SUP - Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research


SUP - Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research

Administrative supplements to currently active NIH research grants to support the training of underrepresented individuals and enhance the diversity of the research workforce.

Program Announcement

Appointee Eligibility
High school/undergraduate/post-baccalaureate; graduate/clinical doctorate; postdoctorate/residency; early career investigators; U.S. citizens or permanent residents

Institution Eligibility
U.S. domestic institutions

Additional Information
Diversity supplements are funds added to an existing grant to increase the participation of scientists from underrepresented groups in biomedical research.

The supplementary information on this page applies to applications requesting selected research supplements to active National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) grants. Its purpose is to clarify the application process for NINDS grantees and is not intended to replace the detailed information in the program announcement.

Prior to submission of an application, the Principal Investigator (applicant) should contact Marguerite Matthews, PhD, Program Director in the Office of Programs to Enhance Neuroscience Workforce Diversity (, to discuss the proposed supplement. Critical issues to be discussed with the program officer may include, but are not limited to, the research development and mentoring plan activities.

While the diversity supplement proposal must be within scope of the parent grant, NINDS will not support a diversity supplement application if the research plan is identical to that already proposed in the parent grant. For graduate and postdoctoral trainees, we expect this supplement proposal will serve as a foundation for preparing a fellowship or career development award. 

On this page, find information on:

Supplement Format

At the time of a supplement application the parent grant must have a reasonable period of time remaining (typically, one to two years) at the time of possible award to support an optimal career development experience for the candidate. We do not award diversity supplements to grants in a no-cost extension. 

NINDS will support more than one supplement per parent grant. Detailed information regarding this policy can be found here: NINDS Will Consider the Support of More Than One Mentee per Parent Grant

Eligibility for the PA

PD(s)/PI(s) are encouraged to consider administrative supplements under this program at the following career levels: high school students, undergraduate students, baccalaureate and master’s degree holders, graduate (predoctoral) and health professional students, individuals in postdoctoral training, and investigators developing independent research careers. A signed statement from an institutional official establishing the eligibility of the candidate for support under this program.  The statement must include clearly presented information on citizenship of the candidate and a description of how the appointment of this specific candidate would further the goals of this funding opportunity, consistent with the Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity (NOT-OD-20-031). 

Specifically for the Investigator level, appropriate use and eligibility for the program are described below:

  • Short-term Investigator Research Supplement: Examples of this may include diverse researchers at teaching-intensive schools who wish to pursue summer or another portion of the academic year research experiences in ongoing projects while further developing their own research potential, to enhance their research skills and establish an independent research career. Candidates with a history of previously funded R awards are not eligible for this supplement.
  • Long-term Investigator Research Supplement: The expectation is that at the junior faculty level for a supplement request, candidates will be recently appointed (within 24 months) and the project will enhance his or her ability to compete for independent grant support. The applicant should provide clear justification for the need of the supplement and the barriers or feasibility issues that make submission of individual awards such as a K or R not a competitive strategy at the current time. Candidates with a history of previously funded R awards are not eligible for this supplement.

Application Content, Submission, Review, and Award of Applications

PIs should read the program announcement (under Application and Submission Information) for what to include in a supplement request. See below for further details and additional information that NINDS requires.

The Research and Career Plan (limit 8 pages) includes:

