Commitment to Improving Research
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is committed to improving the quality and quantity of alcohol research studying underrepresented populations. Groups shown to suffer health disparities, or differences in the incidence, morbidity, or mortality associated with alcohol misuse as well as different medical, interpersonal and social consequences include:
- Racial and ethnic minorities
- Rural and low socioeconomic groups
- Persons with disabilities
NIAAA Minority Health and Health Disparities Initiatives
Dedicated staff in the Office of the Director addresses Minority Health and Health Disparities (MHHD) issues through activities across the Institute, the NIH, and in the extramural community. Our goals include:
Increase research on MHHD
NIAAA research aims to:
- Increase the alcohol related evidence base, including enhancing epidemiologic and etiologic knowledge;
- Understand the biological, social, and cultural contexts of drinking behavior in minority and health disparities populations;
- Develop improved treatment and prevention interventions for these groups;
- Decrease alcohol related health inequalities
NIAAA seeks to increase the number of underrepresented individuals conducting research related to alcohol use and alcohol use disorders through:
- Support of advanced training
- Sponsored career development
- Training opportunities
Minority Health and Health Disparities Research
According to epidemiological research conducted over the past several decades, various racial, ethnic, rural and low socioeconomic groups differ in how they experience:
- Patterns of alcohol consumption
- Consequences of alcohol use
Top Research Priorities
Current research seeks to better understand these differences and develop effective interventions. Research areas critical to these goals include:
- Intervention (prevention and research)
- Underage drinking
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
- Health services
- Genetics, including gene by environment interactions
- Metabolism and health effects
- Basic research
NIAAA issues and participates in NIH funding opportunities to encourage research on minority and health disparities health issues. To find specific funding announcements visit Health Disparities Funding Announcements with NIAAA Participation.
Our diversity training program seeks to increase the number of investigators from underrepresented populations pursuing research on alcohol use and alcohol use disorders. We coordinate and promote these efforts across NIAAA and NIH through:
Activities aimed at providing information on programs to underrepresented populations. We bring information to meetings, conferences, workshops, universities and institutions that may not otherwise have access to information on our programs.
- Support of education/training
We support the development of new investigators through participation in the Diversity F31, the Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Biomedical Research, and many of the Career Development mechanisms.
- Sponsored career development opportunities
Workshops and mentoring opportunities designed to provide guidance on the grant writing process and mock reviews.
- Additional training resources
NIH offers special funding initiatives aimed at improving the diversity of the health-related research workforce by supporting the training of predoctoral and post-doctoral students and new investigators from underrepresented groups. Additional training information and NIAAA staff are also available at Diversity Applicants and Minority-Serving Institutions.
NIAAA participates in the following NIH-wide training opportunities:
- NIH’s Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research
Provides up to five years of support for research training leading to the PhD or equivalent research degree, the combined MD/PhD degree, or another formally combined professional degree and research doctoral degree in biomedical, behavioral, health services, or clinical sciences.
Application due dates: April 13, August 13, and December 13
- Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research
Provides supplements to existing NIH-funded active grants (see full announcement for specific mechanisms) to increase the diversity of the research workforce by supporting and recruiting students, and postdoctoral and other new investigators from groups that are underrepresented.
- Training and Career Development
Training and career development opportunities are also available through other programs NIAAA’s participates in at both the individual and Institutional levels.
Last reviewed: February 2022