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New NIH Tobacco Research Fund Announcement: LGBT Inclusion Grade? B+


Scoutby Scout, Ph.D.
Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity
At The Fenway Institute

 

FDA just helped fund 2 new NIH funding announcements that were released last week. They ask for revisions to existing research awards to include new tobacco focus.

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-12-010.html  (for R01 grantees)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-12-011.html  (for U01 grantees)

We’ll give these FOAs (funding opportunity announcements) a B+ because they do say LGBT in one of their research scope items:

  • “What communication channels do specific subpopulations (such as youth and young adults, minority populations, people of low income, people with low education, people with mental health or medical co-morbidities, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) use to seek information and communicate about tobacco and health issues?”

But only a B+ because they forget LGBT in an earlier, super relevant research scope point.

  • “What is the tobacco use behavior of reduced nicotine cigarettes and other tobacco products in subpopulations; such as by sex, age, race/ethnicity, income and co-morbidities?”

Hardly the type of routine inclusion the IOM LGBT report was calling for eh? (They actually called for NIH to switch their model, instead of requiring justification for LGBT inclusion, copying the model for inclusion of women and people of color in research, where applicants must demonstrate inclusion and justify exclusion.) Especially so considering smoking is the topic of probably our single most profound and well-documented health disparity.

Remember everyone, with the history of LGBT exclusion from research priorities, our researchers have been been taught, we cannot presume we’re truly welcome to apply for research unless we see some notice of welcome. And the reviewers and project officers need to be clear LGBT focused research is welcome too. Considering the announcement of funding is pretty much the guidelines of what’s really wanted, seems like this one isn’t as welcoming to researching LGBT tobacco use behavior. Pity, cause I’d like someone to really explain our 35-almost 200% higher smoking rates!

Wanna read more on this point? See Dr. Matthew’s profound letter to head of NIH a few weeks back here: Dear NIH: Please Demonstrate That You Welcome LGBT Disparity Research

Or see the IOM report exec summary here: The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding

p.s. thanks to our NIH buddy for alerting us to these

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