The 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

  • Expand the knowledge base of SGM health and well-being
  • Remove barriers to planning, conducting, and reporting research about SGM health and well-being
  • Strengthen the community of researchers and scholars conducting SGM research
  • Evaluate progress on advancing SGM research

For a complete review of our goals and objectives see the NIH SGM Research Strategic Plan.


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 June 30, 2020