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Training & Careers

Programs to Increase Diversity


Predoctoral Diversity Fellowships (F31)

NIBIB uses the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellows (F31) to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research to provide up to 2 years of support for research training leading to the Ph.D. or equivalent research degree, the combined M.D./Ph.D. degree; or another formally combined professional degree and research doctoral degree. The overall goal of this program is to increase the number of scientists from diverse population groups who are prepared to pursue careers in interdisciplinary research at the interface between the biomedical and the mathematical, physical, or engineering sciences. Eligible candidates include individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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Diversity Supplements to Research Grants

Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research provide supplemental funds to existing NIH research grants to recruit and support eligible students, postdocs, and investigators interested in pursuing a biomedical research career. Eligible individuals include: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; individuals with disabilities; and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research.

NIBIB uses diversity supplements to provide not only a research experience for the diversity candidate, but a rich and nurturing mentioning environment that will foster the career development of the candidate as an independent researcher. As such, the mentor’s history of mentoring students and junior faculty (especially from underrepresented populations), the mentoring plan designed for the specific candidate, and the mentor’s statement of commitment are of utmost importance in the review of the application.

NIBIB will not consider diversity supplement applications that request support for less than 1 year. Pre-doctoral students will typically be supported after they have finished their required coursework and passed their qualifying exams. Typical support at the pre- and post-doctoral levels will not exceed 2 years.

         Please contact Dr. Zeynep Erim if you plan to submit a Diversity Supplement Application.

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Blueprint Program for Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Education Experiences (R25)

The goal of this program is to encourage and prepare undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds to enter Ph.D. degree programs in the neurosciences. To accomplish this goal, this initiative will provide institutional awards to develop neuroscience research education programs consisting of collaborative partnerships integrated across different educational institutions. Each collaborative research education partnership must have the following components: a) a research-intensive institution that has an established neuroscience or neuroscience related program, b) institution(s) that have a substantial enrollment of undergraduates from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, c) integrated curriculum/academic enhancement and research training activities designed to increase participants preparation to enter doctoral programs in the neurosciences, and d) well-described plans to provide early communication and interaction between participating students and graduate neuroscience programs across the country.

Details about the program can be found at For further information contact Dr. Mark Chavez, Division of Translational Research and Treatment Development, NIMH; telephone: 301-443-8942; email:

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Expanding Diversity in Engineering and the Physical Sciences

The NIBIB is committed to increasing the participation and success of racial and ethnic minorities and other underrepresented populations in science and engineering. To this end, the NIBIB has recently awarded contracts to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and Savannah State University. These contracts will allow the institutions to test the effectiveness of a concerted program combining intensive recruitment and outreach efforts; strong faculty, and peer-to-peer mentoring; exposure to academic and industrial research experiences; professional development counseling; and social networking in increasing the number of underrepresented students in STEM fields. We envision that the outcomes and ‘best practices’ reached by these institutions will inform future programs designed to further increase the STEM diversity pipeline and direct students in the pipeline to academic and industrial research careers.

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Last Updated On 11/21/2011