The National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), with the other participating NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices(ICOs), intends to promote a new initiative by publishing a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit research to evaluate community interventions testing 1) the impacts of mitigation strategies to prevent COVID-19 transmission in NIH-designated health disparity populations and other vulnerable groups; and 2) already implemented, new, or adapted interventions to address the adverse psychosocial, sociocultural, behavioral, and socioeconomic consequences of the pandemic on the health of these groups.
This FOA will utilize the R01 activity code. Researchers will be encouraged to partner with community organizations, health service providers, public health agencies, policymakers, and other stakeholders to prepare and submit applications. This notice is provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive applications. Details of the planned FOA are provided below.
This Notice encourages investigators to acquire and leverage partnerships with key stakeholders to test community interventions to ameliorate the impact of psychosocial, sociocultural, behavioral, and socioeconomic consequences of COVID-19 on the health of populations known to experience health disparities and other vulnerable populations. Projects may evaluate existing or ongoing community-based programs or policies (i.e., natural experiments) or prospectively test new or adapted interventions. Projects that do not solely target individuals but also address the upstream determinants that influence individual functioning and health outcomes will be strongly encouraged. Proposed research should reflect the highest impact, with rigorous methods including sufficient power, and consideration of urgent public health needs in the context of populations eligible for consideration under this effort.
Projects must focus on U.S. NIH-designated health disparity populations and/or COVID-19 vulnerable populations. NIH-designated health disparity populations include racial and ethnic minorities, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural populations, and sexual and gender minorities (see https://www.nimhd.nih.gov/about/overview/).
COVID-19 vulnerable populations include residents of chronic care and assisted living facilities; community-dwelling older adults; individuals with cognitive impairment or dementia; homeless populations; incarcerated populations and those involved with the criminal justice system (e.g., participants of re-entry programs); adults with medical comorbidities; pregnant women; children and adolescents; individuals with substance use disorders or severe mental illness, those living in congregate housing (e.g., shelters, residential treatment or assisted living); persons who are deaf or with disabilities including visual, hearing, communication, or mobility impairment; detainees in immigration centers; migrant communities; individuals living on tribal lands or reservations; and communities that are exposed to high rates of air pollution or other toxic exposures. Vulnerable groups also include those on the frontlines of healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic, and those working in essential business operations (e.g., grocery and pharmacy workers, transportation, hospital and community janitorial/sanitation workers, waste collectors, postal and other delivery service workers, warehouse personnel, etc.).
Applications are due July 22, 2020.