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The NIH Academy on Health Disparities

Health disparities affect all of us from the perspectives of equity, economics, and length and quality of life.  The National Institutes of Health define health disparities as health differences that adversely affect disadvantaged populations. The NIH supports basic, clinical, social science, and behavioral research that relates to health disparities, including their causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.Being a part of the NIH Academy was life changing and inspired me to work with under served communities in my career 


The NIH Academy on Health Disparities offers postbacs the opportunity to learn about health disparities, enhance their knowledge of gaps in health outcomes, and explore ways to contribute to address health disparity issues. The NIH Academy activities offer participants opportunities to identify current gaps in health disparities research, and untap their own potential to play an active and critical role to help address these disparities. The NIH Academy trains future researchers, physicians, and physician scientists to lead change and promote a society in which all people live healthy lives and have equal access to health care.   


All current NIH postbaccalaureate trainees are eligible to participate in the NIH Academy on Health Disparities. Applicants should be committed to actively participate in the NIH Academy curriculum offered from September to May. To be considered for the program, applicants must submit an application that includes a letter of interest (maximum 500 words).  Please discuss in that letter: 1) Why you want to participate in the NIH Academy, 2) How your involvement in the program will benefit you, and 3) What health disparities topics are you interested in or want to learn more about. 

Application is now closed and will open in August, 2023.

All applicants will be notified of their status on the program in September, 2023. 


The NIH Academy on Health Disparities consists of a year-long program that includes a series of lectures and seminars, discussions with experts, a diversity course, and career panels. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in all or some parts of the curriculum. In addition, they will have the chance to develop and present a health disparities-related project at the end of the year. Those who complete the minimum requirements of program activities will be eligible to receive a certificate at the end. The requirements for receiving a certificate are summarized in the following table:

ActivityOffered On Requirements to Obtain a Certificate
Orientation Part I Fall Required
Intro to HD Lecture Fall Required
Orientation Part II: Navigating Health Conflict Workshop Fall Required
HD Seminars and Meetings with Seminar Speakers Throughout the year Must attend at least 3 seminars AND respective discussions
OITE Diversity Course (with Small Group Discussions) 5-part Series Offered for NIH Academy: October-Jan Must attend sessions 1,4,5 of the series 
Health Disparities in Action Panels Throughout the year Must attend at least 2
HD Final Presentation Spring Must work with group and present at the end of the year

Although optional, we strongly encourage participants to engage in the community building activities described below.


The Introduction to Health Disparities Lecture will provide an overview of the behavioral, social, and cultural factors related to individual and population health and health disparities throughout life. A prominent health scientist will lead the lecture.

Navigating Healthy Conflict Workshop

An important aspect of engaging in health disparities is to respectfully navigate conflicts and disagreements. This workshop will explore the roots of disagreements, tools people can use to navigate their own conflict compass, and tools to keep the conversation respectful.

Health Disparities seminars and meetings with seminar speakers

An exciting feature of the NIH Academy on Health Disparities is that participants will interact with leaders in health disparities research through seminars, that will be followed by speaker lead discussions in small groups. Through collaboration with various institutes, a variety of topics will be covered. Participants can choose at least three seminars/discussions to attend.

OITE DIVERSITY and inclusion course

This course will discuss how diversity and inclusion issues impact individuals, groups, and communities, as well as the larger society – including the world of science.  This course will be divided in five parts and will be offered two times a year (Fall and Spring). Participants can combine sessions from the Fall or Spring series.  

For more information visit

health disparites in action panels

These panels will provide another opportunity for participants to learn how others have incorporated health disparities into their career. The panel discussions will host leaders working directly in health disparities at a research, policy, and community level.


Throughout the program, participants will engage with each other to plan and develop a health disparity-centered project, which they will present at the end of the program.

Optional: NIH ACADEMY community building ACTIVITIES

Participants will have the opportunity to engage in community outreach and work side by side with groups impacted by health disparities. NIH Academy participants will also have the opportunity to engage in health disparities discussions with peers and other activities designed to build community.

For any questions, contact the NIH Academy team at