same as the parent grant budget start date (some exceptions may apply).
  • In general, a diversity supplement recipient is eligible to receive up to five years total funding support through the NIH Diversity Supplement Program across all ICs. Recipients of past diversity supplement funding, including from NIH institutes other than NIDA are eligible to apply for NIDA funding, if total NIH support does not exceed five years.
  • Post-baccalaureates are eligible to receive two years of NIDA support, however the second year of funding is contingent on the candidate applying to a graduate school.
  • NIDA allows pre-doctoral students to be supported by a diversity supplement for up to 3 years. 
  • Post-doctoral and early-stage investigator candidates are restricted to two years total support from NIDA. 
  • A parent grant may support two NIDA diversity supplements, but they must be for different career stages unless both supplements are for candidates are at the pre-doctoral level.
  • All applicable page limitations are strictly enforced.
  • As noted in the FOA, administrative supplement requests for all activity codes must be submitted using electronic submission processes.
  • The following grant mechanisms/activity types are eligible for a NIDA Diversity Supplement award: DP1, DP2, DP3, DP4, DP5, I01, I34, IP1, IU1, P01, P42, PM1, PN1, R00, R01, R03, R15, R21, R24, R29, R33, R34, R35, R36, R37, R55, R56, R61, RC1, RC2, RC3, RC4, RF1, RL1, RL2, RM1, SI2, U01, U19, U1B, U34, UA5, UC2, UC3, UC4, UC7, UF1, UG1, UG3, UH2, UH3, UM1, UM2, UP5, P20, P30, P50, P60, PL1, U54, UC7, M01, UL1, P41, U41, P40, P51, U42, G12.

Application Content Guidance

The diversity supplement application is composed of various forms. It is important that all required forms are submitted. For additional information please see the active Diversity Supplement FOA: PA-21-071.

Application Submission

Administrative supplement requests for all activity codes must be submitted using electronic submission processes (no exceptions).

Instructions for Electronic Application Submission through Grants.gov

Use the “Apply” button(s) in Part I of this announcement to access the application forms package posted at Grants.gov using ASSIST, an institutional system-to-system solution, or Grants.gov Workspace (single-project only).  If presented with more than one form package, use the Competition ID and Competition Titles provided to determine the most appropriate application forms package for your situation.

Prepare applications using the SF424 (R&R) forms associated with the chosen package. Please note that some forms marked optional in the application package are required for submission of applications for this announcement. Follow all instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate required and optional forms, with the following additional guidance:

R&R Cover Form:

Select “Revision” in the “Type of Application” field.

Research Plan Form (12-page limit):

The Research Plan must include a Research Proposal, Career Development Plan (CDP), and Mentoring Plan.

At a minimum, the Research Proposal should include a summary/abstract and specific aims of the funded parent award or project. Also, it should include a description of how the candidate's research proposal is a logical extension of the parent project and how it is within the scope but not duplicative of the parent grant specific aims. Any related preliminary data can be included but is not required.  In addition, the PD(s)/PI(s) should incorporate a plan for the candidate to interact with other individuals on the parent grant, to contribute intellectually to the research, and to enhance her/his research skills and knowledge regarding the selected area of biomedical, behavioral, clinical or social sciences science.

At a minimum the Career Development Plan (CDP) must provide evidence of a focus on the enhancement of the research capability of the student, post-doctorate, or faculty member and that the research experience is intended to provide opportunities for career development as a productive researcher. A timeline of professional development activities (should include both research and career development activities) is recommended. The CDP should include details on how this experience will enhance the candidate’s career and transition to the next career stage.

At a minimum, the Mentoring Plan must demonstrate and document that the PD(s)/PI(s) is willing to provide appropriate mentorship and has developed a mentoring plan to facilitate the research and career development of the candidate. The mentoring plan should be detailed and specific to the career stage of the candidate.

Project/Performance Site Locations Form:

Include the primary site where the proposed supplement activities will be performed. If a portion of the proposed supplement activities will be performed at any other site(s), identify the locations in the fields provided.

Senior/Key Personnel Profile (Expanded) Form:

List the PD/PI as the first person (regardless of his or her role on the supplement activities).

List the candidate to be supported through this supplement as the second person. Select “Other” for the Project Role and enter “Candidate” in the Other Project Role Category.

List and identify any other individuals directly involved in activities related to the supplement, including mentor, technician, etc. If individuals other than the PD/PI will be serving as the candidate’s mentor or co-mentor, or are expected to be directly involved in activities related to the supplement, list and identify them as additional Senior/Key Persons. Select “Other” for the Project Role and enter “Mentor”, “co-Mentor”, or other role as appropriate.

Do not include other Sr/Key persons from the parent project unless they are directly involved in the candidate’s research directly involved in the candidate’s research or training experience.

Candidates for supplement support must have an eRA Commons account and the candidate's Commons Username must be entered in the Credential field.

Under the Degree field, designate the candidate’s current educational/career level using one of the abbreviations from the bulleted list below (e.g., “Grad” for a predoctoral candidate). Enter the relevant abbreviation and no additional text. Because a candidate’s compensation level is determined by his or her current educational/career level, this information is required.   

