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Minority Research Grant Program

What is the Minority Research Grant Program?

The CMS Office of Minority Health administers the Minority Research Grant Program (MRGP). The purpose of the grant program is to support researchers at minority serving institutions that are exploring how CMS can better meet the health care needs of racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, sexual gender minorities, and rural populations.

The three goals of MRGP are to:

  1. Develop capacity at minority serving institutions to research health disparities and social determinants of health;
  2. Understand the root cause of issues - processes, practices, behaviors, and burdens - that lead to health disparities and identify replicable interventions; and
  3. Strengthen CMS programs by disseminating best practices uncovered through funded research.

2018 Awardees

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For over two decades, CMS has funded health equity research at minority serving institutions through the MRGP. In 2018, CMS awarded grants to:

The University of Puerto Rico received funding to test interventions to reduce prenatal stress for women in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. They hope to explore mechanisms of decreasing pre-term births through evaluating the mental health impacts of receiving prenatal care.

The University of Houston, a Hispanic-Serving university, received funding to address diabetes, hypertension and obesity rates in Latinos through a study using Spanish-language photo comics, or fotonovelas. They will create an electronic fotonovela that will support post-hospitalization symptom management for Hispanic populations.

Both grantees will evaluate critical public health issues through rigorous analysis and community engagement. This adds to the body of research that CMS is evaluating to identify opportunities to measure the impact of disparities and to strengthen CMS policies and programs.

Program Summary Report

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This report provides a snapshot of the MRGP from 2005-2018, and the health disparities research projects of 44 MRGP grantees active during this time period. It includes an overview of the geographic distribution of their projects, their target populations and conditions, and key intervention outcomes. The research findings of MRGP funded projects on African Americans and Hispanics have been cited in over 180 publications.

Program Summary Report [PDF 133KB]


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Health equity researchers at the following types of institutions are eligible to apply:

  • Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)
  • Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs)
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs)

Where to Apply

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All applicants must use to apply.

Grantees are selected through an annual competition that values innovation, community collaboration, and scientific rigor. The program currently has six grantees in its portfolio; two were awarded in 2017.

For More Information


Download the MRGP Flyer.