The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office Request for Nominations for 2021 SGM Research Investigator Awards Program
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

April 2, 2021

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Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO)



The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO) requests nominations for the annual Investigator Awards Program. The NIH Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Research Investigator Awards Program was developed to recognize investigators who have made substantial, outstanding research contributions in areas related to SGM health. Two awards will be given to early-stage investigators (ESI) who are poised to become future leaders in the field.

An additional award, the Distinguished Investigator Award, will be given to an established researcher leading the field of SGM health research, marked by the impact of their contributions. The Distinguished Investigator Award will be nominated by NIH Staff. Vital SGM-related research is performed by scientists and clinicians around the world, in World Bank-classified high-income countries as well as low- and middle-income countries. As such, this award seeks to honor leaders in SGM-related research of any nationality/citizenship, doing research in any country around the world.

DATES: Final nomination submissions are due May 1, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. local time.

Supplementary Information
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: Goal 1: Advance rigorous research on the health of SGM populations in both the extramural and intramural research communities; Goal 2: Expand SGM health research by fostering partnerships and collaborations with a strategic array of internal and external stakeholders; Goal 3: Foster a highly skilled and diverse workforce in SGM health research; and Goal 4: Encourage data collection related to SGM populations in research and the biomedical research workforce.

2021 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. The awardees will be invited to give a virtual lecture hosted by the NIH on September 16, 2021. This event will be webcast live and the presentations will be archived 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) (
    . Nominations
    Nomination packages may be submitted by the nominee or a nominee’s mentor or colleague. Before submitting the nomination, early-stage investigators should confirm ESI status is correctly marked in their eRA Commons ( profile. If the status is incorrect, please contact the NIH eRA Service Desk ( to resolve the issue before submitting a nomination. 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 “2021 NIH SGM Research Investigator Award Nomination” no later than 11:59 p.m. local time on May 1, 2021
    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:

Please direct all inquiries to:

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

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