Notice of Special Interest: Administrative Supplements to Support Research on Health Equity in NIDA-funded Grant Awards
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

May 17, 2021

First Available Due Date:
June 30, 2021
Expiration Date:
July 01, 2021

Related Announcements

PA-20-272 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)

Issued by

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)


The term health equity has various definitions that revolve around the value of individuals having equal opportunity to achieve their most healthy state. Research can play a fundamental role in promoting health equity to the extent that investigators attend to the design and conduct of research to facilitate inclusivity and broad population impact while avoiding stigma, overgeneralizations, and other harms. This is particularly important for research on topics such as substance use and substance-related HIV. This notice is intended to alert the research community to NIDA's interest in receiving administrative supplement requests to incorporate goal-oriented research enhancements to contribute to the body of knowledge on reducing disparities in substance use and related consequences such as HIV. Applications to this NOSI must highlight one or more research aims enhancing their current project to contribute to the literature on health equity or health disparities. That said, any research proposed in the administrative supplement must be within scope of the approved parent grant. .This opportunity is intended to be inclusive of a broad array of science under study by NIDA investigators. Topics of study could include, but are not limited to:

  • Studies of the interplay between biological, cognitive, social, cultural, and contextual factors that affect inequity in substance use and/or HIV infection across the lifespan
  • Research to discover new individual-level or systemic resilience or risk factors that contribute to equity or inequity
  • Research to quantify the role of factors such as education, immigration status, or employment, in explaining differential study findings attributed to race/ethnicity
  • Research to understand how bias in policies and practices of public systems (such as the child welfare and criminal justice systems) affecting individuals and families of color may lead to leading poorer substance use and HIV outcomes
  • Modeling research on the role of residential segregation and redlining on elevation of exposure of African Americans to psychosocial and contextual risk factors for substance use in late adolescence and adulthood
  • Research to advance our understanding of structural causes of race differences in substance use comorbidities (such as infections) or gaps in service access and utilization for people of color
  • Research to inform individual and system-focused interventions to increase racial/ethnic minority client trust in practitioners and institutions providing substance use services
  • Research on approaches to enhance prevention and treatment service delivery to promote equity. Such efforts could identify structural drivers of inequity that may be intervened upon.
  • Research to better understand social and structural factors that drive racial/ethnic differences related to drugs of choice
  • Research to characterize the root causes of racial/ethnic differences in substance use trajectories across the lifespan

While research to improve documentation of disparities that are not well-characterized in the literature, particularly for racial groups where data are sparse, is within scope of the announcement, NIDA’s primary goal for this supplement program is to support research that will lead to interventions that eliminate inequities. Ideally, NIDA seeks research on mechanisms underlying inequities or pilot studies to support their elimination. Applicants may propose exploratory projects in preparation for a subsequent grant application. However, all aims must be fully within the scope of the parent grant research.

Investigators who apply for this opportunity are encouraged to partner with colleagues who bring diverse scientific perspectives and who enhance the research team’s expertise on matters of health equity. As appropriate, applicants are encouraged to incorporate best practices for research on health equity into their methods. Such practices may include careful selection of appropriate measures and comparison groups; attention to confounding variables when studying race effects; avoidance of pathologizing or exclusive focus on deficit models; attention to language and/or linguistic preferences; and attention to how diagnostic tools are normed. Activities that may be undertaken include (but are not limited to):

  • Adding measures to support the study of root causes of health disparities
  • Strategically/selectively increasing planned enrollment of participants from underrepresented racial ethic groups to enable subgroup analyses not previously proposed
  • Addition of qualitative or mixed-methods sub-study to enable a more informed interpretation of quantitative study results that involve health equity or health disparities
  • Collection and linkage of new observational or administrative data to enable research on structural or system-level injustice
  • Engagement of academic experts for consultation or collaboration related to theory and measurement of constructs such as racial equity, historical trauma, unconscious bias, discrimination, internalized racism, cultural competence, racial socialization, microaggressions, intersectionality, resiliency, or other relevant constructs
  • Engagement of local community members as an advisory panel (where one does not already exist)

The parent award must be active when the application is submitted. The project and budget periods must be within the currently approved project period for the existing parent award. Applications in a no-cost extension periods are ineligible.  This is limited to one year.  

For more information about NIDA's efforts to address Racial Equity in research, see Racial Equity Initiative - Research Gaps and Opportunities Workgroup | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). For more information on NIH's efforts related to Health Equity in research, see Investigating Health Disparities | National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Application and Submission Information

Applications for this initiative must be submitted using the following opportunity or its subsequently reissued equivalent.

  • PA-20-272 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and PA-20-272 must be followed, with the following additions:

  • Application Due Date: June 30, 2021
  • Only currently-funded, NIDA grantees are eligible to apply. Eligibility for mentored career development awardees is limited to individuals in project years 3-5.
  • The application budget is limited to 1 year only.
  • Application budgets are generally limited to no more than $100,000 in direct costs per year.  Applications in excess of this amount must be scientifically exceptional and must include strong a budgetary justification
  • The Research Strategy section of the application is limited to 6 pages and must (a) briefly describe current grant progress (b) describe the proposed aims and approach (c) explain how the additional aims will strengthen the project and contribute to the goal of enhancing substance use, addiction, or HIV-related research related to health equity (d) identify work products and/or publications will result related to the topic of equity in research, practice, or health outcomes (e) identify metrics of success for the supplement project, and (f) include a timeline for the proposed activities to be completed
  • Applications to engage new key personnel or consultants must include biographical sketches and letters of commitment from additional key personnel or consultants
  • Applications that include sample augmentation must include clearly labeled new or updated planned enrollment tables
  • Applicants who hold mentored career development awards must include a letter of support from the primary mentor for the award
  • The parent award must be active when the application is submitted. The project and budget periods must be within the currently approved project period for the existing parent award. Applications in a no-cost extension periods are ineligible
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the program official listed below to discuss the proposed project in the context of the parent award

IMPORTANT: For funding consideration, all applicants must designate “NOT-DA-21-044” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (Box 4b) of the SF424 (R&R) Form. Applications without this information in Box 4b will not be considered for this initiative

Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will be not be considered for the initiative.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Aria Davis Crump
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Telephone: 301-435-0881

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