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Diversity Supplement and Re-Entry Program Guidelines

Advancing Diversity in Aging Research

NIA's supplement awards program supports emerging researchers with a mentor-directed opportunity that fosters and expands the research capabilities, knowledge, and skills of trainee-candidates in diverse aging research areas. NIA's Diversity Supplement program supports the development of eligible trainee-candidates who seek independent and productive careers in research on aging and enhance diversity in the biomedical workforce. The Re-entry and Re-Integration Supplement program supports eligible individuals in reentering an active research career after life events have placed their research careers on hold.

Overview of NIA Supplement Programs

NIA Diversity Supplements at a Glance
Topic Description
Submission Deadlines NIA accepts applications on a rolling basis and reviews applications in a monthly cycle. Applications received by the second Thursday of the month will be reviewed the following month. Applications received after the second Thursday of the month will be reviewed within two months. Applications seeking consideration before September 30th must be received by June 1st.
Clinical Trial Independent or ancillary clinical trials are not allowed. Applicants are permitted to propose research experiences and activities in clinical trials led by a mentor or co-mentor. Visit this link to determine whether you are doing a clinical trial.
Parent Grant Eligible parent grants are comprehensively listed in PA-21-071. The parent grant must have at least two years of active status left at the time of supplement application unless the performance period of the grant is less than two years. Supplements are not considered for grants in a no-cost extension.
Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) Must be a PD/PI on an active parent grant. For Multiple Principal Investigator (MPI) parent grants, the Contact PI should submit the application through his or her institution even though work on the supplement may be conducted at another institution. For multi-component parent grants, the overall Contact PI should submit the application from his/her institution on behalf of project/core PIs.
Candidates Consistent with the Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity (NOT-OD-20-031), eligibility for this program includes candidates from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences, such as, individuals from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, with a disability, or from disadvantaged backgrounds. NIA accepts diversity supplement applications to support high-school students, undergraduates, postbaccalaureate, Master’s, PhD, postdoctoral, and eligible new investigator candidates who are developing their independent research careers. Established investigators who are or become disabled are eligible to apply for a diversity supplement to support reasonable accommodation as described in the in PA-21-071. Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Award Budget Varies based on career level of the candidate
Award Duration 2 years or less

In alignment with the respective funding opportunity announcements (PA-21-071) and (NOT-OD-21-134), NIA’s diversity and re-entry and re-integration programs are not intended to provide additional or alternative means for supporting individuals who are receiving funding from other Public Health Service (PHS) sources. Removing an individual from current PHS funding does not confer eligibility for support. The only exception is where current funding is term-limited and does not exceed 6 months in its entirety. Details specifying current PHS funding must be included, e.g., in the candidate eligibility statement, at the time of submission of the supplement application. Short-term support from the parent PHS grant is allowable.

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Guidelines for Submission

Applications must be submitted electronically as described in PA-21-071 and NOT-OD-21-134.

  • A parent grant may support more than one individual on a diversity supplement. A separate application is required for each candidate and each application will be evaluated independently.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to inform their program officer and to copy the supplement program contact (NIATraining@mail.nih.gov) prior to and immediately following submission.

Clinical Trials Not Allowed. NIA diversity and re-entry and re-integration supplements are not designed for applicants proposing an independent or ancillary clinical trial. Applicants to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) are permitted to propose research experiences and activities in clinical trials led by a mentor or co-mentor. For more information to determine whether a project meets the NIH definition of a behavioral or clinical trial, please review this resource: Need help determining whether you are doing a clinical trial?

Eligible Activities. Diversity Supplement applications are accepted under R00, R03, R21/R33, and R15 awards for support of high-school students, undergraduates, postbaccalaureate or terminal Masters' candidates only. For all other activity codes, NIA accepts diversity supplement applications to support high-school students, undergraduates, postbaccalaureate, Master’s, Ph.D., postdoctoral, early-stage, and new investigator candidates. Career development awards and training grants are not eligible. All research project activities are eligible to apply for a disability supplement. For eligible parent grants for re-entry and re-integration supplements, please refer to NOT-OD-21-134.