  • Summary of the Funded Grant or Project
    • A brief description of the Parent Grant specific aims must be provided. 
  • Description of the Research Project for the Supplementee
    • The PA requires that the PI describe how the mentored research experiences will expand and foster the research capabilities of the candidate and how they relate to the research goals and objectives of the parent grant. Diversity Supplement awards must be within the scope of the parent grant. The research plan should present evidence that the proposed experience is appropriate for the stage of the individual's research development, and that it will significantly enhance the individual's research potential, while furthering the individual's ability to pursue a research career.
  • Career Development Plan
    • An appropriate career development/mentorship plan for the candidate must be included in the application. The expectation is that the PI will prepare a detailed career development/mentorship plan that will include objectives and associated timelines for helping the candidate make the transition to the next stage of his/her research career. Required components of the career development plan include:
      • Details of mentor-candidate interactions should be included. The plan should go well beyond simple laboratory assignments and supervision plans or stating that the candidate will attend seminars or lab meetings. The career development plan should be structured, specific and stage-appropriate for the candidate and include parameters such as the frequency of meetings, topics to be discussed, and how progress will be monitored.
      • A projected time line delineating specific research milestones and other activities that will be made in an attempt to secure independent research funding (i.e., anticipated publications, grantsmanship workshops, timeframe for grant submissions and type of independent research support the candidate seeks).
      • The PI must describe how he/she will assist the candidate in achieving the objectives and goals they have described in their candidate statement (see below).
      • The plan should take into account the typical barriers and impediments encountered by all trainees, as well as the unique challenges that individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, or individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds may encounter in gaining entry and progressing in the biomedical workforce.
      • A time line for the research and career development activities is required for investigators, postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, post baccalaureate students and undergraduates.

The PI mentoring experience, candidate statement (must be included in their NIH Biosketch), eligibility letter, biosketches and recommendations are not counted against the Research and Career Plan's 8-page limit.

Mentoring Experience of the PI 

  • All applicants should describe their experience and track record as a mentor.
  • The PI should provide evidence of mentoring experience and success, e.g. a list of past trainees and their current positions. If the PI is a junior faculty member, it may be appropriate to include an experienced co-mentor in the development plan.
  • In addition, if the PI has previously been awarded a research supplement(s), he/she must describe: a) the outcome of the previous supplement(s) including the current status of the candidate(s) (i.e., title of current position and name of institution); b) the outcomes of the prior development/mentorship plan; c) any unexpected positive or negative occurrences that affected specific aspects of the development/mentorship plan or success of the candidate(s); and d) how these prior experiences influenced the development/mentorship plan proposed for the current candidate(s).
  • The role of other investigators who will contribute to the research mentoring should be described in the application and their biosketches must be included with the application.

Candidate Statement 

  • As required by the PA, the Personal Statement section of the candidate's NIH Biosketch must outline short- and long-term research objectives and career goals. The candidate must describe how the planned activities are related to or will facilitate achievement of their career goals. For example, if the candidate is a postbaccalaureate trainee, they should describe how the planned activities will help facilitate their transition to a graduate/medical program.
  • Predoctoral, postdoctoral, and junior faculty-level candidates are expected to include plans to submit career stage-appropriate grant applications during or at the end of the period of supplement support.
    • NOTE: One of the NINDS Special Terms and Conditions included on the Notice of Grant Award for supplements requesting two or three years of support is that the next budget period support for the supplementee is contingent upon the submission of a competitive fellowship (F), career development (K), or equivalent application before the next year funds will be released. 

Grade Reporting/References/Letters of Support

  • For high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, post-master's, medical students or graduate students only:
    • List by institution and year all undergraduate and graduate courses with grades in the Biosketch (for more details, see instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide). 
  • References/Letters of Support are optional but may be included in the supplement application.

We strongly encourage you to review the webinar, "SfN Global Connectome Social: NINDS OPEN Conversations about NIH Diversity Supplements," (either the recording or the accompanying slides) where we provide an overview of the supplement application, the review process, and share best practices in the approach to mentoring and career development plans. 

Allowable Costs and Other Provisions


High School Students

Undergraduate Students

Baccalaureate/ Master's

Degree Holders

Graduate (Predoctoral) And Health Professional Students

Individuals in Postdoctoral Training

Investigators Developing Independent Research Careers 

Salary & Fringe Benefits

Consistent with applicant Institutional salary policies, rates that exceed minimum wage must be justified.

Consistent with applicant Institutional salary policies, rates that exceed $12.00/hour must be justified.

Consistent with applicant Institutional salary policies, but cannot exceed $35,000 total for both salary and fringe benefits.

