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NCCIH Research Blog

Three Funding Opportunities and a Prize Competition Related to Diversity and Health Disparities

October 30, 2023

Emmeline Edwards, Ph.D.

Emmeline Edwards, Ph.D.


Division of Extramural Research

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

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Promoting equity and inclusion in biomedical research and eliminating health disparities are high priorities for everyone at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These goals are especially important to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) because bringing together varied perspectives is central to an integrative approach to health. By drawing on knowledge from different cultures and learning about the experiences of diverse populations, we can more effectively promote the health of the whole person and understand barriers that may stand in the way.

Today, I want to tell you about three exciting diversity-related funding opportunities and a prize competition being offered through UNITE—NIH’s initiative to address structural racism and promote equity in biomedical research. I hope you’ll consider applying to one of these innovative programs. 

  • The Research With Activities Related to Diversity (ReWARD) program aims to support research by investigators who devote substantial time to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) activities. Within this program, NCCIH will fund research that is well aligned with our strategic plan, including mechanistic clinical trials. However, we will not support trials that focus on clinical outcomes through this funding opportunity. If you’re interested in applying, contact Dr. Patrick Still ( to discuss your proposal. The next due date for new applications is February 5, 2024. 
  • The NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) supports educational activities for K–12 students from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in biomedical research. The goal is to encourage these young people to pursue further studies or careers in research. The award can support both classroom-based projects and informal science education projects conducted in venues such as science centers, museums, or libraries. You can see examples on the SEPA website. Within this program, NCCIH will support activities that are aligned with our strategic plan and that expose students to research on complementary and integrative health. If you’re interested in applying, contact Dr. Lanay Mudd ( to discuss your proposal. The next due date is June 7, 2024.
  • Strengthening Research Opportunities for NIH Grants (STRONG) supports efforts by resource-limited institutions (RLIs) to conduct research capacity needs assessments and create action plans for meeting the needs they have identified. RLIs are defined as institutions that award degrees in the health professions, serve historically underrepresented populations, and have received relatively little NIH research project grant support in recent years. If your institution is interested in applying, contact Dr. Beda Jean-Francois ( to discuss your proposal. The next due date is September 18, 2024. 
  • The NIH Build Up Trust Challenge prize competition seeks new strategies to increase participation in research and medical care by building trust and improving engagement with historically underserved communities. As many as 10 finalists who propose promising scalable strategies will receive up to $45,000 each and have the chance to compete for one of four $200,000 prizes. Applicants must register by 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, and submit their applications by 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 5, 2023. Have questions? Contact

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