The NIH has released two solicitations for Transformative Research to Address Health Disparities and Advance Health Equity (U01), with one opportunity targeted specifically towards Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). The solicitations call for proposals from research teams or individuals with innovative, unconventional research projects aimed at developing and implementing intervention and prevention techniques to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, health disparities.
The funding opportunities are a direct result of the new diversity and inclusion initiative at NIH called UNITE. UNITE was created to end structural racism within the biomedical research community and the initiative is supported by the work of five subcommittees that are organized around themes central to NIH diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Included in the subcommittees is the "N" subcommittee committed to developing new research on health disparities, minority health, and health equity. These are the first funding opportunities stemming from the UNITE Initiative.
Projects are expected to reflect ideas considered substantially different from existing research concepts, and that if successful, are likely to succeed in improving the development, implementation, or dissemination of prevention strategies to improve health disparities and promote health equity. No preliminary data are required. The prevention strategies must be centered around NIH-designated populations that experience health disparities including ethnic and racial minority populations, socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, rural populations, and sexual and gender minorities.
Deadline: Letters of intent for both opportunities are due on April 28, 2021, and applications are due on May 28, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
Award Information: The NIH Common fund will commit approximately $24 million towards both funding opportunities in fiscal year (FY) 2021. Funding for the first two years of the project will be granted in the first year of the award (FY 2021) and funding for the last 3-5 years will be granted annually, with the maximum funding lasting for 5 years. Approximately ten awards are anticipated for FY 2021, however, this is contingent upon availability of funding.
Eligibility: Any public or private institution of higher education or non-profit research institution is eligible to apply to the general solicitation (RFA-RM-21-021). Only public or private institutions of higher education that award undergraduate/graduate degrees, have received no more than $6 million per year in NIH Research Project Grants (RPGs) in the past two fiscal years, and enroll at least 25% of undergraduate students who are supported by Pell grants or are a medical/professional health institution historically founded to educate students from underrepresented backgrounds are eligible for the MSI-specific opportunity (RFA-RM-21-022).
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