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Fellowships to USA Individuals for Research to Improve Outcomes for People with Disabilities

Switzer Research Fellowships Program

GrantWatch ID# 193136
Agency: Federal

Funding Source
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Administration for Community Living (ACL) - National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)
CFDA Number: 93.433
Funding or PIN Number: HHS-2022-ACL-NIDILRR-SFGE-0018
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Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Conference Date: 01/04/23
LOI Date: 01/11/23
Deadline: 02/05/23 11:59 PM Eastern Time

Grant Description
Fellowships to USA individuals for research to improve outcomes for people with disabilities. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several days to complete. Both early-career and experienced researchers are eligible to apply. Funding is intended to build research capacity by providing support to highly qualified individuals, including those with disabilities, to conduct high-quality research on the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities.

Fellows must conduct original research in an area authorized by Section 204 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Section 204 authorizes research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities, the purposes of which are to develop knowledge methods, procedures, or rehabilitation technology that maximizes the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the highest support needs, and to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Act.

Applicants must propose to conduct an original research project that is ultimately aimed at improving outcomes of people with disabilities in one or more of the following outcome domains:

  • Community Living and Participation
  • Employment
  • Health and Function

For further information about these outcome domains and NIDILRR’s research agenda and programs, applicants should consult NIDILRR's Long-Range Plan for Fiscal Years 2018-2023.


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)
  • Individuals

Additional Criteria for Eligibility
Only individuals are eligible to apply for NIDILRR Switzer Research Fellowship grants. Institutions and organizations may not apply. No entities are eligible for this award; only individuals are eligible to apply.

Because the individual person rather than their institution is the applicant for this Fellowship, the person who seeks the Fellowship must sign the forms included in the application. Representatives of institutions do not sign anywhere on the application forms.

If you are a non-USA citizen, you must provide documentation that you are eligible to receive research funding directly from an agency of the United States government.

Applicants must: (1) Satisfy the requirements of 45 CFR part 75 and (2) have training and experience that indicate a potential for engaging in scientific research related to improving the outcomes of individuals with disabilities.

The program provides two categories of Fellowships: Merit Fellowships and Distinguished Fellowships.
- To be eligible for a Merit Fellowship, individuals must be in the earlier stages of a career in research and have advanced professional training and/or experience in independent study in an area which is directly pertinent to disability and rehabilitation.
- To be eligible for a Distinguished Fellowship, individuals must have seven or more years of research experience in subject areas, methods, and/or techniques relevant to disability and rehabilitation research and must have a doctorate, other terminal degree, or comparable academic qualifications.

NIDILRR is particularly interested in receiving Switzer Research Fellowship applications from investigators with disabilities, investigators from communities that are underrepresented in the extramural scientific workforce, and investigators from additional underserved and underrepresented communities identified in Executive Order 13985.

Communities underrepresented in the extramural scientific workforce include Blacks/ African Americans, Hispanics/ Latinos, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders (National Institutes of Health, 2020). Underrepresented and underserved communities described in Executive Order 13985 also include members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality (Executive Order 13985, 2021).

Institutions and organizations may not apply.

Because the award is made to the individual rather than their institution, institutional indirect costs may not be deducted from the award.

For Funding Restrictions, see p. 12 of the FOA listed in Supporting Documents below.

Pre-Proposal Conference
Date for Informational Conference Call: 01/04/2023

An informational conference call will be held between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on the date listed above for the informational conference call. Interested parties are invited to participate in the pre-application meeting to discuss the funding priority and to receive information and technical assistance.

You must contact in order to participate in this meeting.

NIDILRR staff also will be available to provide information and technical assistance via individual phone consultations from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the date listed above. Requests for individual consultations during this one-hour window must be made in advance to Megan Alvarado.

Pre-Application Information
- Date for Informational Conference Call: 01/04/2023
- Due Date for Letter of Intent: 01/11/2023. Applicants are requested, but not required, to submit a letter of intent.
- Due Date for Applications: 02/05/2023. Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on this date.

ACL requires applications for all announcements to be submitted electronically through The registration process can take several days. If you are not currently registered, please begin this process immediately.

You are strongly encouraged to submit your application a minimum of 3-5 days prior to the application closing date. Do not wait until the last day in the event you encounter technical difficulties, either on your end or, with can take up to 48 hours to notify you of a successful submission.

Applicants are requested, but not required, to submit a letter of intent to apply for this funding opportunity to assist ACL in planning for the application independent review process. Letters of intent
should be sent to Megan Alvarado via email.

Fellows must work principally on the Fellowship project during the term of the Fellowship grant.

Applicants must demonstrate, in their original application, that people with disabilities from diverse racial and ethnic communities will be included in proposed samples in sufficient numbers to generate knowledge and products that are relevant to the racial and ethnic diversity of the population of people with disabilities being studied. The applicant must describe and justify, in its original application, the planned racial and ethnic distribution of people with disabilities who will participate in the proposed research project.

Fellows must not, during the duration of the Fellowship award performance period, be direct recipients of Federal government grant funds in addition to those provided by the Fellowship grant. (Fellows may, subject to compliance with their institution's policy on additional employment, be the principal investigator of, or otherwise work on, Federal grants awarded to the Fellow's institution.)

Potential applicants who receive certain Federal and state benefits are cautioned that acceptance of a Fellowship may adversely affect their eligibility for services such as In-Home Supportive Services under Supplemental Security Income Section 1619. This has occurred in the past because Fellowships are awarded directly to individuals rather than host institutions, and this can affect determinations of employment and income status.

Potential applicants who are not U.S. residents are cautioned that acceptance of a Fellowship may adversely affect their immigration or non- immigrant visa status.

View the grant opportunity on
For a list of related documents, press Package tab (click Preview) on the page above.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants
NIDILRR plans to make six fellowship awards under this opportunity.

Estimated Size of Grant
- Award Ceiling: $80,000
- Award Floor: $70,000

The Award Ceiling (maximum award amount) for Distinguished Fellowships is $80,000. The Award Ceiling (maximum award amount) for Merit Fellowships is $70,000.

Term of Contract
Fellowship awards will have one 12-month project period and budget period.

The anticipated project period start date for this announcement is: 09/01/2023.

Contact Information
Letters of intent should be sent to:

For assistance with, please contact or 1-800-518-4726.

For questions, please contact the competition manager:
U.S Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Community Living
Kenneth Wood

Project Officer
Ken Wood
(202) 795-7469
National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research

Grants Management Specialist
Katherine Feiring
(202) 795-7442
Office of Grants Management

RFP & Supporting Documents
Full Grant Text RFP

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates / changes / addendums / conferences / LOIs.

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