Notice to Encourage Eligible NIH BRAIN Initiative Awardees to Apply for Administrative Supplements to Promote Diversity, PA-16-288 " Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health -Related Research (Admin Supp)"

Notice Number: NOT-MH-17-008

Key Dates
Release Date: December 6, 2016

Related Announcements

This notice supersedes NOT-MH-17-004

Issued by
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)


This revised Notice replaces NOT-MH-17-004 to include the four institutes participating in the administrative supplement notice. This Notice encourages eligible awardees in the BRAIN Initiative community to apply for administrative supplements in response to PA-16-288, "Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research." The NIH has a strong interest in the diversity of the NIH-funded workforce (see NOT-OD-15-053 for details) and encourages institutions to diversify their student populations by enhancing the participation of individuals from groups identified as nationally underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences (see NOT-OD-15-089 for categories and definitions).

The BRAIN Initiative 2025 report stated that "the BRAIN Initiative should be a catalyst that will drive outstanding young people to enter this area at their most creative career stage." The NIH diversity supplement program offers an opportunity for existing BRAIN awardees to request additional funds to train and mentor the next generation of researchers from underrepresented groups who will contribute to advancing the goals of the BRAIN Initiative. Principal Investigators (PIs) of active BRAIN Initiative research program grants are thus encouraged to identify individuals from groups nationally underrepresented to support and mentor under the auspices of the administrative supplement program to promote diversity. Individuals from the identified groups are eligible throughout the continuum from high school to the faculty level. 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. The BRAIN 2025 Report notes that individuals should obtain robust grounding in quantitative reasoning, principles, and techniques during their training. 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.

To facilitate identification of applications, the first sentence of the application's Project Summary should state the following: The parent grant is a BRAIN Initiative award. The PI is submitting an administrative supplement to enhance diversity in response to NOT-MH-17-004.

Awarding Institutes may have specific practices for diversity research supplement requests that augment the requirements described in PA-16-288. Therefore, consultation with the Program Official for the qualifying BRAIN award or the individual named under Inquiries below is 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. Applications will be considered according to the following schedule:

Application Due Date Funding Decision
December 1, 2016 to February 15, 2017 March 31, 2017
February 16, 2017 to March 30, 2017 May 15, 2017
April 1, 2017 to May 31, 2017 July 15, 2017

For tracking purposes, applicants are encouraged to inform Dr. Nancy Desmond via email ( when a diversity supplement application is submitted. Please include the PI name and grant number in this email.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Nancy L Desmond, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: 301-443-3107