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NIDCD Action Plan: Research Careers for Deaf Individuals

In response to the NIDCD Meeting on Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers for Deaf Individuals (PDF; get Adobe Reader), this action plan is aimed at deaf/hard of hearing (HoH) students contemplating research as a career, deaf/HoH scientists and other scientists wishing to serve as mentors for research training and career development of deaf/HoH individuals.

The NIDCD web site serves a broad population of people interested in and affected by communication disorders. The NIDCD site has valuable links to other organizations, as well as to a broad array of NIH programs. Opportunities currently available from NIDCD which may be of special interest to deaf/HoH readers include, but are not limited to, the following:

Research Supplements for Individuals with Disabilities

The NIDCD recognizes the need to provide opportunities to individuals with disabilities who are capable of entering or resuming research careers. Under this supplement program, all principal investigators holding NIDCD research grants may apply for administrative supplements for support of individuals with disabilities, thereby allowing these individuals to pursue biomedical and behavioral research careers in areas within the mission of NIDCD. Supplemental awards are available to support individuals with disabilities from each of the following population groups:

  • High school students.
  • Undergraduate students.
  • Post-Baccalaureate and post-Master's degree students.
  • Graduate research assistants.
  • Individuals in postdoctoral training.
  • Investigators developing independent research careers.
  • Established investigators who become disabled.

Current guidelines can be obtained here:

Application guidance may be obtained from Judith Cooper, Ph.D., at


National Research Service Awards

Several different award mechanisms are available to individuals who desire further research training and career development at various points in their research careers. Funds are also available to institutions wishing to offer research training opportunities to individuals in hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language.

Application forms and detailed instructions specific to the program are available from the following NIDCD staff contacts:

The NIH Office of Extramural Research has also developed an NIH Research Training page.

Research training and career development grants include:

  • National Research Service Award for Individual Predoctoral Fellows [F31]
  • National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowships for Minority Students [F31]
  • National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowships for Students with Disabilities [F31]
  • National Research Service Awards for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows (Fellowships) [F32]
  • Institutional National Research Service Awards (Training Grants) [T32]

Additional information about NIDCD's participation in these programs is available at: