NIDA Health Disparities Research and Funding Opportunities

The alarming state of health disparities among vulnerable populations in the United States is a serious public health concern and has garnered wide-spread attention from the United States government leadership (e.g., HHS, Congress), the NIH, and the public, especially with the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing health disparities will require a multi-level approach so it is important to know what has been done, what is currently being done, and what research still needs to be done in this area. For the most current list of NOFOs, please see the NIH Guide. Below we have provided a brief definition of a health disparity and populations affected by health disparities.

What is a health disparity?

health disparity is defined as “a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage. Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health based on their racial or ethnic group; religion; socioeconomic status; gender; age; mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Healthy People 2020).

What populations are adversely affected by health disparities?

NIH-designated U.S. health disparity populations include Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural populations, and sexual and gender minorities. See NOT-OD-15-089.