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Application and Review Procedures for Diversity and Re-entry Research Supplements

This information applies to applications requesting Diversity and Re-entry Research Supplements to active National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) grants via funding opportunity announcements "Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research" (PA-15-322)   and "Supplements to Promote Re-entry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers" (PA-15-321) .

These research supplements may be requested by Principal Investigators (PIs) of active NIMH grants who plan to serve as mentors for the candidates nominated for support. Applications will be accepted in all research areas supported by the eligible NIMH grants. Candidates eligible for support under the Diversity Supplement Program include individuals at the high school, undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, and investigator career stages that come from groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in science (for more information, see NOT-OD-15-089 ). Such candidates include individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds (generally limited to individuals at the high school or undergraduate level), as well as some candidates seeking to re-enter research. Candidates for the Re-entry Supplement Program must have a doctoral degree (e.g., M.D., D.D.S., Ph.D., O.D., D.V.M., etc.), and must have been in a postdoctoral or faculty position at the time they left active research. The Diversity Supplement opportunity is also available to Project Director (PDs)/PI(s) of research grants who become disabled and need additional support to accommodate their disability in order to continue to work on the research project.

The activities proposed in a Diversity or Re-entry Supplement application must both advance the objectives of the parent grant and support the research training and career advancement of the candidate. Award decisions are based on the merit of the research training potential of the application, the application's relevance to the candidate's career potential, and the relationship of both of these elements to the research priorities of the NIMH as exemplified in the NIMH Strategic Plan for Research.

At the time of a supplement application submission, there must be a reasonable period of time remaining on the parent grant such that the supplement could provide an optimal career development experience for the candidate. A reasonable period for a career development experience varies by level of training and must be justified in the application. Two years is appropriate for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and investigators. Applications for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and investigators will not be accepted if less than two years are remaining on the grant at the time of expected award. For high school or undergraduate students, this period may be as short as a summer experience or one academic year.

Diversity and Re-entry Supplement awards cannot be used to expand the scope of the parent grant. All applications are reviewed by program staff to assess the scope of the planned activities and evaluate their scientific merit and training potential. It is imperative that prospective applicants contact the Program Official (PO) assigned to the parent grant during initial preparation of a supplement application and prior to its submission to discuss their goals and objectives. Critical issues to be discussed with the PO may include, but are not limited to: candidate eligibility, the research development and mentoring plan activities and objectives, the potential of the candidate to successfully continue his or her research career, the match of the supplement objectives and the research priorities of the NIMH, and the appropriate supplement duration for the proposed candidate.

It is critical that applicants follow the submission instructions as noted in PA-15-322  or PA-15-321 . All forms should be completed for the supplemental activities only and should not reflect funding or activities for the previously awarded parent award. A complete Diversity or Re-entry Supplement request package must include:

  1. A brief proposal describing the project and training/career experience (not to exceed 6 pages), including:
    • Summary of the funded grant or project.
    • Career development plan for the candidate
    • Mentoring experience of the PI; and,
    • A plan and timeline for the research and career development experiences proposed
  2. A Candidate Statement (not to exceed 3 pages) that includes the signature of the candidate.
  3. Statement of Eligibility (not to exceed 1 page). The application should include a signed statement from the PI and an Authorized Signing Official establishing the eligibility of the candidate for support under this program. The statement must include:
    • Clearly presented information on citizenship
    • Information on the nature of the candidate's disability, circumstances, background, or characteristics that confer eligibility under this program;
    • For Diversity Supplements, a convincing description of how the appointment of this specific candidate will address the issue of diversity within the national scientific workforce; and,
    • A description of any current or previous Public Health Service (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.
  4. A proposed budget.
  5. Biographical Sketch of the candidate.
  6. Biographical Sketch of Investigators Who Will Contribute to the Research Mentoring.
  7. Human Subjects/Vertebrate Animal documentation (if applicable).
  8. If the candidate is a student at another institution (i.e., other than the grantee institution), the application must include an appropriately signed letter from a responsible official at the institution of matriculation indicating that participation at the stated level of effort is approved and will not detract from or interfere with the student's course of studies.
  9. If any of the research is to be conducted at a site other than the grantee institution, an appropriately signed letter from the institution where the research is to be conducted must be submitted. The request must be signed by the candidate, the PI, and the appropriate Authorized Signing Official (affiliated with the candidate institution).
  10. If the request is for a supplement based on disability, the institution should indicate what, if any, reasonable accommodations the institution has supported or plans to provide along with a full description of how any additional support for accommodation that might be used. The relationship of the proposed accommodation to the proposed project must be described.

Submission and Receipt of Applications

Administrative supplement requests for most single-project activity codes can be submitted using either paper or electronic submission processes via or eRA Commons. Administrative supplement requests for multi-project activity codes must be submitted using the paper submission process (i.e., via email to For details on the submission process, please see the submission instructions in PA-15-322  or PA-15-321 .

Please note: Applications may be submitted at any time. Investigators are encouraged to submit applications at least four months prior to the requested start date. Applications for summer-only research appointments are considered on a shorter timeframe and should be submitted at least 10 weeks prior to the requested start date. Applications received after April 1 will be processed and considered for funding in the next fiscal year; that is, after October 1, with December 1 as the earliest possible start date.

Applications are evaluated on a regular schedule, but funding decisions can be influenced and delayed by other factors, including the availability of funds. Therefore, consultation with the NIMH Program Official (PO) assigned to the parent grant and NIMH Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health (ORDGMH) staff prior to submission of a request for a supplement application is advisable.