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Frequently Asked Questions About NIMH Diversity and Re-entry 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) .

Is my grant eligible for a Diversity or Re-entry Supplement?

To be eligible for a Diversity or Re-entry Supplement, a Principal Investigator (PI) must have an active NIMH grant, typically with at least two years remaining at the time of expected award.

The following grant types are eligible for Diversity or Re-entry Supplement funds:

DescriptionGrant Type

Research project grants

DP1, DP2, DP4, DP5, G20, R00, RC1, RC2, RC3, RC4, R01, R03, R15, R18, R21, R21/R33, R24, R33, R34, R37, R61/R33, RM1, SC1, SC2, SC3

Multi-project grants

G12, P01, P20, P30, P40, P41, P50, P51, P60, P2C, PM1, PN2, U10, U19, U2C

Small business awards

R41, R42, R43, R44, U44, UB1

Cooperative agreements

U41, U42, U54, U56, UC2, UM2, U01, U18, U24, U34, UC4, UG1, UG3/UH3, UH2, UH2/UH3, UH3, UL1, UM1

Is the candidate I wish to support eligible for a Diversity Supplement?

Institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will enhance diversity on a national basis. Supplemental awards through the Diversity Supplements program are limited to United States citizens, non-citizen nationals of the United States, and to individuals who have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States (i.e., in possession of a Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551). Diversity Supplement candidates must also:

  • Be an individual from a racial or ethnic group that the grantee institution has determined to be underrepresented; OR
  • Be an individual with a disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities; OR,
  • Be an individual from a disadvantaged background, as defined in the program announcement (PA-15-322 ).

Is the candidate I wish to support eligible for a Re-entry Supplement?

The re-entry candidate must:

  • Be an individual who has a doctoral degree and held a postdoctoral or faculty position at the time that he or she left active research.
    • The Re-entry Supplement Program is not intended to support additional graduate training, and it is not intended to support career changes from non-research to research careers for individuals without prior research training.
  • Be a United States citizen, non-citizen national of the United States, or be an individual lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States (i.e., in possession of a Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551).
  • Be in complete or partial hiatus from research activities for a period of at least one year and no more than eight years due to a qualifying interruption. A candidate may not currently be engaged in full-time paid research activities.

For a Diversity Supplement, what documentation of racial, ethnic, disability, or disadvantaged status is required?

The institution must provide a signed statement providing clearly presented information on the nature of the candidate’s disability, circumstances, background, or characteristics that confer eligibility under this program. Institutions should adhere to the guidelines below when documenting eligibility for this program.

Racial and Ethnic Minorities

The candidate must voluntarily self-identify as a member of a racial or ethnic group underrepresented in health-related sciences. Such underrepresented groups include Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. For more information on racial and ethnic categories and definitions, see NOT-OD-15-089 .

Individuals with Disabilities

The candidate must self-identify as an individual with a disability, defined as a person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended . According to a survey by the National Science Foundation , among people with a doctorate in the sciences and engineering, individuals with disabilities are underrepresented.

Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds

Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are defined as:

  • Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size, published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and, adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) periodically publishes these income levels at .
  • Individuals who come from and educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that has demonstrably and directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.

The disadvantaged category refers to the financial and educational status of individuals while residing in the United States and is only applicable to programs focused on high school and undergraduate candidates

For a Re-entry Supplement, what is a qualifying interruption?

Examples of qualifying interruptions include: a complete or partial hiatus from research activities for child rearing; an incapacitating illness or injury of the candidate, spouse, partner, or a member of the immediate family; relocation to accommodate a spouse, partner, or other close family member; pursuit of non-research endeavors that would permit earlier retirement of debt incurred in obtaining a doctoral degree; and/or, military service.

Can I apply if less than two years are remaining on the parent grant?

For applications proposing to support individuals at the graduate, postdoctoral, or investigator level, the parent grant must have at least two years remaining at the time of expected award. Less time is acceptable to support individuals at the high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and post-Masters level. No-cost extensions to the parent grant are not considered when determining time remaining on the parent grant.

Can I apply for more than one Diversity Supplement to my grant?

Usually, a parent grant may support only one candidate on a supplement. However, investigators are encouraged to recruit more than one high school or undergraduate student for supplemental award support. Appointment of more than one individual to a single supplement above the high school or undergraduate level depends on the nature of the parent grant, the circumstances of the request, and the program balance of NIMH.  Contact the Diversity Supplement Administrator (email:; phone: 301-443-2847) for information related to your specific grant type.

The candidate I wish to support is currently receiving PHS support. Can he or she receive support from a Diversity or Re-entry Supplement?

Generally, no. The diversity and re-entry programs were designed to attract individuals from underrepresented groups into research careers, and to support those returning to research. These programs are not intended to provide an alternative or additional means of supporting individuals who already receive support from an NIH research grant, an NIH National Research Service Award (NRSA), or any other HHS or PHS funding mechanism.

Candidates may have had support on a NRSA training grant or any other institutional training grant mechanism. However, a supplement will not start until the candidate's appointment on a training grant has been completed. A candidate's current NRSA training grant support cannot be terminated early to place the candidate on a research supplement.

A candidate who has received or is currently receiving support from the parent grant is not eligible to receive a Diversity Supplement on the same grant. Re-entry Supplement candidates will be considered on a case-by-case basis, if the individual meets the other criteria.

When should I submit my application?

Applications should generally be submitted at least four months prior to the requested start date. Applications for summer-only research appointments should be submitted at least ten weeks prior to the requested start date.

Reviews of Diversity and Re-entry Supplement applications are held bimonthly. See the table below for information about submission deadlines, review dates, and start dates.

Submission DeadlineReview DateEarliest Possible Start Date*

January 1



March 1



May 1



July 1



September 1



November 1




*Applications are evaluated on a regular schedule, but funding decisions may be influenced or delayed by other factors, including the availability of funds. Applications proposing supplements with direct costs in any year greater than $50,000 and greater than 25% of the parent grant award must receive concurrence from the National Advisory Mental Health Council. Therefore, it is recommended that PIs/PDs consult with the Diversity Supplements Administrator (email:; phone: 301-443-2847) prior to submission.

Although we make every effort to follow the timeline presented in the table above, applications received after April 1 may not be funded before December 1. This is due to the NIH budgetary cycle, and is the reason why the NIMH rarely makes supplement awards in October or November.

My application was not selected for funding. Can I resubmit?

No. An application may not be resubmitted once it has been reviewed by the Diversity and Re-entry Supplements Committee. However, your Program Official may ask you to revise or resubmit before the Committee reviews your application. If you are unsure about whether or not your application is eligible for resubmission, contact your NIMH Program Official, or the Diversity and Re-entry Supplements Administrator (e-mail:; phone: 301-443-2847).

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