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UCSF Research Development Office (RDO): Grant Templates and Guides

How can I receive a Diversity Supplement?

How Can I Receive a Diversity Supplement?

1.     Determine if you have an eligible grant

Principal Investigators who hold an active R01, R10, R18, R22, R24, R35, R37, P01, P20, P30, P40, P41, P50, P51, P60, U01, U10, U19, U41, U42 or U54 grant are generally eligible to submit a request for a Diversity Supplement to the parent grant. Principal Investigators holding an Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15), an Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21) or a Small Grant Award (R03) also may apply for a supplement under this program.

Please note that grants eligible for Diversity Supplements vary by Institute. NIH published a Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts; please refer to this before preparing your application.

If you are unable to determine if you have an eligible grant, contact Kristin Dolan in the UCSF Research Development Office.


Eligible Candidate Levels








High school



Graduate student

Postdoctoral fellow

Independent investigator



2.    Identify a Candidate
Who Should Be Considered for a Diversity Supplement?

The NIH believes that by providing research opportunities for qualified individuals at various career levels, the number entering and remaining in health-related research careers will increase. Accordingly, Principal Investigators are encouraged to consider administrative supplements under this program for candidates at the following career levels:

  • High School Students who have expressed an interest in the health-related sciences.
  • Undergraduate Students who wish to pursue graduate level research training in health-related sciences.
  • Post-Baccalaureate Students and Post-Master's Degree Students who have recently graduated and wish to pursue further graduate training in health-related research.
  • Predoctoral Students who wish to develop their research capabilities in the health-related sciences.
  • Individuals in Postdoctoral Training who wish to participate as postdoctoral researchers in ongoing research projects and career development experiences in preparation for an independent career in a health-related research.
  • Faculty who wish to participate in ongoing research projects while further developing their own independent research potential.
  • Established investigators who become disabled may be eligible for additional support or special equipment that will facilitate a continuing contribution to the goals of the parent grant.

Note that some NIH ICs do not accept applications for all candidate career stages. This information is summarized in the table below.

Eligible Individuals

Investigators are encouraged to identify candidates who will enhance diversity on a national basis. 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 by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in this program (UCSF’s definition of URM can be found here). The NIH is particularly interested in encouraging the recruitment and retention of the following classes of candidates:

  • Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis. 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.
  • Individuals with disabilities, which are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
  • Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds defined as:
    • From a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds who has qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance, received a Health Professions Student Loan or Loan for Disadvantaged Students, or received a scholarship from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need.
    • From a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city areas that have directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.
    • Eligibility related to a disadvantaged background is most applicable to high school and perhaps to undergraduate candidates, but is difficult to justify for individuals beyond that level of academic achievement. Awards under this program are limited to citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States or to individuals who have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States (i.e., in possession of an Alien Registration Receipt Card or some other legal evidence of admission for permanent residence at the time of application).


3.     Contact your own Program Officer

Talk to your own Program Officer about the eligibility of the parent grant to have this supplement and the willingness of the institute to consider this supplement. Also discuss the duration of the supplement relative to the end of the grant project period. Rules differ by Institute.


4.     Contact the IC's Diversity Supplement Program Officer

Contact the Program Officer in charge of the diversity supplement mechanism for your NIH Institute (list of contacts available here). Ask about candidate eligibility, appropriate application submission dates and start and end dates, and application components.


5.     Prepare an application

A Diversity Supplement application contains multiple sections. General instructions are provided in FOA (PA-18-906) and on the funding institutes website. For more information and templates, see our Preparing an Application page.


6.     Submit your supplement

Inform the Program Officer in charge of the diversity supplement mechanism for your NIH Institute that your application has been submitted.