Grants and Supplements to Promote Diversity

The University of Montana is committed to increasing and supporting diversity in research and creative scholarship across our research enterprise. Federal and private funding agencies have also recognized the importance of increasing opportunities in research for individuals from historically excluded groups. Multiple perspectives from people with varying backgrounds contribute to a dynamic and innovative research community and workforce. While many funding opportunities encourage the development of diverse teams, there are programs specifically designated for increasing diversity in research.

The National Institute of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and many other federal and private funders have specific funding mechanisms to promote diversity, from targeted grant programs to diversity supplements for grants that have already been awarded. Below we've included a summary of some notable funding opportunities available to promote diversity. If you are interested in applying and would like assistance from the Research Development Office, reach out to Katherine Swan

NIH Diversity Supplements

NIH offers diversity supplements for active grants across all Institutes and Centers (ICs). Each IC varies slightly in their priorities, deadlines, and process, but they share general characteristics. Diversity supplements can be used for:
  • High school students and undergraduates
  • Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows
  • Junior faculty

While it is more common for PhD candidates and postdoctoral fellows to receive diversity supplements, these unique funding opportunities can be used to engage high school and undergraduates in research projects such as summer research experiences. Providing research opportunities for these groups not only supports diversity but can also work as a recruitment and retention tool for the University of Montana’s health-related sciences. This NINDS webinar on diversity supplements provides a general overview of diversity supplements and is applicable across ICs, although some specifics may vary.

Applying for a Diversity Supplement

Applying for a diversity supplement differs from the typical grant application process. Because these supplements are awarded to active grants, typically with two years of funding remaining, applications are not peer reviewed, but are evaluated internally by program staff. Applications are developed with assistance from the program officer, and they have a fairly high rate of funding, some ICs ranging from 60-90% acceptance rates, depending upon available funding. Because diversity supplements are limited by the IC’s budget, pay close attention to application deadlines, and ask the program officer about application timing.

To find out more about diversity supplements, please use the links below to a few of the ICs that UM researchers typically work with. Additionally, you can review the Diversity Supplement FOA (PA-21-071) and the Table of IC-Specific Information, including program contact information and submission deadlines, for more details.

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National Institutes of Health

NIH has a complete list of diversity-related funding opportunities on their website. Below is a summary of some of the more notable opportunities. 

Opportunity Title Due Date Purpose
Medical Scientist Training Program (T32) January, May, and September The goal of this program is to develop a diverse pool of highly trained clinician-scientist leaders available to meet the Nation’s biomedical research needs. Specifically, this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) provides support to eligible domestic institutions to develop and implement effective, evidence-informed approaches to integrated dual-degree training leading to the award of both clinical degrees and research doctorate degrees. 
Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity February, June, and October  The purpose of the MOSAIC program is to support a cohort of early career, independent investigators from diverse backgrounds conducting research in NIH mission areas.  The long-term goal of this program is to enhance diversity in the biomedical research workforce. The MOSAIC K99/R00 program is designed to facilitate a timely transition of promising postdoctoral researchers from diverse backgrounds (e.g., see Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity) from their mentored, postdoctoral research positions to independent, tenure-track or equivalent research-intensive faculty positions.
BRAIN Initiative Advanced Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity February, June, and October  The purpose of this program is to enhance workforce diversity in the neuroscience workforce and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented, NIH-supported, independent investigators from diverse backgrounds in BRAIN Initiative research areas. This program is designed to facilitate a timely transition of outstanding postdoctoral researchers with a research and/or clinical doctorate degree from mentored, postdoctoral research positions to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions.
NCI Transition Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K22  Clinical Trial Required) February, June, and October  The purpose of this FOA is to assist postdoctoral fellows or individuals in equivalent positions to transition to positions of assistant professor or equivalent and initiate a successful biomedical career as an independent research scientist. The aim is to enhance the diversity in the NCI-funded cancer research workforce by supporting eligible individuals from diverse backgrounds.
NINDS Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias (AD/ADRD) Advanced Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity (K99/R00 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed) February, June, and October The purpose of this program is to support a cohort of new and talented, independent investigators from diverse backgrounds (e.g. see NOT-OD-20-031, Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity) conducting AD/ADRD research
Small Grants for New Investigators to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (R21 Clinical Trial Optional) February, June, and October The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to provide support for new investigators from diverse backgrounds, including from groups nationally underrepresented in biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences research, to conduct small research projects in the scientific mission areas of the NIDDK, NHGRI or NIBIB. 
Providing Research Education Experiences to Enhance Diversity in the Next Generation of Substance Use and Addiction Scientists (R25 Clinical Trials Not Allowed) March 15, 2023, August 10, 2023, November 15, 2023 This program supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH.  The overarching goal of this R25 program is to support educational activities that encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to pursue further studies or careers in research.
Maximizing Access to Research Careers (T34) May 26, 2023 The goal of this program is to develop a diverse pool of undergraduates who complete their baccalaureate degree, and transition into and complete biomedical, research-focused higher degree programs (e.g., Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.). 
NIDA, NIMH, and NINDS Research Opportunities for New and At-Risk Investigators to Promote Workforce Diversity (R01 Clinical Trial Optional) September, January, and May This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) solicits R01 grant applications that propose independent research projects that are within the scientific mission areas of the participating NIH Institutes or Centers. This program is intended to support New Investigators and At-Risk Investigators from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the health-related sciences.

