The notice of special interest (NOSI) titled Research Supplements to Promote Re-Entry and Re-integration into Health-Related Research Careers (NOT-OD-21-134) announced administrative supplements to be given to existing NIH research grants to support full- or part-time research by women or men returning to the scientific workforce. The supplements are designed to bring scientists’ existing research skills and knowledge up to date so that by the end of the supplement period, they will be prepared to apply for a fellowship (F), a career development (K) award, a research grant (R), or another type of independent research support.
The Re-entry Supplements Program provides mentored research training opportunities for a minimum of 1 year to scientists who have had at least 6 months of interruption in their careers for family responsibilities or other qualifying circumstances so they can re-enter active research careers. Most candidates for the re-entry supplements will have a doctoral degree or an equivalent degree; however, some awarding NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICOs) may allow predoctoral students, including those enrolled in dual-degree programs, to apply.
The Re-integration Program addresses the critical need of scientists who have been adversely affected by unsafe or discriminatory environments resulting from unlawful harassment to rapidly transition into new research environments that are safe and supportive. Predoctoral and postdoctoral students are eligible to apply for re-integration supplements to allow them to transition to safe, supportive research environments and complete their graduate degrees.
HOW TO APPLY
Individuals whose research has been interrupted by family care responsibilities or affected by hostile environments are encouraged to read the NOSI (NOT-OD-21-134) for important information (e.g., participating Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICO), ICO contacts, eligibility, and qualifying circumstances) and apply. The links to the ICOs’ websites, points of contact, and email addresses are listed here.
The Re-entry Supplements Program was the first funding opportunity established by ORWH, in 1992. Since 2012, 24 ICOs have been participating in this program, with the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences being the most active participants.
Most of the applicants and awardees have been women (80%) (Figure 1). The overall success rate is 61%. The most cited reason for hiatus among applicants has been child-rearing (Table 1). After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a spike in applications, followed by a dip which paralleled with the significantly increased caregiving (child care and elderly care) responsibilities, decreased productivity, and greater attrition of many women scientists in academia. The disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women in biomedical careers and their need for the program are expected to continue for years to come.
Figure 1. Number of re-entry and re-integration supplement applicants and awardees from 2012 to 2021. The pink (she) and blue (he) bars represent the number of applicants by pronoun. The pink (she) and blue (he) checkered bars represent the number of awardees by pronoun. Most of the applicants and awardees over the years have been women (80%). On this webpage, “women” pertains to the use of the pronoun “she” in the submitted applications.