NIDA Diversity Scholars Network (NDSN)

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The NDSN is a rigorous program aimed at enhancing the funding success of early career investigators from diverse backgrounds, including investigators from underrepresented groups. The NDSN program consists of three parts with an interim application development period to assist scholars in applying for and receiving NIH career development awards and research grants.

NDSN Program Framework

The Part I meeting focuses on the fundamentals of NIH grant applications and includes a thorough discussion of relevant NIH funding opportunities and grant mechanisms. Scholars will be paired with an experienced addiction scientist (coach) and NIDA Program Officer (PO) to discuss their research proposal which will be used as the basis for their NDSN mock review grant application. Scholars have the option to maintain periodic contact with their coaches and POs following program to further develop and seek feedback on their draft NIH application.

The Part II meeting focuses on the NIH review process, application strategies, as well as other professional development presentations. Scholars will hear from past NDSN scholars and can network with other program participants.  

The Part III meeting consists of a mock review study section, discussion with the review panel on common grant writing pitfalls and strategies, and additional presentations on application development and resubmission. All participants accepted to the program are required to participate in all three meetings.

The NDSN program's Part I and Part II will be conducted virtually, and the Part III mock review will be in-person. NIDA will provide scholars with round-trip airfare, lodging, per diem, and ground transportation.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Early career investigators, junior faculty, clinicians, and postdoctoral fellows (with a minimum of two full years of postdoc experience at the time of application)
  • Ph.D., M.D., Pharm. D., Psy.D., R.N./Ph.D., or equivalent doctoral degree
  • Within 10 years of receipt of their terminal degree and not have been awarded an NIH R01 (or equivalent grant)
  • Minimum of two published first-authored peer reviewed papers within the last three years
  • Positioned to submit an NIH Research Grant or Mentored Career Development Award application within a year of program participation
  • Previous NDSN participants are not eligible to apply
  • Priority will be given to those who have not yet participated in a career development program

Application Process:

The application for the 2024 NDSN Program will become available in November, 2023 and close in January 2024. For any questions about the application process please email