This week I want to address the field of health research in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities (LGBTI communities). Earlier this month, NIH Director Francis Collins announced additional support of LGBTI health research by renewing and permanently establishing a trans-NIH LGBTI research coordinating committee under the leadership of two NIH institutes: the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). This committee was initially established to evaluate the NIH research portfolio and how it addressed health issues unique to LGBT individuals, as a follow-up to the NIH-commissioned Institute of Medicine (IOM) report published in 2011. See Francis Collins’s statement for more information about the IOM and NIH reports and plans to bolster LGBTI health research.
In February 2012, we released three specific funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for R01, R03, and R21 awards in this research area. One misconception that I want to clarify is whether researchers can submit applications related to LGBTI health to other funding announcements. The answer is of course. While we issued these FOAs to draw specific attention to research needs in LGBTI health, NIH welcomes applications related to LGBTI health for any applicable FOA, and we encourage investigators to discuss their ideas with NIH staff in advance.