IDeA-eligible states: Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Puerto Rico.
Supporting Women’s Health in IDeA States
Since 2020, ORWH has partnered with the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), along with other participating NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICOs), to advance women's health research and women's health equity by expanding research and research capacity in IDeA States.
IDeA Program and Background
IDeA States are U.S. states (and territories) that are eligible to receive funding from the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program. Established in 1993 by congressional mandate, the IDeA Program aims to increase research capacity in states with historically low levels of NIH funding. Managed by NIGMS, the IDeA Program offers multiple types of funding mechanisms that enable institutions in eligible states to jumpstart or bolster their ability to conduct competitive basic, clinical, and translational research. These awards provide research funding as well as support for faculty development and infrastructure improvements that strengthen an institution’s biomedical research capacity. Ultimately, the IDeA Program aims to equip institutions to conduct research that addresses the needs of their local communities—particularly those that are medically underserved and/or experience high rates of health disparities.
Although eligibility to receive IDeA funding is based on the state's historical rate of NIH funding, many IDeA-eligible states have large communities of populations that suffer from poorer health outcomes and less access to health care than the average American, such as rural populations and underserved communities of African Americans or American Indians and Alaskan Natives. Notably, 5 of the 23 IDeA States rank among the top 10 states with the highest rates of maternal mortality (Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina).i
ORWH-NIGMS IDeA Program Partnership
Women’s Health Administrative Supplement for Institutional Development Awardees
In 2020, ORWH and NIGMS (with support from other ICOs) partnered to create the first IDeA funding opportunities with a specific focus on women’s health and health disparities experienced by women. Together with 14 other NIH ICOs, NIGMS and ORWH issued a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI; NOT-GM-20-017) for administrative supplemental funding, which allowed existing IDeA-funded institutions to apply for one year of additional funding to focus on women’s health. The opportunity encouraged a broad range of research that addresses important issues of women’s health across the lifespan, including maternal and infant morbidity and mortality and their underlying causes.
The response to the NOSI was enthusiastic—more than 37 applications from 20 IDeA States were received. Motivated by this positive response, ORWH, NIGMS, and partner ICOs released similar administrative supplement opportunities in fiscal years 2021 and 2022. In fiscal year 2020, 15 IDeA states received awards. In fiscal year 2021, 11 IDeA states received awards. Awards for fiscal year 2023 were announced in October 2023 and can be viewed here. As of the close of fiscal year 2023, 60 grants totaling $16.46 M have been awarded. Since the inception of the Women’s Health Administrative Supplement, 21 IDeA States have received awards through this program. ORWH and NIGMS plan to continue to fund women’s health focused IDeA administrative supplements in coming years.
Women’s Health COBRE Institutional Development Award
Encouraged by the positive response to the administrative supplements, ORWH and NIGMS partnered again to create a longer-term funding opportunity focused on women’s health. In October 2022, they released a new opportunity using the IDeA Program’s Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) Phase 1 P20 funding mechanism (NOT-GM-23-012). Through this mechanism, awardees receive funding for three sequential five-year phases to support the establishment and development of an innovative biomedical research center (a “COBRE”). The COBRE is designed to help institutions develop a critical mass of investigators who can compete effectively for independent research funding and to improve the infrastructure for biomedical research. This long-term model also provides funded institutions with the necessary time and resources to establish and strengthen collaborations with local community organizations so that they can meet the specific needs of the community.
The first Women's Health COBRE awards are expected to be announced in FY24 upon funding availability. ORWH and NIGMS plan to continue this opportunity with the goal of supporting at least one Women's Health COBRE within an IDeA State in each of the five U.S. geographical regions (Northeast, Southwest, West, Southeast, and Midwest). This effort will expand the distribution of NIH funding for women’s health research across the country and advance ORWH’s vision for a world in which every woman receives evidence-based disease prevention and treatment tailored to her own needs, circumstances, and goals.
iWorld Population Review. (Updated May 2023). Maternal Mortality Rate by State. https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/maternal-mortality-rate-by-state. Accessed 19-2023