Structure of This Plan

The NIH Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan 2021–2025 has been designed with three categories to represent a long-term framework: scientific research; research-sustaining activities; and outreach, collaboration, and dissemination to encompass the range of NIH’s MH- and HD-related work.Embedded in each category are goals that encompass up to 10 years of expected research. There arefour research goals; three research-sustaining activities goals; and two outreach, collaboration, and dissemination goals.

This plan describes scientific goals with related research strategies and priority areas that represent key opportunities and needs to advance MH and HD research. Rather than reflecting a comprehensive listing of all relevant NIH activities, this plan describes how NIH can best advance minority health and health disparities research. Each goal is divided into strategies that are intended to capture strategic ways in which NIH can advance the sciences of MH and HD or develop key supporting structures. The priority areas consist of Starting Line and Building Momentum research efforts and activities that encompass MH and HD efforts across NIH. This plan includes 48 Starting Line activities that will span 5 years and 56 Building Momentum activities that will continue for the next 5 to 10 years (see Graph 1).

Graph 1: NIH MH and HD Research Strategic Plan Priority Areas Framework

strategic plan figure

Eliminating health disparities is an indefinite priority for NIH, and NIH’s efforts in this space will continue well into the future. This plan lays out a focused vision for the next 10 years, specifying short-, intermediate-, and long-range research strategies and activities that will facilitate progress toward long-term goals.

These priority areas are described below:

  • Starting Line priority areas represent concrete, current efforts and initiatives aimed at improving minority health and/or reducing health disparities that are underway at NIH or with NIH partners.
  • Building Momentum priority areas represent concepts and potential initiatives for advancing the sciences of minority health and health disparities. These concepts include early ideas and initiatives being developed and considered for potential implementation.
  • Leap Forward priorities represent trans-NIH visionary goals that can have a significant impact on improving minority health or reducing health disparities in disease and disorders.

The NIH Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan 2021–2025 includes performance tracking and evaluation components to meet federal requirements. Most importantly, the plan aims to advance the science of minority health and health disparities and produce meaningful, measurable improvements in minority health and reductions in health disparities through the dissemination and implementation of both existing and novel scientific breakthroughs over the duration of the strategic plan and beyond.

Page updated March 31, 2021