Consistent with applicant institutional salary policies, total compensation (salary, fringe benefits, and tuition remission) cannot exceed zero level NSRA postdoc stipend.

Must be in accordance with the salary structure of the grantee institution, consistent with the level of effort, and may not exceed the maximum allowable NRSA stipend level for postdoctoral fellows in effect at the time of appointment.

Consistent with applicant Institutional salary policies, but cannot exceed $85,000 total for both salary and fringe benefits.

Supplies & Travel


$200 per month

$3,000 per year

$4,000 per year

$6,000 per year

$10,000 per year





(see PA-20-222)










Period of Support

Equivalent of at least 3 months effort

Equivalent of at least 3 months of full time effort

One year but can be extended to two years if candidate is actively pursuing entry into graduate health professional school. A formal extension request must be submitted.

Coincident with research doctoral and health professional degree program; no more than three years

No more than two years

No more than two years


Submission and Receipt of Applications

Prior to submission of an application, the Principal Investigator (applicant) should contact Marguerite Matthews, PhD, Scientific Program Manager in the Office of Programs to Enhance Neuroscience Workforce Diversity (

We have three application deadlines a year in February, May, and November. Funding decisions for supplement applications will be made by the end of March, June, and December and the earlist expected start date would be April, July, and January.

Application Receipt Window

Final Funding Decision

November 16 to February 15


February 16 to May 15


August 1 to November 15


Applications received after the cycle cut-off date will be processed and considered for funding in the next funding cycle, i.e., receipt after February 15, would mean review with applications for the May 15 deadline.

PLEASE NOTE: If your parent grant is funded through the BRAIN Initiaitve, the HEAL Initiative, or the AD/ADRD Initiative, but your supplement application lacks the appropriate Notice number in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form, your application might not be considered for funding. Please be sure to visit the appropriate supplement webpage for guidance. 

In making requests, the grantee institution, on behalf of the PI of the parent grant and in cooperation with the candidate, must submit the request for supplemental funds. As stated in NOT-OD-18-111, NIH requires all applications for diversity supplements to be submitted electronically as of January 25, 2018. There are several options available to electronically submit Diversity Supplement applications. These include NIH ASSIST, institutional system-to-system (S2S), and Workspace. NIH also offers the option to initiate administrative supplement applications within eRA Commons to take advantage of pre-population and other features and completing the submission in NIH ASSIST. 

Include the candidate’s eRA Commons Username and attach the Research Experience Plan (described below in the PHS 398 Research Plan Form), Candidate Biosketch (described in the Senior/Key Personnel Form, also called the Applicant Biosketch), and the Candidate Eligibility Statement (described in Other Project Information/Appendix, also called the Applicant Eligibility Statement) in the fields provided. Although only one candidate may be supported under each request submitted using this system, grantees may submit multiple requests on the same parent award. All candidates for supplemental diversity award support must also have a profile in the eRA Commons.

Budget information should be entered for the grantee institution in the fields provided. There is no template or form available for subaward information; instead, all subaward information should be included as a separate attachment showing the funds requested (by budget period) using the same categories provided for the grantee institution. Also include a budget justification for the subawardee institution in the same file.

For more guidance, please see the eRA Commons user guide.


Review and Award of Applications

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.


Relevant Policy Notices

NOT-NS-21-047 Notice to Encourage Eligible NINDS Alzheimers Disease and Alzheimers Disease-Related Dementias (AD/ADRD) Awardees
NOT-NS-20-107  Notice of Special Interest to Encourage Eligible NIH HEAL Initiative Awardees to Apply for PA-20-222: Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Admin Supp - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
NOT-MH-19-038 Notice to Encourage Eligible NIH BRAIN Initiative Awardees to Apply for PA-18-906 Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Admin Supp - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
NOT-OD-18-111 Notice of Requirement for Electronic Submission of Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research and Upcoming System Validation
NOT-OD-18-105 Revision: Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Admin Supp)