  • PB – Postbaccalaureate
  • Grad – Predoctorate
  • PD – Postdoctorate
  • Fac – Faculty

In keeping with NIH's goal of gaining a better understanding of the size and characteristics of the biomedical research workforce, described in NOT-OD-13-097, diversity supplement candidates are encouraged to provide demographic and educational or applicable degree information in their eRA Commons Personal Profiles.

Biographical Sketch:

Include a biosketch for all individuals listed on the Senior/Key Personnel profile, including the PD/PI, supplement candidate, and any other individuals directly involved in activities related to the  supplement, including mentors, technicians, etc. Biosketches of mentors and other senior and key persons should provide evidence of past mentoring experience.  The personal statement of the candidate's biographical sketch should address:

  • Evidence of scientific achievement or interest.
  • Any source(s) of current funding.
  • A statement from the candidate outlining her/his research objectives and career goals as they relate to addiction research.

Budget Forms (e.g., R&R Budget, PHS 398 Training Budget):

Only include funds requested for the additional supplement activities

R&R Other Project Information Form:

Assurances: If applicable, attach PDF documents in the “Other Attachments” field indicating that the proposed research experience was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or human subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the grantee institution. Name the documents “IACUC Documentation.pdf” and/or “IRB Documentation.pdf”. Adherence to the NIH policy for including individuals across the lifespan and minorities in clinical studies must also be ensured, if additional human subjects’ involvement is planned for the supplement.

Candidate Eligibility Statement:

A signed statement from an institutional official establishing the eligibility of the candidate for support under this program.  The statement must include clearly presented information on citizenship of the candidate and a description of how the appointment of this specific candidate would further the goals of this funding opportunity, consistent with the Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity (NOT-OD-20-031).   Name the document “Candidate Eligibility Statement.pdf”. The strength of this statement will be considered by the NIH administrative review committee along with all other material provided.

Home Institution Approval:

Under unusual circumstances where the applicant and mentor would be at a site other than the grantee institution, an appropriately signed letter from the institution where the research is to be conducted must also be submitted.  The request must be signed by the PD/PI, the candidate, and the appropriate institutional business official.

Sub-recipient Approval:

Under unusual circumstances where any of the research is to be conducted at an organization other than the grantee institution, an appropriately signed letter from the institution where the research is to be conducted must be submitted.  The request must be signed by the candidate, the PD/PI, and the appropriate institutional business official.

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information Form:

Only include a new or revised human subjects study record if these items do not change the scope of the approved project (e.g., new clinical trials cannot be added through an administrative supplement). If new recruitment or use of an additional existing dataset or resource is proposed in the supplement application, Section 2.4 should be revised and new Inclusion Enrollment Reports created, as appropriate.

Additional NIDA Guidance

Research Plan

  • The research proposal should clearly demonstrate the candidate’s unique contribution to the diversity supplement project (design, experiments, analysis, writing manuscripts, etc.). The candidate should be able to execute the project independently.
  • The CDP should demonstrate the candidate’s increasing independence as a researcher, and any need for additional training that will result in an independent addiction research career. There should be a clear statement about the level of substance use and addiction specific training and research experience the candidate/trainee will gain during the supplement award period.
  • The CDP should provide evidence that the research proposed during the funding period will enhance overall research skills that lead to the next career level (graduate school for post-baccalaureates; post-doctoral positions after graduation for pre-doctoral candidates, and independent investigator status for post-docs and early-stage investigators) and puts them on the path towards careers as independent substance use and addiction researchers.
  • As stated above in the Research Plan Form, the CDP should include a timetable for the proposed research experience, outlining the candidate’s major research and development activities by month and year. In this CDP section, include all proposed research and other activities (examples: publications, presentations, didactic training, grant applications, etc.) that will enhance the candidate’s research and career development during the supplement period.
  • The CDP should also include a detailed plan for transition to independence for the candidate. The plan should incorporate professional development activities that will result in the candidate’s successful transition to an independently­ funded research training or early research career award, such as conferences, grant-writing workshops, networking events, didactic training, writing and submitting grant application(s), submitting manuscripts for publication, etc.
  • The CDP must also provide evidence of a focus on the enhancement of the research capability of the Candidate/Trainee and that the research experience is intended to provide opportunities for development as a productive researcher. 
  • There are additional recommendations for the CDP for candidates at the post-baccalaureate level: Emphasis should be placed on preparing post-baccalaureates for admission to graduate school so that they will be competitive candidates for graduate programs and to ensure successful matriculation. Focus on how the diversity supplement will provide an opportunity for advancement to the next career stage, this can include: frequent career development meetings with PI/Co-PI, helping candidates identify graduate programs that would be a good fit for them and their research interests, setting up opportunities for networking, mock interviews, speaking with current students enrolled in prospective programs, professors and others involved in the programs of interest, helping the candidate prepare strong personal statements, reviewing application requirements, discussing what makes a competitive candidate for these prospective programs and what activities are needed to prepare them, and setting a deadline(s) for applying to graduate programs.
  • For all career stages there should be details provided in the CDP on next steps for the candidate to apply for independent funding prior to the end of their diversity supplement award period.
  • The mentoring plan should include activities (e.g., routine meetings, supervision in writing, publishing; etc.) supported throughout the period of funding, specifying the mentor(s) for each major research activity. Should one or more mentors be identified to work closely with the candidate, identify each mentor by name and area(s) of expertise, and provide a description of research training or experiences to be obtained from each.
  • Within the mentoring plan it is recommended that the following topics are addressed:
    • Specific skills and knowledge to be acquired during the supplement experience that will help the candidate move toward achieving her/his stated career goals
    • Milestones that will be reached during the supplement experience including those that will prepare the candidate to secure independent research funding
    • Opportunities to interact with the research team, develop independence, and to acquire presentation and publication skills
    • The mentoring plan must include guidance in the ethical conduct of research (including training in animal and human subjects' protection, if applicable)
    • A plan to attend and participate in poster sessions and/or oral presentations in at least one scientific meeting during each year of the award
    • If the PI is a junior faculty member, it may be appropriate to include an experienced co-mentor.
    • Describe any planned outside laboratory experiences or collaborations for the Candidate
  • The personal statement of the candidate's biographical sketch should address:
    • Research objectives
    • Long-term goals of becoming an independent substance use and addiction researcher
    • The impact the diversity supplement will have on the candidate’s path towards becoming an independent substance use and addiction researcher and/or other career goals
    • Research experience prior to onset of hiatus (if applicable)
    • Length of and reason for career hiatus (if applicable)
    • A description of how the candidate has kept current or attempted to keep current in her/his field
    • Identification of any steps already taken toward re-entry into the scientific workforce (if any, such as attending scientific meetings)

