The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office Request for Nominations for 2020 SGM Research Investigator Awards Program

Notice Number: NOT-OD-20-078

Key Dates
Release Date: March 13, 2020

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Sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations include, but are not limited to, individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, and/or intersex. Individuals with same-sex or -gender attractions or behaviors and those with a difference in sex development are also included. These populations also encompass those who do not self-identify with one of these terms but whose sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or reproductive development is characterized by non-binary constructs of sexual orientation, gender, and/or sex.

The SGMRO coordinates SGM–related research and activities by working directly with the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices. The Office was officially established in September 2015 within the NIH Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI) in the Office of the Director.

The SGMRO has the following research-related goals: 1) Expand the knowledge base of SGM health and well-being through NIH-supported research; 2) Remove barriers to planning, conducting, and reporting NIH-supported research about SGM health and well-being; 3) Strengthen the community of researchers and scholars who conduct research relevant to SGM health and well-being; and 4) Evaluate progress on advancing SGM research.

2020 Award Details
Two non-monetary awards of recognition will be offered to early-stage investigators who demonstrate both contemporary achievement in and a commitment to an area of SGM-related health research. A non-monetary award will be offered to one distinguished investigator, one leading the field of SGM research as distinguished by the length and magnitude of contribution. The awardees will be invited, with all travel expenses covered (limited to reimbursement based on Federal Travel Regulations and HHS and NIH guidance), to give a lecture at the NIH main campus in Bethesda, Maryland on September 17, 2020. This event will be webcast live and the presentations will be archived and available for future viewing.

Eligibility Criteria
The following individuals are not eligible to be nominated: federal employees and interns/fellows; federal contractors; members of the NIH SGM Research Working Group; and previous NIH SGM Research Investigator Awardees.
At the time of the nomination due date, May 1, nominees for the early-stage investigator award must meet the NIH’s definitions of an early-stage investigator (ESI) ( if nominated for that award.

Letters of Intent
A Letter of Intent (LOI) to submit a nomination is required (nominees may submit their own LOIs). The LOI should be a 1-page, single-spaced Word or PDF document and include:

1) Nominee’s name, title, affiliation, and date of terminal degree
2) eRA Commons ID
3) SGM research focus of nominee’s work.

Before submitting the LOI, early-stage investigators should confirm ESI status is correctly marked in their eRA Commons ( If the status is incorrect, please contact the NIH eRA Service Desk ( to resolve the issue before submitting an LOI.

Attach the LOI (as a Word or PDF document) to an email and send it to with the subject line “2020 SGM Research Investigator Awards Letter of Intent” no later than 11:59 p.m. local time on April 3, 2020.

Nomination packages may be submitted by the nominee or a nominee’s mentor or colleague. Nomination packages must be a single PDF file that includes:
CV and NIH Biosketch including a link (URL) to the nominee’s My Bibliography in PubMed.
If you do not have a My Bibliography in PubMed, refer to these simple step-by-step instructions ( to save your citations in PubMed to a “My Bibliography.”
Use the URL that PubMed automatically generates when you change your “My Bibliography” sharing setting to public.

Letter of nomination (1,000 words or less) from a mentor or colleague familiar with the nominee’s work, addressing the nominee’s innovative contribution to the field of SGM health research, crosscutting and collaborative nature of that research, trajectory of career development, and leadership strengths. The strongest letters will demonstrate the lasting significance and impact of the nominee’s work to date.

Two letters of endorsement from other mentors or colleagues. Letters of endorsement may be less encompassing than the letter of nomination but should address similar themes.
A PDF of a key, peer-reviewed article published in the past 24-month period, which is first-authored by the nominee. If in press, please provide the accepted paper and the letter of acceptance from the journal.

Compile the above elements into a single PDF file, attach the PDF to an email, and send it to with the subject line header “2020 NIH SGM Research Investigator Award Nomination” no later than 11:59 p.m. local time on May 1, 2020.

Review and Selection Process
Stage 1: The SGMRO will assemble a review panel composed of NIH staff with relevant expertise. This panel will provide recommendations for the three awardees to the SGMRO Director and the DPCPSI Director.

Stage 2: The SGMRO and DPCPSI Directors will review the recommendations and select the final awardees.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Karen Parker, PhD, M.S.W.
Director, Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office
Telephone: (301) 451-2055