NIH: Technologies for Improving Minority Health and Eliminating Health Disparities (R41)

Funding Opportunity Number: RFA-MD-24-007

Deadlines: June 10, 2024, July 8, 2024, December 10, 2024


Despite continued improvement in the health of the U.S. population with the introduction of medical and scientific advances, there continues to be an alarming disproportionate burden of illness among certain population groups. The mission of the NIMHD is to lead scientific research aimed at the development of innovative diagnostics, treatments, and prevention strategies to improve minority health and reduce health disparities in NIH-designated populations that experience health disparities in the United States and its territories. NIMHD focuses on all aspects of health and health care for racial and ethnic minority populations in the U.S. and the full continuum of health disparity causes as well as the interrelation of these causes.

The purpose of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO ) is to engage and support small businesses in providing seed (i.e., early-stage investment) funding for developing technologies, services, and products that engage, empower, and motivate individuals and communities, including providers and healthcare institutions that focus on African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, disadvantaged socioeconomic groups, underserved rural populations, and sexual and gender minorities. In using this funding, recipients will hopefully lay the groundwork for sustainable health promoting activities and interventions that lead to improved health, healthcare delivery, and the elimination of health disparities.

Other considerations relevant to the technology and products and the organization should include:

  • Effectiveness in improving the current quality of care or research access for populations that experience health disparities.
  • Affordability for the population with existing community resources or an organization’s existing infrastructure.
  • Acceptability such as health literacy, language, and cultural competency considerations.

Research Objectives

While this NOFO supports new and innovative technologies or products, applicants should review and refer to the NIMHD Research Framework, for additional insight on NIHMD’s strategic approach. The NIMHD Research Framework identifies diverse factors within socioecological domains and levels that influence health outcomes among populations that experience health disparities compared to the majority U.S. population. Applicants are encouraged to leverage this research framework to inform product conceptualization and design in their applications. This framework also provides insight into design thinking and outcome-driven innovation methods, including but not limited to:

  • Physical Barriers – Factors such as proximity to healthcare facilities and transportation may limit access to healthcare.
  • Knowledge Barriers – Health literacy and language barriers inhibiting healthcare delivery and patient information.
  • Infrastructure Barriers – Health providers, such as rural health clinics, federally qualified health centers, and critical access hospitals, may not have the same resources and expertise of large hospitals and health networks.
  • Economic Barriers – Lack of public and private insurance coverage or financial resources
  • Cultural Barriers – Beliefs and practices shared among social and organizational groups.

For more information, please see the opportunity website.