NIH Conferences and Scientific Meetings

Program Description

NIH recognizes the value of supporting scientific conferences that are relevant to its research mission and to the public's health. A scientific conference is a gathering, symposium, seminar, scientific meeting, workshop, or any other organized, formal meeting where people assemble to coordinate, exchange, and disseminate information or to explore or clarify a defined subject, problem, or area of knowledge.

NIMHD supports high-quality scientific conferences designed to increase knowledge, disseminate information, and raise awareness of the differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among populations experiencing health disparities, and to explore strategies for improving minority health, reducing health disparities and promoting health equity.

NIMHD expects all conferences it supports to include appropriate representation of individuals from nationally underrepresented groups in the planning and implementation of, and participation in, the proposed conference. This includes selection of organizing committee members, speakers, and other invited participants, such as session chairs and panel discussants as well as general attendance. If the application does not reflect appropriate representation, no award will be issued.

In addition, organizers are expected to publicize the conference to a wide range of scientifically relevant and interested participants.

Goals and Objectives

NIMHD support for R13 Conferences and Scientific Meetings is based on Institute-specific program priorities that generally address: (a) critical gaps in scientific knowledge; (b) research challenges and opportunities; and/or (c) promising strategies for advancing prevention, diagnosis and/or treatment modalities for disease conditions relevant to populations experiencing health disparities. NIMHD is especially interested in supporting conferences that address methodological challenges in research, innovative behavioral and structural interventions, and novel analytic approaches in minority health and health disparities research.

Specific topic priorities include the following areas:

  • Maternal mortality/morbidity and infant mortality
  • Infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and COVID-19
  • Strategies to enhance data collection and research in health and health care disparities in the immediate disaster aftermath
  • Suicide prevention
  • Prevention and treatment of substance use disorders including tobacco
  • Violence prevention interventions
  • Impact of structural racism and discrimination on minority health and health disparities
  • Social epigenomics and gene X environment interactions
  • Interpretation and integration of genomics/genetics studies in the clinical care of patients
  • Sleep disparities
  • Data science in health disparities
  • Health IT and management of chronic disease
  • Patient-clinician communication in primary care
  • Strategies to increase and strengthen the health care workforce serving populations experiencing health disparities (especially in rural or geographically isolated areas)
  • Health disparities in sexual gender minorities
  • Rural health disparities

As a general rule, NIMHD will not support existing recurrent conferences. Furthermore, NIMHD will not support a proposal with the primary goal of sending underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities to a conference that regularly occurs regardless of the training level or the scientific area.

NIMHD support for R13 awards is limited to a proposed total cost of $50,000.


Eligible organizations include academic institutions, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, faith-based or community-based organizations, and federal, state, and American Indian tribal governments. Foreign organizations are not eligible to apply.

Advance permission is required in order to apply. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult the appropriate NIMHD program staff when considering an R13 application. The request should be submitted to the appropriate NIMHD R13 Scientific Contact and include:

  • Proposed title, date, and location of meeting
  • Brief overview of the scientific themes of the meeting
  • Draft agenda draft with a list of accepted or invited speakers (if available)

NIMHD will respond with a Letter of Permission or Denial within 2-4 weeks of receipt.

Page updated Jan. 12, 2024