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Small Business Diversity Supplement Application Guidance

Companies and Candidates should review the program announcement carefully and are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate program officer prior to submitting a supplement, as Institutes and Centers may have specific guidelines. The information below is meant to help clarify the application process and is not intended to replace or completely cover all aspects of the detailed information in the program announcement (currently, PA-21-345). 


Guidance for Developing a Strong Application

The Principal Investigator(s) should be actively involved in developing a detailed career development/mentorship plan that will include objectives and associated timelines for helping the candidate make the transition to the next stage of their career. Strong plans are structured and specific for the candidate. The plan should consider the typical barriers and impediments encountered by all trainees, as well as specific challenges that may be unique to the individual and affect their ability to enter and progress in the biomedical workforce. Strong applications include: 

  • Details of mentor-candidate interactions and how the mentor will assist the candidate in achieving the objectives and goals they have described in their candidate statement. This could include parameters such as the frequency of meetings, topics to be discussed, and how progress will be monitored.
  • A timeline for the research and career development activities proposed in the supplement
  • A discussion of how the mentor and trainee will utilize resources, local or otherwise, to allow the trainee to develop an entrepreneurial experiences and networks beyond the small business concern
  • A candidate statement that clearly links the planned activities with their career goals

Guidance on Specific Application Components

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Proposed Research Project for the Candidate

The proposed research experience must have the potential to contribute significantly to the research career development of the candidate. The experience is intended to provide opportunities for development as a productive researcher and leader at a small business. Proposed research must be:

  • An integral part of the approved ongoing research of the parent award
  • Within the scope of the parent grant
  • Have the potential to contribute significantly to the research career development of the candidate
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Enhancement of Research and Entrepreneurial Capability

The supplement should enhance the research and entrepreneurial capability of the individual and that the experience is intended to provide opportunities for development as a productive researcher and leader at a small business. The supplement must demonstrate that the Principal Investigator(s) is willing to provide appropriate mentorship and has developed a mentoring plan to facilitate the research and career development of the candidate. The application must include how the candidate will:

  • Interact with other individuals on the parent grant
  • Contribute intellectually to the research
  • Enhance research skills and knowledge related to the research area
  • Enhance research skills and knowledge related to business and entrepreneurship
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The role of the candidate, and all mentors and senior/key persons who will contribute to the mentoring should be described in the application and their biosketches must be included with the application.

  • Mentors and Other Senior/Key Persons: All applications should describe the mentorship experience of the mentors and key persons. The Principal Investigator should provide evidence of mentoring experience, e.g., a list of past trainees and their current positions. 
  • Candidate Statement: As required by PA-21-345, the personal statement in the candidate's biosketch must address: 
    • Evidence of scientific achievement or interest
    • Any source(s) of current funding
    • An outline of research objectives and career goals
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Candidate Eligibility Statement

A signed statement from the Principal Investigator(s) and a business official establishing the eligibility of the candidate for support under this program must include clearly presented information on citizenship, and other eligibility criteria, as specifically outlined in the relevant parent Notice of Funding Opportunity (currently PA-21-345). The strength of an institution's description and justification for the appointment of an identified candidate will be judged along with all other aspects of the proposed experience, as described in PA-21-345.