Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Specialized Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research (P50)

Notice Number: NOT-MD-19-024

Key Dates

Release Date:June 05, 2019
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement: August 01, 2019
First Estimated Application Due Date: November 15, 2019
Earliest Estimated Award Date: July 01, 2020
Earliest Estimated Start Date: July 01, 2020

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)


The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), in partnership with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), intends to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications from eligible institutions of higher education for specialized research center grants to conduct multidisciplinary research, research capacity building, and community-engaged research activities focused on understanding and reducing or eliminating environmentally-driven health disparities.

Projects must include a focus on one or more NIH-designated health disparities populations in the United States: Blacks or African Americans, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Asians, Hispanics or Latinos, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural populations, and sexual and gender minorities. Comparison groups/populations may also be included as appropriate for the research questions posed.

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects. The FOA is expected to be published in Summer 2019 with an expected application due date in Fall 2019.

This FOA will utilize the P50 activity code. Details of the planned FOA are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

This Notice encourages investigators with expertise and insights into the science of health disparities, particularly the complex interplay between environmental risk and protective factors acting at multiple levels across the life course, to begin to consider applying for this FOA.

Social determinants of health--the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age--shape the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. These conditions include factors such as access to affordable healthy food, potable water, green space, safe housing, clean air and supportive social networks. The unequal distribution of these conditions and their determinants across various populations is increasingly understood as a significant contributor to persistent and pervasive health disparities. A focus on health equity calls for addressing the determinants of health that put some social groups at a disadvantage for positive health outcomes.

Within the context of social determinants of health, “environmental determinants” stand out as critical for reducing and preventing health disparities because they are amenable to intervention and prevention strategies. The term ‘‘environmental determinants’’ encompasses the natural environment, built environment and social environment. Thus, environmental influences are not limited to physical, chemical, or biological agents and natural amenities, but also include social and economic stressors, institutional processes and resiliency factors.

Consistent with NIMHD’s Research Framework (, the FOA will encourage collaborative investigations combining expertise in biomedical and behavioral research, clinical research, social science, environmental health science, population science, translational science, implementation science, and the science of community engagement to develop innovative approaches to understand and mitigate environmentally-driven health disparities and improve access to healthy environments for vulnerable populations and communities. Investigators with expertise in these areas should consider applying.

Each center is expected to have a thematic scientific focus on environmental health disparities, defined as inequities in illnesses and other adverse health conditions that are mediated by disproportionate exposures associated with the physical, chemical, biological, social, natural and built environments. Research associated with ongoing/cumulative environmental exposures is also encouraged when significant disparities are known to exist. Projects must involve conditions and diseases with a known environmental component that disproportionately affect individuals of one or more health disparity populations. Example conditions and diseases may include, but are not limited to: obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, infant mortality, chronic stress, depression, etc.

The centers will be expected to work closely with community partners to facilitate development of targeted interventions that can be implemented in real-world settings to mitigate or prevent environmentally driven health disparities and to improve access to healthy and sustainable environments.

Pursuant to the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-525) establishing the NIMHD Centers of Excellence program (available at, projects are expected to support the professional development of researchers who are members of minority health disparity populations or other health disparity populations.

In addition, eligible applicant organizations (see below) will be limited to academic research institutions located in the United States and its territories which:

  • Have a significant number of members of minority or other health disparity populations (see above) enrolled as students in the institution (including individuals accepted for enrollment in the institution);
  • Have been effective in assisting their students from health disparity populations to complete the program of study or training and receive the advanced degree(s) involved;
  • Have made significant efforts to recruit minority students to enroll into and graduate from the institution, which may include providing means-tested scholarships and other financial assistance as appropriate; and
  • Have made significant recruitment efforts to increase the number of minority or other members of health disparity populations serving in full-time faculty or administrative positions at the institutions.

Funding Information

Estimated Total Funding TBD
Expected Number of Awards TBD
Estimated Award Ceiling TBD
Primary CFDA Numbers TBD

Anticipated Eligible Organizations

Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education

Applications are not being solicited at this time.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Nishadi Rajapakse, PhD, MHS
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities