Scientific Advancement Plan

The NIMHD Scientific Advancement Plan was established to improve health equity by advancing the science of minority health and health disparities.

Why this plan is needed

We are in the midst of a biomedical revolution. With the emergence of genomic science, precision medicine, health information technologies and other research advances, biomedical and behavioral research hold greater promise today than ever before to improve our nation's health. As the lead institute at NIH charged to conduct and support research on minority health and health disparities, NIMHD is working to align its research programs and activities to ensure the benefits of these advances reach all populations equally.

The Scientific Advancement Plan outlines NIMHD's approach to champion the fields of minority health and health disparities research to both contribute to and benefit from these advances in the interest of health disparity populations and to foster the next generation of researchers to lead discoveries that will promote health equity.

What NIMHD is doing

The fields of minority health and health disparities research are dynamic and complex, and they demand that we keep up with all biomedical advances. To help meet these demands, NIMHD is redefining, reorganizing, and establishing new research programs and activities to:

  • Strengthen research in minority health and health disparities, from understanding etiology to improving methods and developing interventions
  • Increase opportunities for investigator-initiated research
  • Strengthen the evaluation and reporting of minority health and health disparities research
  • Support the expansion of workforce diversity

Key activities

NIMHD is creating a transformative research agenda that will define the minority health and health disparities research fields for the next decade. Key activities include:

  1. Implementing NIMHD's science visioning recommendations
  2. Establishing NIMHD's Research Framework
  3. Establishing three scientific program areas
  4. Enhancing opportunities for early-stage investigators
  5. Restructuring the NIMHD Health Disparities Research Institute
  6. Establishing investigator-initiated research
  7. Expanding research career training programs such as career awards (K) and fellowships (F)
  8. Establishing NIMHD’s HDPulse: An Ecosystem of Health Disparities and Minority Health Resources
  9. Redefining and strengthening legacy research programs:
    • The Centers of Excellence program creates collaborative hubs for minority health and health disparities research among research institutions and local communities, which will now support early-career scientists as well as established investigators
    • The Research Centers in Minority Institutions program, builds research infrastructure to train a new generation of researchers from underrepresented populations, which will now increase training for R01 investigator status
    • The Research Endowment program, which provides funds to endowments of academic institutions to help those organizations build research infrastructure and recruit, train, and maintain a diverse student body and faculty