Research Workforce Diversity Program
The Research Workforce Diversity Program (WDP) in the Office for Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity (ODWD) was created in 2018 to support pathways to independence for emerging neuroscientists and mental health researchers from diverse backgrounds. As part of the NIMH commitment to the biomedical workforce, WDP supports highly talented US-based students and investigators from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups – ranging from high school through faculty – that contribute to the mission of transforming our understanding and treatment of mental illnesses. Training and mentoring opportunities span the full range of science, from basic neuroscience through translational research and mental health services research.
Research Workforce Diversity Program Functions
WDP is committed to expanding equity and advancing training opportunities for mental health investigators to build a pathway to research independence. Support for trainees and investigators is part of the foundation used to build capacity and support the future of mental health research. In addition, WDP works through ODWD to sponsor workshops, activities and programs that enhance workforce diversity.
WDP uses a variety of mechanisms to help investigators gain and access:
- Research funding and training opportunities
- Mental health research mentors
- Mental health research networks
- Sustainable collaborative research activities
High School Through Faculty Awards
- Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research
These are administrative supplements to active research grants to enhance the diversity of the research workforce by recruiting and supporting students, postdoctoral trainees, and eligible investigators from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups shown to be underrepresented in health-related research.
- NIH BRAIN Initiative Research Supplements to Promote Diversity
These are administrative supplements to active BRAIN Initiative grants to enhance the diversity of the research workforce . Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PI) of active grants are encouraged to identify eligible individuals throughout the continuum from high school to the faculty level for support and scientific mentorship under this program’s auspices.
- F31 - Individual NRSA for Diverse PhD Students
Fellowships support the research training of predoctoral students from groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in the biomedical research workforce.
- R36 - Mental Health Dissertation Research Grant to Increase Diversity
The R36 Mental Health Dissertation Grants are designed to facilitate the completion of the doctoral research project. Dissertation applicants for the R36 should not require further training at this stage.
- F99/K00 - NIH Blueprint D-SPAN Award
The NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award supports the pre- to post-doctoral transition of diverse graduate students.
- K99/R00 - BRAIN Initiative Advanced Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity
This program is designed to facilitate a timely transition of outstanding postdoctoral researchers with a research and/or clinical doctorate from mentored postdoctoral research positions to independent, tenure-track, or equivalent faculty positions.
Junior Faculty Awards
- The NIH Common Fund’s Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST)
This program aims to facilitate the creation of inclusive research environments by building a self-reinforcing community of scientists through the recruitment of a critical mass of early-career faculty. The program also seeks to have a positive impact on faculty development, retention, progression, and eventual promotion, as well as develop inclusive environments that are sustainable.
- 25 - NIH Blueprint ENDURE
This research education program is designed to encourage and prepare undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds to enter PhD degree programs in the neurosciences.
- R25 - NIH Neuroscience Development for Advancing the Careers of a Diverse Research Workforce
This research education program supports NIMH mission-relevant programs to increase the pool of PhD-level neuroscience researchers from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research.
- NIMH Support for Conference Grants (R13) to Promote Inclusion in the Research Workforce
This opportunity supports conferences and workshops to promote inclusion within the neuroscience and mental health research workforce, with a particular focus on advancing the participation of women and individuals from underrepresented minority (URM) groups.
Ishmael Amarreh, PhD
Research Workforce Diversity Program
Office for Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7210