HDRI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Information

What is the Health Disparities Research Institute (HDRI)?

HDRI is NIMHD’s flagship annual training program. This unique program includes lectures on minority health and health disparities research, small group discussions, mock grant reviews, and seminars. Program participants have the opportunity to meet NIH scientific staff engaged in health disparities research related to their interests both at NIMHD and across various NIH institutes and centers.


At the time of application, interested parties must fulfill all 4 of the criteria below:

  1. Be an early-stage investigator (ESI) who has completed their terminal degree or post-graduate clinical training within the past 10 years.
  2. Hold a terminal research degree such as a Ph.D., M.D./D.O., Sc.D., Dr.P.H., Dr.N.P., Pharm.D., Psy.D., D.D.S./D.M.D. or equivalent doctoral research degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution
  3. Hold one of the following positions currently:
    • 2nd or 3rd year postdoctoral fellowship, preparing to transition to independent career stage
    • Assistant professor
    • Associate professor
    • Or comparable research position
  4. Planning to submit an F, K, R21, or R01 grant to NIH within the next 12 months

Individuals from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. HDRI supports early-stage investigators who have experienced critical life events, who seek to change research direction or re-enter science, or who are transitioning to a research career focus. Individuals from RCMI and Endowment institutions as well as Tribal Epidemiology Centers are encouraged to apply.

  • Individuals who currently hold or have been previously awarded an R01 or similar grant (annual budget of $200,000 or more) as PI or MPI are ineligible.
  • Individuals who are in the process of applying for or have been awarded Ks, R03s, R21s, or other grants with annual budgets under $200,000 are eligible to apply.
  • See the list of grant awards that you can receive and still retain your ESI status.

HDRI is open to all eligible applicants. However, the NIH cannot provide any financial or travel/visa related assistance beyond the standard acceptance confirmation.

  • NIH and HHS staff, including persons engaged in fellowships/training at NIH or an HHS agency.
  • Individuals who previously participated in HDRI or the Translational Health Disparities Course.

Application Process

To apply to HDRI you must submit your application via the online HDRI application portal. You will be required to log in using an eRA Commons ID.

A complete packet of the following materials must be submitted by the applicant via the HDRI application portal by the deadline to be considered:

  1. An NIH Biosketch: Read NIH’s Biosketch guidance to learn more about the non-fellowship and fellowship formats.
  2. A personal statement: The personal statement should outline career goals, reasons for participating in the program, and plans for obtaining NIH funding. If applicable, justification for inclusion due to change in career direction or reentry into science. Word limit: 350 words.
  3. An NIH Specific Aims page: The NIH Specific Aims page should detail the scientific premise/background, aims/hypotheses, and proposed methodology that will form the basis of a future NIH grant submission. Word limit: 850 words, no citations required.
  4. Two letters of reference/recommendation: The applicant must submit two letters of reference/recommendation (2-page limit each) documenting support for the candidate and the future NIH grant submission. They must be submitted in PDF format, on letterhead, addressed to the HDRI Selection Committee.

Note: There is no other specific formatting required for font or spacing.

No extensions or late materials via email will be allowed. Late, incomplete, or emailed applications will not be considered. Troubleshoot your application accordingly.

No. All applications submitted will be reviewed by the selection committee and top finalists will be invited to attend HDRI.

All applicants will receive notification of their application status (accepted or declined) via email in early June 2024.

NIMHD staff cannot provide pre-submission technical assistance or review HDRI applications prior to submission. It is highly encouraged that applicants work with their mentors to develop an HDRI application for submission.

Due to the large volume of applications, feedback will not be provided to applicants.


Monday, August 5, to Friday, August 9, 2024.

HDRI will be held in person on the NIH campus, Bethesda, Maryland.

Yes. Applicants are required to attend all HDRI sessions and participate in all activities. Scholars are responsible for adjusting academic and clinical schedules well in advance of HDRI.

Approximately 50 scholars will be selected to participate in HDRI 2024.

Presentations and other materials may be distributed to accepted scholars.

There are no tuition or registration fees for participating in HDRI.

Participants are responsible for their own transportation, lodging and board.

Limited travel scholarships may be available to help offset travel-related expenses. Applicants selected to attend HDRI will receive additional information on travel scholarships (no separate application process required).

No. CMEs/CEUs will not be offered.

Still have questions? Email HDRI@nih.gov

Page updated Feb. 29, 2024