Notice of Intent to Publish a Notice of Funding Opportunity for Community-Engaged Health Equity Research in Neuroscience Initiative (R34 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
June 08, 2023
Estimated Publication Date of Notice of Funding Opportunity :
August 18, 2023
First Estimated Application Due Date:
October 18, 2023
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
July 01, 2024
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
August 01, 2024
Related Announcements


Issued by

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)


The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) intends to promote a new initiative by publishing a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to solicit applications for research on Community-Engaged Health Equity Research in Neuroscience. This NOFO will solicit applications for planning grants to assess feasibility and/or determine best practices to conduct community-engaged health equity research in neurological disorders with populations that experience health disparities (HDPs), that, if successful, would support, enable and/or lay the groundwork for a future clinical study or trial. In addition to posing a research question related to addressing health disparities in neurological disorders, applicants must also be filling a gap in 1) Community engagement with HDPs; and/or 2) Multidisciplinary research team expertise in neurological disorders, health disparities research and/or community engagement. Expected outcomes would advance understanding of drivers of health disparities and barriers to neurological health equity and establish collaborative research teams, including community partners, with appropriate expertise in community engagement with HDPs, health disparities research and neurological disorders.

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects.

The NOFO is expected to be published in Late Summer 2023 with an expected application due date in Fall/ Early Winter 2023.

This NOFO will utilize the R34 Clinical Trials Not Allowed activity code. The R34 Planning Grant provides support for the initial development of a research project. Details of the planned NOFO are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is committed to reducing the disproportionate burden of neurological disease borne by vulnerable and marginalized populations. NINDS mission is in alignment with the NIH’s overall commitment to ensure that health disparities and minority health research is prioritized across clinical trials and human subject research (NIH UNITE Initiative). NIH-designated populations that experience health disparities (HDPs) include racially and ethnically minoritized groups (Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders), socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural communities and sexual and gender minoritized groups.

The NINDS Community-Engaged Health Equity Research in Neuroscience Initiative (HERN) is a multi-pronged approach to 1) Advance community-engaged health equity research across all neurological disease areas within HDPs and 2) Support collaborations, education and capacity building to conduct such research. This initiative is in direct response to recommendations from the NINDS Health Equity Strategic Plan which aim to reduce the disproportionate burden of disparities and inequities in neurological disorders.

In 2020, a National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council (NANDSC) expert working group commissioned by the NINDS director was convened to determine and address gaps in its health disparities research portfolio, suggest novel methods and collaborations to decrease or eliminate these disparities and develop recommendations. Recommendations emphasized the need to increase community engagement, improve recruitment and retention and utilize health equity research principles to advance neurological health equity in HDPs.

This Notice encourages investigators with expertise and insights into planning research projects to advance community-engaged health equity research in neuroscience to consider applying for this new NOFO.

This R34 NOFO will support planning grants to lay the groundwork for a future community-engaged health equity research in neuroscience study. Expected outcomes include 1) Development of a collaborative and diverse multidisciplinary research team; 2) Successful community engagement with HDP(s) of interest; and 3) Preliminary data from a limited scope of aims related to addressing neurological health disparities in one or more HDP(s) of interest.

Areas of research encouraged in this initiative include, but are not limited to: 1) Utilization of community engagement principles to identify and assess barriers to research participation as well as community knowledge and understanding of risk and symptoms of neurological disorders and 2) Development of tools and measures to assess specific SDOH and other factors contributing to neurological health disparities.

Funding Information

Estimated Total Funding


Expected Number of Awards
Estimated Award Ceiling


Primary Assistance Listing Number(s)


Anticipated Eligible Organizations
Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
Small Business
For-Profit Organization (Other than Small Business)
State Government
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)
County governments
Independent school districts
Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization (Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
U.S. Territory or Possession
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Other than Federally Recognized)
Regional Organization
Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government

Applications are not being solicited at this time.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Cheryse A. Sankar, PhD
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)