National Institutes of Health (NIH) Diversity Supplement Grants

Website: UW School of Public Health Diversity Supplement guidance and information for students


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognize that achieving diversity in the biomedical research workforce is critical to the full realization of our national research goals, and supports the development of a diverse and well-trained research workforce through “Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research" (PA-21-071). The goal of these supplements is to increase diversity in the research workforce by providing training, mentorship and career development opportunities to individuals who are underrepresented in biomedical, behavioral, clinical, social and basic sciences research.

Diversity Supplements may provide up to 5 years of funding for candidates, which includes additional research funds, tuition, stipend and health insurance, so that you can focus on your coursework and research project. Depending on your academic level and NIH institute, you may be able to request conference funding, research-related equipment, publication fees, and other research-related expenses. All budget-related questions should be discussed with a grants manager and NIH project officer. (Note: Some grants may not cover summer quarter tuition, salary and health insurance.)

Please note: These Diversity Supplement funds are not traditional scholarships that students can apply for directly. Faculty researchers holding specific types of NIH grants can apply for the Diversity Supplement to support students working with them. Students will need to discuss with and work with their research mentors to determine if this funding is a potential fit for them and to apply together.

Looking for a research mentor connection? The UW School of Public Health has developed this list of faculty and research projects supported by NIH grants eligible for the Diversity Supplement.


Eligible applicants are US Citizens, non-citizen nationals of the US, and individuals who have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., in possession of Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551) that meet ONE or more of the following eligibility criteria:

1. Individuals from racial and/or ethnic groups. The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. Also, individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering. In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be demonstrated convincingly to be underrepresented are encouraged to apply.

2. Individuals with one or more disabilities. Defined as those 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, and also defined with NSF Data.

3. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria:

  1. Were or currently are homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
  2. Were or currently are in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families
  3. Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years
  4. Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor's degree, which is seen as a barrier to higher education by the U.S. Department of Education
  5. Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell Grant Program
  6. Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as a parent or child
  7. Grew up in one of the following areas:
    1. A U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer OR
    2. A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas.

NOTE: Only one of the two possibilities in can be used as a criterion for the disadvantaged background definition.

Student Type
  • freshman
  • sophomore
  • junior
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen
  • Permanent Resident
Contact Information

Please consult with your research mentor.

Additionally, the UW School of Public Health hosts a Diversity Supplement listserv. Please join the SPH Diversity Supplement Listserv to submit your questions, connect with Diversity Supplement awardees to coordinate information meetings. Email and submit your questions to the group.