Budget Section

  • Budget plans for diversity supplement applications for pre- or post-doctoral candidates/trainees must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project and should closely follow Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) guidelines for stipends. The number of years of experience as a post-doctoral candidate/trainee must be identified in the application. Salary for candidates at the post-doctoral level is determined by the number of full years of postdoctoral experience as indicated in the NRSA guidelines for stipends. 
  • Budget plans for early-stage investigators can include up to $60,000/yr in salary support (note: at least 9 person months (equivalent to 75% effort) on the parent project grant is required during each 12-month period).
  • For all levels of support, up to $1,500/year may be requested under “general supplies,” and up to $1,500/year may be requested for conference/meetings travel. Salary requested must approximate the percentage effort dedicated on the parent project, commensurate with the institution’s base salary.

Eligibility

  • Eligible Candidates for the Supplement Program: Institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will enhance diversity on a national basis. The strength of the institution’s description of how the candidate furthers the goals of the program in the Candidate Eligibility Statement will be considered along with all other aspects of the proposed experience. 

Enhancing Diversity Description:

Identifies four (4) categories of underrepresented groups (Category A, B C, D). Individuals from these categories are particularly encouraged to apply for a NIDA Diversity Supplement.

Category A and Category C contain subcategories of eligibility.  For example, Category A applies to nationally underrepresented racial/ethnic groups or racial/ethnic groups that are underrepresented in a given setting. Category C applies to individuals who are disadvantaged based on family income levels or educational status.  If candidate eligibility is based on Category A or Category C, it is essential to identify the applicable subcategory in the Candidate Eligibility Statement. Category D applies to women from the above backgrounds (categories A, B, and C) who face particular challenges at the graduate level and beyond in scientific fields.

When candidate eligibility under Category A is not based on national underrepresentation, it is essential that the Candidate Eligibility Statement identify: (a) the racial or ethnic group of the candidate/trainee (for more information on racial and ethnic categories and definitions, see NOT-OD-20-031, (b) the applicable “setting,” (c) how the racial/ethnic group is underrepresented in the this setting (note that low numerical representation is not underrepresentation), and (d) demonstrate convincingly that this particular appointment will promote diversity in biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research nationally.

Application Submission Guidance

There are several ways an application for a diversity supplement can be submitted to NIH/NIDA as shown below. You must use one of these submission options to access the application forms for this opportunity. For more detailed information on application submission please refer to “Part I. Required Application Instructions” and “Section IV. Application and Submission Information” in PA-21-071.

  1. Use the NIH ASSIST system to prepare, submit and track your application online. Top of Form
  2. Use an institutional system-to-system (S2S) solution to prepare and submit your application to Grants.gov and eRA Commons to track your application. Check with your institutional officials regarding availability.
  3. Use Grants.gov workspace to prepare and submit your application and eRA Commons to track your application.

Program Contact Information

Thank you for your interest in the Diversity Supplements Program. Please feel free to contact Angela Holmes, Ph.D. (301-827-2487) or by email angela.holmes2@nih.gov. with any questions you may have about the program or to discuss your plans for submitting a diversity supplement application to NIDA.

NIDA Diversity Supplement Frequently Asked Questions and answers can be found on our FAQ webpage.