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Special Populations

Questions and Answers

Table of Contents

Does NIAID support programs for students and investigators from underrepresented groups?

Absolutely. NIAID is committed to increasing the number of investigators from underrepresented groups in fields related to its mission. The Institute supports several programs targeted to underrepresented students and investigators, including fellowships and research supplements. For a complete list, go to Diversity Programs Supported by NIAID.

For Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, the principal investigator (PI) applies. If you wish to be hired under a supplement, talk to a PI.

Find other opportunities on the NIAID Funding Opportunities List.

If you need further guidance, please contact our Office of Research Training and Special Programs at AITrainingHelpDesk@niaid.nih.gov.

When it comes to applying for NIH grants and scholarships, who qualifies as an underrepresented person?

NIH considers the following groups as underrepresented in biomedical research:

  • People with disabilities.
  • People from disadvantaged backgrounds, which include:
    • Those whose annual family income is below established low-income thresholds, as described at Poverty Guidelines, Research, and Measurement.
    • Those from a rural, inner-city, or other environment that has inhibited them from getting the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for a research career.
  • Racial and ethnic groups such as blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.

Even if you don't fit one of the categories, you may still qualify for some special programs if you can show that you are underrepresented at your institution.

For more information, contact NIAID's Office of Research Training and Special Programs at AITrainingHelpDesk@niaid.nih.gov.

As a scientist and native of Guam, am I considered part of an underrepresented group?

Yes. Pacific Islanders, such as Guamanians, Hawaiians, and Samoans, are considered underrepresented. Others include African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, and Alaskan Natives. Go to our definition for underrepresented groups.

Is a permanent U.S. resident from Kenya, who is black, working in the U.S. considered by NIH to be a member of a minority group?

Yes. NIH considers that person to be an African American.

Where can I find information on research supplements?

Go to the Research Supplements page of the Research Funding Web site and Research Supplements in our Advice on Research Training and Career Awards. Also, read the Supplement Types Awarded to Research Grants SOP and Special Supplements for Individuals SOP.

Do any NIAID programs support the hiring of high school students?

Yes. Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research allow PIs to hire high school students who want experience in various aspects of health-related research.

What kind of support does NIAID offer disabled students?

Through Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, predocs with disabilities can get up to five years of support for biomedical, behavioral sciences, or health services research.

Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research also support disabled students.

What programs does NIAID support for minority students and investigators and others with special needs?

See Research Supplements. Also, for students, we support Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.

Is there any kind of funding I can get as a student from an underrepresented group and in a combined M.D. and Ph.D. program?

Yes. With the Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, you can get up to five years of support for research training. For more information, see Fellowships in our Advice on Research Training and Career Awards.

Do I have to be part of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group to apply for an Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (F31)?

No. This award is also for people with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Remember that underrepresentation varies depending on the setting. If your institution can show that you belong to an underrepresented group, you are eligible.

That said, your institution must certify in a letter that you are a member of an underrepresented group. For more information, see the Fellowship Grants SOP and the F31 funding opportunity announcement Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.

How much salary can I request for a diversity supplement?

It depends on the education and experience of the worker. Scroll to the "Salary and Budget" header in Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.

Can PIs get support for postdocs who are taking care of children and ailing family members?

Yes. By applying for Primary Caregiver Technical Assistance Supplements, PIs can obtain technical support for postdocs who are taking care of children or ailing family members.

If I take time off to care for children, is there any type of support I can get to return to research?

Definitely. PIs who interrupt their careers to care for children or attend to other family responsibilities can apply for Supplements to Promote Reentry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers. These are administrative supplements to existing NIH research grants that support full-time or part-time research to bring skills and knowledge up to date. For more information, see Reentry Supplements.

What if my question wasn't answered here, or I'd like to suggest a question?

Email deaweb@niaid.nih.gov with the title of this page or its URL and your question or comment. We answer questions by email and post them here. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base.

 

Last Updated November 23, 2012

Last Reviewed September 26, 2013