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Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research

Diversity supplements support students, postdocs, and faculty scientists who are members of an underrepresented group. For more information, read the program announcement (PA).

Principal investigators apply for a supplement to their NIAID-funded grant. Anyone who wants to be hired under a diversity supplement should talk to a PI.

Investigators with grants that have multiple PIs are eligible to apply, but they may not use a supplement to request adding another PI to the grant.

Duration of support depends on the candidate’s career level and may be adjusted by the review committee.

We do not award diversity supplements to grants in a no-cost extension. A reasonable timeframe (at least two years) must be remaining on the parent grant at the time of submission. For more on this, see Eligibility below.


NIAID receives applications at any time and reviews them approximately four times a year (November, February, April, and May). If you want your application reviewed in one of the four listed months, submit it by the first of the preceding month.

Submit applications for a high school or undergraduate student for summer work as early as possible. To consider your application for the summer of this calendar year, we have to receive it no later than March 1.

If you are seeking an award before the end of a fiscal year—September 30—we have to receive your application no later than April 15.

Applications received after these dates are considered for funding in the next fiscal year. Please keep in mind we usually experience delays in making awards at the beginning of every fiscal year.

Review and Award

A committee of NIAID senior staff members review applications on scientific merit and training potential. NIAID will make awards about eight to ten weeks after review.


As long as PIs have at least two years of NIAID support remaining at the time of submission, they can receive funding for the following grant types:

  • Research project grants—R00, R01 (or RL1), R10, R18, R21/R33, R22, R24, R35, R37 
  • Multiproject grants—P01 (or PL1), P20, P30, P40, P41, P50, P51, P60
  • Small business awards—R41, R42, R43, R44
  • Cooperative agreements—U01 (or UL1), U10, U19, U41, U42, U54, UH2/UH3, UM1, UM2
  • Director's awards—DP1, DP2

For grants with performance periods of two years or less, the proposed supplement should support activities and career levels appropriate for the shortened performance period.

People who are supported on research grants (especially the parent grant) are not eligible. Students who are supported by an Institutional NRSA are eligible once they have completed the grant.

Graduate students or people in postdoctoral training who are supported by an Institutional NRSA may not be transferred to supplemental support before completing their appointed period of training.

Non-U.S. citizens must have permanent residency status ("green card") at time of award. People on temporary or student visas are not eligible.

Investigators should contact the NIAID Staff Contact to verify eligibility.

Salary and Budget

  • High school students
    • Salary: consistent with the institutional salary policy. Institutional salary rates that exceed the hourly minimum wage must be justified.
    • Supplies and travel: not allowed.
  • Undergraduate students
    • Salary: consistent with the institutional salary policy. Salary rates that exceed $12 per hour must be justified.
    • Supplies and travel: up to $200 per month with justification.
  • Post baccalaureate and post master's degree students
    • Salary: consistent with the institutional salary policy and cannot exceed the amount allowed for graduate students. See NRSA Stipend Levels.
    • Supplies and travel: up to $3,000 per year with justification.

Note: M.S. and post-M.S. students should contact the NIAID Staff Contact before submitting an application.

  • Graduate students
    • Salary: consistent with the institutional salary policy.
      • Total salary, tuition, and fringe benefits cannot exceed the amount allowable for a first year postdoc at the same institution performing comparable work. See NRSA Stipend Levels for postdoctoral levels.
    • Supplies, peer reviewed publication costs, and travel: up to $4,000 per year with justification.
  • Postdocs
    • Salary and fringe benefits: consistent with the institutional salary policy but not to exceed $50,000 per year.
    • Supplies, peer reviewed publication costs, and travel: up to $6,000 per year with justification.
  • Investigators developing independent research careers
    • Salary: consistent with level of support
      • The requested salary and fringe benefits can be up to $85,000 in total direct costs. This includes the candidate's salary of up to $75,000 each year plus fringe benefits.
      • Candidates with clinical degrees may request up to $100,000 (maximum) plus fringe benefits; percentage effort must be at least 75 percent or nine person-months of your full-time effort.
    • Fringe benefits: consistent with your institution's policies.
    • Supplies, peer reviewed publication costs, and travel: up to $10,000 per year with justification.
  • Established investigators who become disabled
    • Salary: limited to items necessary for the investigator to meet the goals of a funded research project.
    • Equipment: any accommodations necessary for the investigator to complete the research project, consistent with the type of disability and the nature of the research.

