NIH funding opportunity: Simulation Modeling and Systems Science to Address Health Disparities

The purpose of this Notice of Special Interest is to support investigative and collaborative research focused on developing and evaluating simulation modeling and systems science to understand and address minority health and health disparities. Simulation Modeling and Systems Science (SMSS) provides avenues for modeling relevant multiple processes, testing plausible scenarios, understanding the magnitude of intended and unintended consequences of specific interventions, and having the option to adjust and refine simulated intervention designs prior to actual implementation testing in the real world. 

This notice applies to due dates on or after October 5, 2020 and subsequent receipt dates through May 8, 2023.  

Submit applications for this initiative using the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) below: 

  • PA-20-185 – NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) 


Research Objectives 

  • Foster trans-disciplinary partnerships and collaborations in understanding the etiology and causal pathways of health disparities using SMSS 
  • Use SMSS to identify modifiable barriers and cost-effective factors to reduce and eventually eliminate health disparities 
  • Use SMSS to improve patient safety and reduce medical errors for populations affected by health disparities 
  • Use SMSS to assess and predict the spread and consequences of pandemics (e.g., SARS-CoV-2) and the effectiveness of interventions in populations affected by health disparities 
  • Provide evidence-based simulation or prediction of the impact of effective or ineffective health disparities interventions delivered in real-world settings 
  • Promote big data harmonization and novel analytic methods in SMSS to address minority health and health disparities 


Research Methodology

Examples of research methods could include but are not limited to:

  • System dynamics modeling
  • Network Analysis
  • Agent-based modeling
  • Dynamic microsimulation modeling
  • Discrete event simulation
  • Markov modeling
  • Hybrid simulation modeling (e.g., sequential design, enrichment design, integration design, and parallel design)


For further information, see NIH notice: