NIH’s new definition of disadvantaged—which applies to all of the agency’s programs meant to foster diversity—has seven components. A person is eligible if they have been homeless, or qualified for a free or reduced-priced lunch in elementary or high school, or if they meet the income level requirements to receive a federal Pell grant to help finance their college education. NIH also invites in those who were in foster care, whose parents never graduated from college, or who grew up in a rural area or a region with a shortage of health professionals.
This is a very good move forward. It is a more equitable definition of disadvantage that will let less people fall through the cracks.