Application Content

PIs should read the program announcement (under Application Submission Information) for what to include in a supplement request. Work with your business office to make sure you use the correct forms. See below for further details and additional information that NIAID requires.

  • Candidate’s Biographical Sketch (biosketch)
  • Principal investigator’s biosketch; may be up to five pages
  • A brief, six to eight page description that includes:
    • A summary or abstract of the funded grant or project.
    • Research Training Plan
      • Provide:
        • A detailed description of the research project proposed for the candidate
        • A plan and timeline for the proposed research project
      • Describe:
        • How the proposed research will enhance and foster the candidate's research capabilities
        • How the research plan is appropriate for the stage of the candidate’s research development and how it will enhance the candidate’s research potential
        • How the proposed research and research-training activities relate to the research goals and objectives of the parent grant. The research activities proposed must be within the scope of the parent grant.
    • Career Development Plan/Mentoring
      • Provide:
        • Details on skills to be acquired and progress for milestones. For example, goals that will be reached during the supplement experience, such as anticipated abstracts and publications, grantsmanship workshops, timeframe for grant submissions and type of independent research support, preliminary data, and oral scientific presentations at local or national conferences.
        • A timeline for the research and career development activities that include objectives and associated timelines for helping the candidate make the transition to the next stage of his or her research career.
      • Describe:
        • How the proposed experience will enhance the candidate's research potential while furthering his or her ability to pursue a research career
        • How you will assist the candidate in achieving the objectives and goals described in the candidate's career goals statement
        • The interaction between the mentor, research team, and candidate as well as opportunities to interact with other research team members
  • Description of your track record as a mentor.
    • If you are a junior faculty member, it may be helpful to include an experienced co-mentor in the career development plan.
    • If you have received research supplements, describe the outcome or progress of the supplements, including the diversity candidate's current status (provide full name, title, and institution).
    • If other investigators contribute to the research mentoring, describe their role and include a biosketch.
  • One-page statement of the diversity candidate's career goals.
    • Candidates must provide a signed statement outlining short- and long-term research objectives and career goals and describe how the planned activities are related to or will facilitate achieving their career goals.
    • Candidates at the graduate, postdoctoral, or investigator level are encouraged to submit career stage-appropriate grant applications during or at the end of the period of support (see Support by Career Stage – Ph.D. Track and Support by Career Stage—M.D. Track). Candidate's statements should also include plans for the development and submission of such applications.
  • Statement of Eligibility. The application should include a signed statement from you and an institutional official establishing the candidate's eligibility for support under this program. The statement must include:
    • Clearly presented information on citizenship.
    • The last four digits of the candidate's social security number.
    • Information on the nature of the candidate's disability, circumstances, background, or characteristics that confer eligibility under this program.
    • A description of any current or previous PHS research grant support the candidate has received, including start and end dates. Include a statement indicating that the candidate has not received any current or previous PHS support, if applicable. Candidates receiving PHS support at the time of submission are not eligible.
  • Transcript Requirements. Official transcripts must be provided for high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, medical students, and graduate students.

Application Submission

Depending on whether your parent award has moved to electronic submission, your options for submitting supplement requests are as follows.

Parent award has moved to electronic submission:

  • Use one of the following ways:
    • Send paper PHS 398 forms to the NIAID Staff Contact. See below for instructions.
    • Submit electronically through the eRA Commons.
    • Submit electronically through, using the diversity PA.
  • Read the program announcement for further instructions.

Parent award has not moved to electronic submission:

  • Convert the required PHS 398 forms (see Application Content above) into PDF files.
    • Your institutional business official's signature must be clearly legible.
    • Include a single PDF with transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other items that cannot be downloaded from the PHS 398 application package.
  • Send your PDFs as a single attachment in an email to the NIAID Staff Contact.
    • Use the subject line "NIAID Diversity Supplement Application PDF."
    • Make sure your contact information is in the body of the email.

For More Information

See Research Supplements in our Advice on Research Training and Career Awards tutorial.

NIAID Staff Contact

Raushanah Newman
BG 5601FL, Room 4F38, MSC 9824
5601 Fishers Lane
Bethesda, MD, 20892-9824
Phone: 240-669-2925

Last Updated April 20, 2016

Last Reviewed April 20, 2016