NIH Diversity Supplement - INVESTIGATOR with current NIH Funding

I am an INVESTIGATOR. Should I consider adding a diversity supplement to my ongoing studies?

Why should I consider a diversity supplement? Supplements are a WIN for investigators who have eligible “parent grants” because their research team/scope can be extended via a supplement. Supplements must support work within the scope of the original project, but not overlap. Diversity supplement applications also tend to have a high rate of success and are on a short review cycle.

Is my grant eligible?

Determine if you have an eligible grant. Eligible grants vary by institute.

  • Typical grants include: R34, R01, P, and U grants
  • Parent award must have > 2 years remaining; supplement duration typically 2-3 years

Step #1: Examine parent announcement to make sure information detailed here has not changed.

Step #2: Determine due dates. Due dates vary by institute. Due dates usually do not align to standard review dates.

Step #3: Formulate an initial idea. Speak with the program officer of your parent grant.

Step #4: Then contact the diversity program officer at the target institute before applying (details for contact person found here:  Institutes, program and diversity supplement staff review and rank idea according to I/C mission and priorities.

Step #5: The PI must initiate the application. Some but not all unique elements of the diversity supplement application include:

  • Letter from PI that candidate is eligible, plans to engage in a research career, will help to diversify the scientific workforce; co-signed by PI and OSP
  • Research Plan: what the candidate will do, how the activities will advance the candidate’s research training and skills AND advance objectives of parent grant
  • Supplement activities must be consistent with but not redundant with Aims of the parent project
  • For students and trainees:
    • Mentoring Plan: objectives to prepare candidate for next step of research career; timeline of activities (e.g., PhD program milestones, seminars/colloquia/workshops, conferences,  ~2 publications per year); end project = a stage-appropriate grant; outline nature of mentor-candidate interactions (e.g., individual or lab meetings, writing together), and PI’s previous mentoring experience
    • Training under supplement must augment current training opportunities
    • Candidate statement and biosketch (include manuscripts in preparation, specify commitment to research relevant to I/C)
    • Transcripts for students
  • Budget and justification; Application budgets are limited to no more than the amount of the current parent award, and must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project (usually <25% of parent grant budget). Direct costs for individual administrative supplements vary from less than $5,000 to more than $100,000 depending on the career level of the candidate. Administrative supplements end with the competitive cycle of the parent grant. Any cost increases need to result from making modifications to the project that would increase or preserve the overall impact of the project consistent with its originally approved objectives and purposes. There is NO additional support for PI/mentor. For supplements that are for investigators, short term supplements can cover three to five months each year during the summer or another portion of the academic year, over a maximum period of four years; long term supplements provide support for up to two years at a minimum of 9 person months (equivalent to 75% effort) during each 12-month period.

Step #6: Response usually occurs in 6-8 weeks. Receipt of award occurs as an administrative supplement.