The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), part of the NIH, will fund seven new awards to support the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Specialized Centers program. RCMI is designed to support institutional research capacity and foster the career development of new and early career investigators conducting minority health and health disparities research. The centers will share approximately $122 million over five years, pending available funds.
The RCMI program allows the promotion of science on minority health and health disparities, while increasing diversity among scientists, as well as supporting diversity in clinical studies. NIMHD is committed to supporting scientists at institutions that are historically committed to training populations underrepresented in science.
RCMI-funded institutions must offer doctoral degrees in the health professions or the sciences related to health, and have an historical and current commitment to educating underrepresented students. Centers must have an explicit focus on basic biomedical, behavioral, and/or clinical research.
The primary goals of the RCMI specialized centers are: to enhance institutional research capacity within the areas of basic biomedical, behavioral, and/or clinical research; enable investigators of all levels to become more successful in obtaining competitive extramural support, especially from NIH, particularly on diseases that disproportionately affect minority and other health disparity populations; foster environments conducive to career enhancement, with a special emphasis on development of new and early career investigators; enhance the quality of all scientific inquiry and promote research on minority health and health disparities; and establish sustainable relationships with community-based organizations that will partner with the RCMI institution.
“Institutions with historical commitment to diversity are essential to supporting scientific research and providing health care to underserved communities,” said NIMHD Director Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable. “These institutions are uniquely positioned to engage minority populations in research, and in the translation of research advances into culturally competent, measurable and sustained improvements in health outcomes.”