NIDA Diversity Scholars Network (NDSN)

Program Contact: Dr. Albert Avila.

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The NDSN is a competitive, rigorous, and comprehensive program aimed at enhancing the funding success of underrepresented early-stage investigators conducting substance abuse and addiction research. The NDSN program consists of two separate meetings with an interim application development period to assist scholars in applying for and receiving NIH career development awards and research grants. The deadline to apply for the 2021 NDSN program is January 15, 2021.

About the NDSN Program

The Part I meeting focuses on the fundamentals of NIH grant applications and includes: research proposal feedback, discussion of relevant NIH funding mechanisms, the NIH review process, application strategies, as well as other professional development presentations. Scholars will be paired with an experienced scientist to discuss their research proposal which will be used as the basis for their NDSN mock review grant application. Scholars have the option to maintain periodic contact with their mentors following the Part I meeting to further develop and seek feedback on their draft NIH application. 

The Part II meeting consists of a mock review study section, discussion with the review panel on common grant writing pitfalls and strategies, and additional application development presentations. All participants accepted to the program are required to participate in both the Part I and Part II meetings.

NIDA will provide travel awards for selected scholars including round-trip airfare, two nights lodging, per diem, and ground transportation for both meetings, unless the meetings become virtual.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Early-stage investigators, junior faculty, clinicians, and postdoctoral fellows (with a minimum of two full years of postdoc experience)
  • Applicants should be within 10 years of receipt of their terminal degree and not have been awarded an NIH R01 (or equivalent grant)
  • Minimum of two published first authored peer reviewed papers within the last three years
  • Individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are encouraged to apply though all individuals are eligible to participate
  • Previous NDSN participants are not eligible to apply
  • Applicants should be positioned to submit an NIH Research Grant or Mentored Career Development Award application within 6 months of program participation

Application Process:

The NSDN application components should be submitted in a Word document format and emailed by midnight (local time) on or before January 15, 2021 to Dr. Albert Avila with subject line “2021 NIDA Diversity Scholars Network Application” with the following components attached:

  • Full Curriculum Vitae (include past/current funding support, previous unfunded grant application info)
  • Personal statement (eligibility, motivation to participate in NDSN, current/past professional grant training)
  • Specific aims page of prospective NIH grant research proposal (1 pg. max.)
  • Research concept proposal for prospective NIH grant (5 pgs. max.), grant mechanism, research must be directly relevant to the NIDA mission, (a detailed grant proposal will be required prior to the Part I meeting)

Additional information and application instructions for the 2021 NDSN can be found on the following document: 
2021 NDSN Call for Applications