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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

Funding opportunities

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.

Predoctoral Awards

Postdoctoral Awards

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.

Institutional Programs

Program Chief

Ishmael Amarreh, PhD
Research Workforce Diversity Program
Office for Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7210