Diversity Supplements

Investigators holding NIH research grants may request supplemental funds to enhance the diversity of the research workforce. See the FOA.

These funds can support the addition of diverse researchers at virtually any career stage, including high school, postbaccalaureate, summer undergraduate, graduate student, postdoctoral fellow (including MD research fellows), and initial faculty.

  • Review the program announcement and any IC-specific requirements. Each NIH Institute has its own priorities, submission dates, and submission requirements.
  • Submit the supplement application to the same Institute as the funded parent grant. The Supplement undergoes program review, not study section.
  • Many grant mechanisms are eligible for the supplement (most Rs, Ps, Us, see the full list of mechanisms in the announcement PA-23-189.
  • The supplement contains a plan for research experience as well as research career development.
  • PhD students often begin with a diversity supplement on the mentor's grant and then prepare their own F31 application PA-20-251.

Investigators should plan ahead:

  • A candidate cannot be supported by a supplement if s/he is already paid on the grant! This means that students and mentors must plan ahead for supplement support before/ instead of going on a research grant. 
  • Investigators are strongly urged to contact the program officer of the parent grant prior to submitting an application. 
  • Typically a grant should have at least 2 years remaining to request a supplement for a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow; for high school, undergraduate or post-baccalaureate students, the grant should have at least 1 year remaining.
  • Submit at least three months before the anticipated funding start date
  • Submit via GW Cayuse, following advice from the parent grant’s project officer.
  • Applicants will receive notification of a funding decision approximately 12 weeks after receipt of the application.
  • This is a competitive program and funding is not guaranteed. 
Application Components

Applications include common elements, but refer to IC-specific directions, as each IC has slightly different requirements. Requirements listed here are based on NHLBI supplements (check your IC instructions).

This is a supplement to a funded NIH research grant, so it is submitted by the PI, and it includes materials from the candidate and the PI:

From the candidate:

From the investigator:

  • Address all review criteria:
    • The qualifications of the candidate including career goals, prior research training, research potential, and any relevant experience.
    • Evidence of educational achievement and interest in science
    • How this particular appointment will promote diversity within the institution or in science nationally.
    • The plan and timeline for the proposed research and career development experiences in the supplemental request and their relationship to the parent grant.
    • Evidence that the proposed experience will enhance the research potential, knowledge, and/or skills of the candidate and that adequate mentorship will be provided.
    • Evidence that the activities of the candidate will be an integral part of the project.
  • PI Biosketch
  • Research Plan/ Research Strategy (4 pages) 
    • The research plan should be tailored to the academic level of the candidate and provide detailed discussion of the goals, milestones, and objectives of the proposed research. The proposed research must have the potential to contribute significantly to the research career development of the candidate. Include:
    • A brief summary of the parent grant, P01 subproject, or contract (typically the abstract or a summary paragraph)
    • The scope of the candidate’s proposed research
    • How the proposed research will be an integral part of the approved, ongoing research of the parent grant, and how the research is related to the parent grant’s goals
    • Describe specific career goals of the candidate
    • A statement that the proposed research is not an expansion or change in scope requiring peer review (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement)
    • A statement that the research proposed was not removed by the Initial Review Group
  • Training Plan (4 pages)
    • Provide a detailed mentoring plan for the candidate, including specific skills to be acquired.
    • A timeline with specific research milestones and other activities the candidate will undertake to obtain independent research funding (e.g., publications, grant submissions, types of independent research support, grant writing workshops) and their relationship to the parent grant.
    • Opportunities to interact with research team and with outside collaborators, as applicable
    • Opportunities to develop independence
    • Opportunities to acquire presentation and publication skills
    • Guidance in the ethical conduct of research (and training in animal and human subjects' protection, if applicable)
    • Describe how the PI will utilize Individual Development Plans in accordance with NIH criteria.
    • Consider an experienced co-mentor if the PI is a junior faculty member. Include co-mentor biosketches.
    • As applicable, the role of other investigators who will contribute to research mentoring. Their biosketches do not need to be included.
    • PI’s history of mentoring
  • Research environment/ Project performance site (1 page)
  • Budget and Justification
  • Candidate Eligibility Statement - from institutional official

If you have questions: Please contact Alison Hall, PhD, Associate Dean for Research Workforce Development (akhall@gwu.edu) for advice, editing and successful GW application examples.