Notice of NIMHD Interest in Receiving Letters Requesting Permission to Submit Applications to Support a Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Program National Conference (U13)

Notice Number: NOT-MD-19-002

Key Dates
Release Date: December 20, 2018

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)


The purpose of this notice is to encourage submission of permission-to-submit letters for conference grant (R13) applications seeking funding to support a national meeting of NIMHD-funded Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) to be held in Bethesda, MD, in late 2019.


NIH established the RCMI program in 1985 in response to congressional interest in expanding the national capacity for research in the health sciences by providing support to institutions that offer doctorate degrees in the health professions or health-related sciences and have a historical and current commitment to educating underrepresented students, and for institutions that provide health care services to medically underserved communities. NIMHD recognizes the important role that such institutions have played in supporting scientific research and providing health care in underserved communities. These institutions are uniquely positioned to engage minority populations in research and in the translation of research advances into culturally competent, measurable and sustained improvements in health outcomes.

The primary goals of RCMI specialized centers are to: (1) enhance institutional research capacity within the areas of basic biomedical, behavioral, and/or clinical research; (2) enable all levels of investigators to become more successful in obtaining competitive extramural support, especially from NIH, particularly on diseases that disproportionately impact minority and other health disparity populations; (3) foster environments conducive to career enhancement with a special emphasis on development of early career investigators; (4) enhance the quality of all scientific inquiry and promote research on minority health and health disparities; and (5) establish sustainable relationships with community-based organizations that partner with RCMI centers. To help achieve these goals, the NIH has periodically sponsored meetings to bring RCMI Principal Investigators, core directors and researchers together to present their work and learn about other ongoing research and related RCMI capacity-building efforts nationwide.


The goal of the RCMI Program National Conference is to help RCMI investigators advance the science of minority health and health disparities through intellectual exchange and collaborative interactions that address both fundamental and advanced research skills development. Because many investigators at RCMI institutions study diseases that disproportionately affect minorities, the conference will serve the dual purpose of bringing more minority scientists into mainstream research and enhancing studies of minority health and health disparities.

Successful applicants will be expected to work in consultation with NIMHD RCMI program staff to form a Conference Organizing Committee (COC) with representation from across the RCMI grantee communities; design the program format, which may comprise a mix of invited plenary lectures, breakout sessions, workshops, and poster sessions, but may involve more innovative components as well; develop strategies for publicizing the meeting and inviting abstract submissions from RCMI-funded or associated investigators and trainees; and identify and invite plenary speakers. Familiarity with the RCMI program and experience working with RCMI investigators and institutions are essential.

Successful applicants will handle all meeting publicity and logistics including but not limited to working with site hosts and vendors before and during the meeting, arranging for AV needs, registering meeting attendees, arranging travel for invited plenary speakers, preparing meeting materials, and conducting a post-meeting survey of attendees. It is anticipated that the meeting will involve up to 150 attendees, including representatives from all NIMHD-funded RCMI institutions as well as invited speakers, session moderators and NIH staff.

Funding Mechanism

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the award recipient’s activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipient in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardee for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardee and the NIH as defined below.

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for defining objectives and approaches, and planning, conducting, analyzing, and publishing results, interpretations, and conclusions of the conference. NIH staff will have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards.Substantial involvement as a partner would include, for example, assisting in planning the agenda, selecting speakers, determining the content of the meeting, or determining the acceptability of submitted abstracts. Substantial involvement would not include serving as an invited speaker or providing limited advice. It is anticipated that the COC will take a collaborative approach to decision making in all activities and that NIH staff will fully participate with other COC members in the group processes described above.

Budget and Duration of Award

Application budgets should reflect the actual needs of the proposed project but should not exceed $350,000 total costs requested.Registration fees charged to attendees, should not exceed $300 for the meeting.

Applications with a project period of up to one year in duration will be accepted to support a two-day conference at a suitable site in Bethesda, MD, in October, November or December of 2019.

Permission to Submit Letter

Each conference grant application is required to contain a permission-to-submit letter from NIMHD’s R13/U13 conference grant contact;

Andrew Louden, PhD
Phone: 301-594-9009

Applicants are urged to initiate contact well in advance of the application receipt date. Please note that NIMHD’s agreement to accept an application does not guarantee funding.

Receipt Date

Applicants who receive a permission-to-submit letter should apply to PA-18-648, NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (Parent R13 Clinical Trial Not Allowed), using the April 12, 2019, receipt date. If an award is issued, it will be made as a U13 cooperative agreement.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Derrick Tabor, PhD
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Phone: 301-594-8950