Candidate Eligibility. NIA follows NIH guidelines as articulated in the diversity (PA-21-071) and the re-entry and re-integration (NOT-OD-21-134) announcements. Diversity supplements are also available to PI(s) of research grants who are or become disabled and need additional support to accommodate their disability to continue to work on the research project.

  • A candidate who is currently receiving support from another PHS funding source (including the parent grant) is not eligible to receive overlapping supplement funding. Investigators seeking supplement support should inquire with the supplement program contact (NIATraining@mail.nih.gov) about eligibility based on their funding status.
  • Candidates who have had support on a National Research Service Award (NRSA) training grant or a previous diversity or disability supplement are eligible for support once they have completed their appointment. Candidates for a second diversity supplement award should outline clearly in their biographical sketch their accomplishments during the prior supplement period and the reason(s) for a second supplement request at this later stage in their training.
  • Current and former PDs/PIs who have been the recipients of the following NIH grants are not eligible to be named as a candidate for a diversity supplement unless they are or become disabled: R01 and R01-equivalent grants, P01, P50 (including subproject/core leads), K01, K07, K08, K22, K23, K25, K76, K99/R00. R01-equivalent grants are defined as activity codes DP1, DP2, DP5, R37, R56, RF1, RL1, U01 and R35.
  • Starting in FY22, candidates receiving pilot support from an NIA-funded parent grant who are receiving a salary from pilot funds may be considered for a Diversity Supplement. If approved, funding will begin only when pilot funding ends. If a candidate is not receiving a salary from pilot funds, a Diversity Supplement may be submitted for non-duplicative costs. If approved, funding may be concurrent with pilot funds.

Period of Support. Generally, a minimum of two years should remain on the project period of the grant. NIA awards diversity and re-entry and re-integration supplements for 2 years or less. In all cases, the research/training proposed should be appropriate for the time requested, with stated milestones and a mentoring and career development plan. For grants with performance periods of less than two years, and for requests for a single year award, the proposed supplement should justify the need for a strategic training activity appropriate for the shortened performance period. Supplement awards are not provided to grants in a no-cost extension.

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Allowable Costs

NIA follows the allowable costs described in PA-21-071 and NOT-OD-21-134. Salary and fringe benefits, supplies and travel, and tuition (where applicable) are the only budget categories allowable for diversity supplements. The career level of the candidate determines the budget caps for these categories. No other direct cost line items in the budget will be covered per the program announcement. Research costs are expected to be supported from the parent grant. Funds for research supplies must be clearly justified and will only be considered if not included in the approved budget and scientific aims of the parent grant. Travel budget justification must include the location and name(s) of meeting(s), per diem costs, hotel expenses, etc. No escalations on salary or fringe benefits are allowed.

Allowable Costs for NIA Diversity Supplements
Allowable Costs High School Students Undergraduate Students Baccalaureate and Master's Degree Holders Graduate (Predoctoral) and Health Professional Students Individuals in Postdoctoral Training Investigators Developing Independent Research Careers
Salary and Fringe Benefits Institutional salary rates; rates that exceed minimum wage must be justified Institutional salary rates; rates that exceed $12 per hour must be justified Institutional salary rates; total compensation (salary, fringe benefits, and tuition remission) cannot exceed zero level NSRA postdoc stipend* Institutional salary rates; total compensation (salary, fringe benefits, and tuition remission) cannot exceed zero level NSRA postdoc stipend* Institutional salary rates; in accordance with maximum level NRSA postdoc stipend at the time of appointment* Up to $75,000 salary plus fringe benefits
Supplies and Travel $1,000 per year $200 per month $3,000 per year $4,000 per year $6,000 per year $10,000 per year
Tuition N/A N/A Allowable Allowable N/A N/A
Period of Support Equivalent of at least 3 months of full-time effort (2 years encouraged) Equivalent of at least 3 months of full-time effort (2 years encouraged) One to two years Typically, two years Typically, two years Short-term: Full-time 3-5 months each year over a maximum period of 4 years. Long-term: up to 2 years at a minimum of 75% effort or 9 person months of a 12-month calendar appointment.