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National Science Foundation

You can browse funding opportunities at NSF by visiting their funding search page. You can narrow results to diversity-related opportunities by check box in the "Advancing Diversity" drop down menu. 

Opportunity Title Due Date Purpose
FASED: Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities Request along with another proposal or as a supplement As part of its effort to promote full utilization of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers, and to develop scientific and technical talent, the Foundation has the following goals: (1) to reduce or remove barriers to participation in research and training by physically disabled individuals by providing special equipment and assistance under awards made by NSF; and (2) to encourage disabled individuals to pursue careers in science and engineering by stimulating the development and demonstration of special equipment that facilitates their work performance.
BPC: Pursuing Meaningful Actions in Support of Broadening Participation in Computing Varies The pilot encourages CISE Principal Investigators (PIs) to include meaningful Project BPC plans in proposals submitted to a subset of CISE’s research programs and requires them at time of award. Currently, these programs include medium proposals submitted to the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE): Core Programs in its Computer and Network Systems (CNS), Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF), and Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS) divisions and the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC), as well as the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC)Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), and Expeditions in Computing programs.
LEAPS-MPS: Launching Early-Career Academic Pathways in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences January  This program has an emphasis to help launch the careers of pre-tenure faculty in Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) fields at institutions that do not traditionally receive significant amounts of NSF-MPS funding. LEAPS-MPS has the additional goal of achieving excellence through diversity and aims to broaden participation to include members from groups underrepresented in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences, including Blacks and African Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Native Pacific Islanders.
NSF INCLUDES: Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science January

Seeks to improve collaborative efforts aimed at enhancing the preparation, increasing the participation, and ensuring the contributions of individuals from groups that have been historically underrepresented and underserved in the STEM enterprise.
Note that INCLUDES limits the number of proposals we can submit. An internal call for proposals will be released on the ORSP-GEN list serv each summer. To learn more, visit https://www.umt.edu/research/ORSP/propdev/limited.php.

IUSE: EHR: Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education and Human Resources January 18, 2023 Seeks to improve the effectiveness of undergraduate STEM education for both majors and non majors by promoting novel, creative, and transformative approaches to generating and using new knowledge about STEM teaching and learning to improve STEM education for undergraduate students.

S-STEM: NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program

February or March  Ultimately, the S-STEM program seeks to increase the number of low-income students who graduate with a S-STEM eligible degree and contribute to the American innovation economy with their STEM knowledge. The program encourages projects to establish recruitment and outreach programs that reach a diverse applicant pool that is inclusive of, but not limited to, members of underrepresented groups in STEM. Prior to applying, double check with UM's Research Development Office to confirm eligibility. 
BIO-LEAPS: Leading Culture Change Through Professional Societies of Biology July The BIO-LEAPS program aims to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the biological sciences broadly by leveraging the leadership, broad reach, and unique ability of professional societies to create culture change in the life sciences.
REU: Research Experiences for UndergraduatesSites and Supplements August  The REU program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program. (1) REU Sites are based on independent proposals to initiate and conduct projects that engage a number of students in research.(2) REU Supplements may be included as a component of proposals for new or renewal NSF grants or cooperative agreements or may be requested for ongoing NSF-funded research projects.
AGEP: Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate
August Seeks to advance knowledge about models to improve pathways to the professoriate and success for historically underrepresented minority doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty.
NRT: National Science Foundation Research Traineeship Program September 6 The NRT program addresses workforce development, emphasizing broad participation, and institutional capacity building needs in graduate education. The program encourages proposals that involve strategic collaborations with the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, national laboratories, field stations, teaching and learning centers, informal science centers, and academic partners.
Note that NRT limits the number of proposals we can submit. An internal call for proposals will be released on the ORSP-GEN list serv each summer. To learn more, visit https://www.umt.edu/research/ORSP/propdev/limited.php
EHR Racial Equity: Racial Equity in STEM Education October 11, 2022; March 28, 2023 Supports projects that advance racial equity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce development through research (both fundamental and applied) and practice.

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Other Funders

Opportunity Title Due Date Purpose
American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Scholarships Varies The AISES helps students move forward in their educational journeys by providing a wide range of programs and scholarship opportunities. AISES scholarships help students acquire skills and training that will help them meet the unique STEM needs of our communities. We highly encourage you to apply for all the scholarships you are eligible for! To apply, you must be an AISES member. AISES maintains a list of open scholarships
Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Diversity Enrichment Program (PDEP) January  PDEP provides a total of $60,000 over three years to support the career development activities for underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows in a degree-granting institution in the United States or Canada whose training and professional development are guided by mentors committed to helping them advance to stellar careers in biomedical or medical research.
Higher Learning - Mellon Foundation Spring The Higher Learning program makes grants that broaden our understanding of American history and culture; develop the interpretive tools and methods researchers use to create meaning; support faculty and students whose work exemplifies a drive toward greater equity in their fields and institutions; and promote pathways for those seeking to exercise transformative academic leadership.
American Indian College Fund (AICF) Full Circle Scholarships May  The AICF provides scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native college students seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees at tribal colleges, nonprofit, and accredited schools.
Google Award for Inclusion Research Program July  The Award for Inclusion Research Program recognizes and supports academic research in computing and technology that addresses the needs of historically marginalized groups globally. Launched in 2020, the Award for Inclusion Research (AIR) Program is an ongoing effort to support innovative research and professors working to create positive societal impact.

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