SUP - NIH BRAIN Initiative Research Supplements to Promote Diversity


SUP - NIH BRAIN Initiative Research Supplements to Promote Diversity

Notice Number: NOT-MH-19-038

Key Dates

Release Date: September 4, 2019

Related Announcements



This Notice encourages eligible awardees in the BRAIN Initiative community to apply for administrative supplements in response to PA-18-906 Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Admin Supp - Clinical Trial Not Allowed).  The NIH has a strong interest in the diversity of the NIH-funded workforce (see NOT-OD-18-210 for details) and encourages institutions to diversify their student populations by enhancing the participation of individuals from groups identified as underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PI) of active BRAIN Initiative research program grants are thus encouraged to identify eligible individuals throughout the continuum from high school to the faculty level for support and scientific mentorship under the auspices of this administrative supplement. The activities proposed in the supplement application must fall within the scope of the parent grant, and both advance the objectives of the parent grant and support the research training and professional development of the supplement candidate. BRAIN Initiative PIs are strongly encouraged to incorporate training activities that will help prepare the supplement candidate to conduct rigorous research relevant to the goals of the BRAIN Initiative 2025 Report.

Educational goals for the NIH component of the BRAIN Initiative (see BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision) include acquisition of quantitative skills; the appropriate use and integration of newly developed tools, technologies and methods developed under the BRAIN Initiative; and consideration of the ethical implications of neuroscience research. A special focus is training in quantitative neuroscience, i.e., theory and statistics for biologists, and exposing physicists, engineers and statisticians to experimental neuroscience. The BRAIN 2025 Report strongly encourages scientists to cross traditional areas of expertise to conduct interdisciplinary research, and acknowledges the need to attract investigators and faculty recruits to neuroscience from quantitative disciplines, e.g., statistics, computer science, physics, mathematics, and engineering.  

Applicants are requested to state, as the first sentence of the Research Strategy, that the parent grant was awarded as a BRAIN Initiative award, and to state the specific FOA of the parent grant (e.g., RFA-NS-18-030) to facilitate processing of the supplement application.

In some cases, a diversity supplement may be submitted to a multiple-PD/PI (MPI) BRAIN Initiative award that is awarded to a foreign institution. Specifically, a diversity supplement may be submitted if the supplement candidate meets the eligibility criteria specified in PA-18-906 and will work with a subaward MPI at a domestic institution. Potential applicants are encouraged to confirm eligibility with the Program contact listed below. 

BRAIN diversity supplement awardees, as appropriate for the duration of their support and career stage, are strongly encouraged to participate in annual PD/PI meetings and in other activities. Applicants may request funds, in addition to the research costs specified in PA-18-906, to enable the supplement candidate to attend the annual BRAIN Initiative PD/PI meeting in the Washington, DC area. This request for additional funds should be reasonable and well justified in the application. 

Before submitting an application, applicants are encouraged to review the supplemental guidance for BRAIN Initiative diversity supplement applications   on the NIH BRAIN Initiative web site. Consultation with the Program Official for the qualifying BRAIN award or the individual named under Inquiries below is also strongly encouraged.

Supplement applications will be evaluated by the BRAIN Initiative research training committee, a committee of Program staff from the Institutes and Centers participating in the NIH BRAIN Initiative. 

For tracking purposes, applicants are encouraged to inform Dr. James Churchill via email ( when a diversity supplement application is submitted. Please include the PD/PI name and grant number in the subject line of this email.