*Current NRSA stipends are described in NOT-OD-21-049.

Examples of Unallowable Costs. Equipment (except for funds requested to provide reasonable accommodations for a candidate with a disability), publication costs (except for re-entry and re-integration candidates), consultant services, automatic data processing (ADP)/computer services, equipment or facility rental/user fees, software, technical support, human subject payments, research incentives, childcare, gift cards, transcription services, data network recharge, computing and communication devise services (CCDS), memberships, animal costs, lab fees, sample analysis fees, mailing, postage, or printing fees, registration fees, participant incentives, tuition for postdocs or investigators, GRE/MCAT preparation courses, health insurance not included in fringe benefits, telecommunication equipment or services.

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How to Prepare Your Application

See the program announcement (under Application and Submission Information) to identify the components of a supplement request and work with your business office to use the correct forms. NIA-specific guidance requires:

  • Research Strategy (limit 5 pages)
  • Candidate Bio sketch
  • Mentor(s) five-page Bio sketch(es)
  • Candidate Eligibility Statement (signed by both the PI and an institutional official)
  • Candidate Transcripts (for high school, undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, post-Master's degree or graduate students only)
  • Letters of Support (optional)

The 5-page Research Strategy should include:

  • A one-page (or less) summary or abstract of the funded grant or project
  • the Research Training and Career Development Plan for the candidate.

Required but not included in the 5 pages are:

  • References cited
  • Candidate bio sketch (including statement of goals in Section A)
  • Mentor(s)' bio sketch(es) (including prior mentoring experience and statement of commitment to the candidate in Section A)
  • A candidate eligibility statement signed by both the PI and an institutional official attesting to the candidate’s eligibility for support under this program, and
  • Most recent transcripts (only for high school, undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, and graduate student candidates).

The candidate eligibility statement signed by both the PI and an institutional official establishing the eligibility of the trainee candidate for support under the Diversity or Re-entry and Re-integration Supplement Program should 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.
  • A description of any current or previous 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. Candidates receiving continuing PHS support are not eligible.

Additional information (optional, provide if relevant):

  • For research conducted at a site other than the grantee institution: An appropriately signed letter from the other institution where the research would be conducted should be provided. The request must be signed by the trainee candidate, PI, and the appropriate institutional business official.
  • 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 would be used. The relation of the proposed accommodation (to the proposed Diversity Supplement) must be described.
  • For center grants (i.e., P30 and P50), describe any review process the pilot study to be conducted by the candidate has received prior to the application. Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval, as relevant to the proposed work, is encouraged at the time of submission and is required at the time of funding.

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Review and Funding Timeline

NIA accepts applications on a rolling basis and reviews applications in a monthly cycle (except in Summer). Applications received by the second Thursday of the month will be reviewed the following month. Applications received after the second Thursday of the month will be reviewed within two months.

The submitted application package is reviewed within the NIA Division of Extramural Activities (DEA). NIA program staff reviews for completeness, and incomplete applications may be returned without review. The NIA Supplements Committee, with representatives from the Division of Extramural Activities, NIA Office of Special Populations, and each scientific program division, reviews the merit of complete applications and proposed activities. The review outcome includes written feedback, usually within two months of receipt of the application cycle. In review, applications may also be deferred for more information, such as more detail on a planned research project or clarification on the career goals of an applicant.

Funding decisions are generally dependent on:

  1. The merit of the application and the proposed project activities (i.e., the career development/mentorship plan).
  2. The potential for continued research progress of the candidate.
  3. The availability of funds.

Questions? Check out this NIA Diversity Supplement webinar recording, and email the supplement program contact at NIATraining@mail.nih.gov.

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Small Business and Entrepreneurship Opportunities

Eligible Small Business (SBIR/STTR) awardees interested in submitting a diversity supplement application should do so following the NIH guidelines described in the FOA Administrative Supplements to Promote Diversity in Research and Development Small Businesses-SBIR/STTR (Admin Supp Clinical Trial Not Allowed). For more information about the NIA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, the largest source of early-stage funding for aging-related research and development (R&D), visit the NIA Office of Small Business Research.