Core Values of SGMRO Icon - leadership, inclusion, collaboration, tenacity and communicationThe Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO) coordinates sexual and gender minority (SGM)related research and activities by working directly with the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices. The Office was officially established in September 2015 within the NIH Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI).

Sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations include, but are not limited to, individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, transgender, Two-Spirit, queer, and/or intersex. Individuals with same-sex or -gender attractions or behaviors and those with a difference in sex development are also included. These populations also encompass those who do not self-identify with one of these terms but whose sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or reproductive development is characterized by non-binary constructs of sexual orientation, gender, and/or sex.

Allies are critical to the mission of the SGMRO. To describe allyship at NIH, the Director authored a blog post in collaboration with the NIH Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). The post can be found along with others on the EDI 365 website.

What We Do

  • Coordinate SGM health research activities across NIH
  • Represent NIH at conferences and events on trans-NIH activities focused on SGM research
  • Coordinate and convene conferences and workshops to inform priority setting and research activities
  • Collaborate with NIH Institutes and Centers on the development of SGM health research reports
  • Manage information dissemination related to SGM research
  • Work with NIH Institutes and Centers to leverage resources and develop initiatives to support SGM health research

Strategic Goals

  • Advance rigorous research on the health of SGM populations in both the extramural and intramural research communities
  • Expand SGM health research by fostering partnerships and collaborations with a strategic array of internal and external stakeholders
  • Foster a highly skilled and diverse workforce in SGM health research
  • Encourage data collection related to SGM populations in research and the health research workforce

For a complete review of our goals and objectives see the full NIH SGM Research Strategic Plan or the accompanying Strategic Plan Synopsis Handout.


SGMRO Speaking Engagements

If you are interested in inviting SGMRO Director Karen L. Parker, Ph.D., M.S.W., to speak at an event (i.e., conference, meeting, workshop, or similar) please complete the Speaker Request Form and submit it, along with a formal letter of invitation, to

Stay Informed

Subscribe to the SGM Listserv for updates on SGM-related research and other activities.

To contact the Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office, email us at

This page last reviewed on September 22, 2023