Women's Health

April 3, 2017: Study volunteer receives inoculation at Redemption Hospital in Monrovia on the opening day in Liberia of PREVAC, a Phase 2 Ebola vaccine trial in West Africa.

Credit: NIAID

NIAID conducts and supports basic and applied research to understand, diagnose, prevent, treat, and ultimately cure infectious and immune-mediated diseases, including diseases that affect the health of women and girls. NIAID involves women in clinical studies on treatment and prevention of HIV infection and AIDS, autoimmune diseases, and other infectious diseases. NIAID conducts research and collaborates with other organizations on research initiatives within NIAID's mission areas that aim to improve women's health. 

NIH created the women’s health research category in 1994 for annual budgeting purposes and in 2019 it was updated to include the following categories:

  • Studies with only female participants
  • Diseases or health conditions unique to women
  • Disease or conditions that predominantly affect women or girls
  • Research with an overall goal of examining women’s health outcomes, trajectories, risk factors, diagnosis or treatment strategies, or health differences between women and men
  • Career development, training, and meeting grants related to fostering the women’s health research workforce


Researchers are always welcome to submit investigator-initiated R01 grant applications on topics relevant to women’s health. Additionally, researchers can respond to specific requests for applications issued by NIAID, which are available on the NIAID Funding Opportunities List.

NIAID supports funding opportunities for research that affect the health of women. One initiative, Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) Through a Comprehensive Understanding of the Natural History of Infection (PA-19-096), encourages research to advance understanding of the natural history of infection for three sexually transmitted infections (STIs): gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia. Next Generation Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (PAR-19-209) supports the development of new and innovative multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) that prevent HIV infection and pregnancy (hormonal and non-hormonal methods), sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, and HIV/STI and non-HIV STI MPTs in cis and trans males and females of all ages.

NIAID participates in the following funding opportunities with the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health and NIH Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office:

  • NOT-GM-20-017. Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Administrative Supplements for Research on Women's Health in the IDeA States. These awards are intended to expand research and research capability in the IDeA states to address important issues of women's health with a special interest in maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. Application due date is April 30, 2020.
  • NOT-OD-20-048. Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Administrative Supplements for Research on the Health of Women of Understudied, Underrepresented, and Underreported (U3) Populations (Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional). Application due dates are January 28, 2020 and January 21, 2021.
  • NOT-OD-20-049. Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Administrative Supplements for Research on Sex/Gender Influences (Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional). Application due dates are January 31, 2020 and January 25, 2021.
  •  NOT-OD-20-032. Notice of Special Interest: Administrative Supplements for Research on Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Populations (Admin Supp, Clinical Trial Optional). Application due dates are January 31, 2020 and January 25, 2021.
  • RFA-OD-19-029. The Intersection of Sex and Gender Influences on Health and Disease (R01, Clinical Trial Optional). This announcement solicits research to target gaps in knowledge regarding the influence and intersection of biological sex and gender on disease conditions to improve understanding of the factors and mechanisms underlying sex differences in health. The proposed research must address one of the five objectives from Strategic Goal 1 of the new 2019–2023 Trans-NIH Strategic Plan for Women's Health Research. Application due date is November 26, 2021.

NIAID also supports extramural organizations that offer funding opportunities:


Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH), a research training program offered by the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health and co-sponsored by NIAID, supports research career development of junior faculty members who has recently completed clinical training or postdoctoral fellowships and who are commencing basic research, translational research, clinical research, and/or health services research relevant to women’s health.

Researchers focusing on women’s health topics are also eligible for Career Development (K) Awards and Fellowship (F) Grants. Postdoctoral students who are taking care of a child or sick family member might also consider the Primary Caregiver Technical Assistance Supplements (PCTAS).

Resources for Researchers

Many of the resources for researchers offered by NIAID apply to women’s health research. However, there are a few specific women’s health resources related to HIV research.

See a full list of all resources for researchers
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