NIMH Funding Disparities Listening Sessions

Publication Date: Apr 15, 2021

Several studies have demonstrated that African American/Black applicants to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) receive grant awards at a lower rate than their White counterparts.  National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) analyses have confirmed that such disparities also persist for Black applicants for NIMH funding. As indicated in a message from Dr. Joshua Gordon, NIMH Director, NIMH will hold a series of Listening Sessions to engage Black NIMH applicants and grantees in conversations with Dr. Gordon and other NIMH leaders to understand applicants’ perspectives on the factors impeding and facilitating success in attaining NIMH grant funding. We would also like to hear from NIMH applicants and grantees from other racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and health services research on a national basis (i.e., Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders). We want to hear from applicants at a range of career stages, from trainees through senior investigators, as well as others involved in the research enterprise such as mentors, training directors, institutional diversity officers, research deans and department chairs.   

If you are interested in participating in an upcoming NIMH Listening Session, please send an email to by Friday, April 30, 2021, with the following information:   

  • Name, Institution, Date of PhD or MD or equivalent; or anticipated date of PhD or MD or equivalent for trainees;  
  • Current title or rank (e.g., Post-doc, Assistant Professor, Diversity Programs Director, etc.); 
  • Whether you have ever applied for NIH funding (Y/N), whether you have applied for NIMH funding (Y/N) and whether you have applied for other funding to support your research (Y/N), and if so, the name of the funding source(s) to which you applied (e.g., the institutions or foundations).  


We are requesting this information to help us ensure that we hear from a diverse range of individuals representing a breadth of applicants, awardees, and institutional stakeholders. We will contact those who have indicated interest in participating in the Listening Sessions with this balance in mind. 

The Listening Sessions will be held in May 2021 and June 2021. Please feel free share this message with members of your network who may be interested in participating in the NIMH Listening Sessions. We look forward to hearing from you, your colleagues, students, and trainees by April 30, 2021. 

If you have any questions, please contact us at