Understanding and Addressing the Impact of Structural Racism and Discrimination on Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)

Program Description

NIMHD is leading an initiative to support observational or intervention research to understand and address the impact of structural racism and discrimination (SRD) on minority health and health disparities.

Racism and discrimination extend beyond the behavior of individuals to include SRD, which is embedded in historical, societal, institutional, organizational and governmental structures through formal and informal processes, procedures, and practices that limit both opportunities and resources to segments of the population. SRD is supported by the power structures that exist in society and in the institutions that are most likely to influence health outcomes.

Prior research has focused on the health consequences of SRD exposures (e.g., interpersonal racism or residential segregation) and not on community strategies to resist or mitigate those exposures. Intervention research has rarely emphasized reduction of SRD as a strategy to improve health and reduce disparities. Research on the mitigation of SRD is needed to inform health care and social policies at all levels.

NIMHD and participating ICs encourage projects that use approaches that encompass multiple domains (e.g., behavioral, socio-cultural, health system) and multiple levels (e.g., community, societal) to understand and address the impact of SRD in order to improve minority health, promote health equity, and eliminate health disparities (see the NIMHD Research Framework).

Projects must address SRD in one or more NIH-designated health disparity populations in the US and discuss documented disparities in health outcomes. Applications should provide a justification for why the specific types of SRD included constitute SRD, such as how the racism or discrimination is structural rather than reflecting individual-level behavior and how the SRD results in differential treatment or outcomes for less advantaged individuals, groups or populations.

NIH Guide No.: RFA-MD-21-004

Page updated April 1, 2021