Resource-Related Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Initiative

Program Description

The NIMHD Resource-Related Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Initiative was launched in 2011. It funds minority health and health disparities research activities that support research, research infrastructure or capacity building, outreach dissemination, and integration of research, research infrastructure or capacity building and outreach dissemination goals, related objectives, and research strategies consistent with the NIH health disparities research agenda for fiscal years 2009–2013.

The research funded through this program is intended to focus on health disparities, specifically by embracing strategic partnerships and collaboration with other agencies, researchers, communities, health planners, policy experts, and other public and private groups. The funding for an individual project can last up to 5 years.

The initiative focuses on four core research areas:

The Bioethics Research Infrastructure Initiative develops and implements programs that foster greater participation of racial and ethnic minority populations in clinical trials. This initiative supports two comprehensive efforts aimed at increased recruitment, participation and retention of racial and ethnic minority populations in clinical trials. The first project is a national initiative aimed at integrating existing resources and developing a comprehensive resource and tool of best practices for the conduct of successful recruitment of racial and ethnic minorities to clinical trials.

The second project is a randomized trial of a recruitment intervention focused on systemic approaches within primary care sites to improved coordination, recruitment, and referral to appropriate clinical trials, with the use of clinical trial specialists and/or coordinators as well as patient navigators.

The Global Health Research Initiative fosters a greater understanding of U.S. health disparities through projects that will enhance the resources or infrastructure for furthering global health disparities research. Such research paves the way for creating effective technologies or new avenues of research for health care interventions.

The two research collaboratives currently supported by this initiative support public health capacity to address chronic and noncommunicable diseases in the Caribbean region. The first collaborative involves the Eastern Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago. The consortium involves academic, public health and organizational partners in the recruitment and follow-up of a community-dwelling adult cohort to estimate prevalence of known and potential risk factors associated with heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

The second collaborative includes an extensive epidemiological research effort to explore determinants of health and disparities including, history, culture, health beliefs, practices, and lifestyles between populations with African ancestry in the U.S. and in the Caribbean.

A third initiative aims to build the capacity of the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands to conduct population health research in the region.

The Data Infrastructure and Information Dissemination on Health Disparities Research Initiative supports the development of a National Health Disparities Research Coordinating Center (NHDRCC) to enhance information dissemination on health disparities research to researchers, policymakers, health care providers, and the public. The NHDRCC would collect, store, integrate, and track data on health disparities research as well as analyze and interpret data from a variety of research projects to facilitate reporting on progress and gaps in health disparities research, and approaches to understanding health disparities.

Another initiative funded under this core research area involves a partnership between the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Association of Public and Landgrant Universities/Coalition of Urban Serving Universities. The goals of this Consortium are to develop a learning and data collaborative to identify, exchange, and disseminate information on promising university practices and/or novel approaches to health workforce development aimed at improving the health of urban underserved and minority populations. An additional aim of the collaborative is to strengthen institutional metrics and capacity to execute university health workforce goals that increase health equity in their locales.

The Healthcare for Rural Populations Research Initiative enhances the resources or infrastructure for furthering health services research projects that will increase access to and improve the quality of health care for rural populations. Such activities include information and communications technologies, increasing the supply of rural health care practitioners, high-quality care, and linking the social determinants of health and health disparities.

This research initiative currently supports two projects. The first study is a study of rural health clinics participating in accountable care organizations and impact on the health of rural older adults including those of racial and ethnic minority groups. The second projects employs clinical and comparative effectiveness as well as quality improvement methods to evaluate and improve oral health care in rural school-based cavity prevention programs.


Eligible organizations include academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and American Indian tribal governments. In addition, small businesses and other for-profit organizations are allowed to apply as well as independent school districts, public housing authorizes, and faith-based or community-based organizations.

Foreign organizations are not eligible.