93.242: Mental Health Research Grants
Aug. 1, 2022
Aug. 1, 2022
The mission of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure. In May 2020, NIMH released its new Strategic Plan for Research. The new Strategic Plan builds on the successes of previous NIMH strategic plans by providing a framework for scientific research and exploration, and addressing new challenges in mental health. The new Strategic Plan outlines four high-level Goals: • Goal 1: Define the Brain Mechanisms Underlying Complex Behaviors • Goal 2: Examine Mental Illness Trajectories Across the Lifespan • Goal 3: Strive for Prevention and Cures • Goal 4: Strengthen the Public Health Impact of NIMH-Supported Research These four Goals form a broad roadmap for the Institute’s research priorities over the next five years, beginning with the fundamental science of the brain and behavior, and extending through evidence-based services that improve public health outcomes. The Institute’s overall funding strategy is to support a broad spectrum of investigator-initiated research in fundamental science, with increasing use of Institute-solicited initiatives for applied research where public health impact is a short-term measure of success. The new Strategic Plan also addresses a number of cross-cutting themes that are relevant to all research supported by NIMH; these themes highlight areas where NIMH-funded science may have the greatest impact, bridge gaps, and offer novel approaches to accelerate advances in mental health research. For example, NIMH values a comprehensive research agenda that takes an inclusive approach that ensures research interests are varied, maintain diverse participation and partnerships, and achieve research goals across multiple timeframes. This includes diverse methodologies, tools, and models; research addressing complex basic, translational, and applied questions; research including both sexes and, as appropriate, genetic background; and, participants from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, and across gender identities, geographical context, socioeconomic status, neurotype, and age – offering the best possible representation, for the broadest number of individuals who may ultimately benefit from these scientific advances. To accomplish the Goals outlined in the new Strategic Plan, NIMH will support research that aims: To characterize the genomic, molecular, cellular, and circuit components contributing to brain organization and function; to identify the developmental, functional, and regulatory mechanisms relevant to cognitive, affective, and social domains, across units of analysis; and, to generate and validate novel tools, techniques, and measures to quantify changes in the activity of molecules, cells, circuits, and connectomes. To discover gene variants and other genomic elements that contribute to the development of mental illnesses in diverse populations; to advance our understanding of the complex etiology of mental illnesses using molecular epidemiologic approaches that incorporate individual genetic information in large cohorts; to elucidate how human genetic variation affects the coordination of molecular, cellular, and physiological networks supporting higher-order functions and emergent properties of neurobiological systems; and, to develop novel tools and techniques for the analysis of large-scale genetic, multi-omic data as it applies to mental health. To utilize connectomic approaches to identify brain networks and circuit components that contribute to various aspects of mental function and dysfunction; to determine through brain-wide analysis how changes in the physiological properties of molecules, cells, and circuits contribute to mental illnesses; to develop molecular, cellular, and circuit-level biomarkers of impaired neural function in humans; and, to develop innovative technologies, – including new imaging, computational, pharmacological, and genetic tools – to interrogate and modulate circuit activity and structure altered in mental illnesses. To elucidate the mechanisms contributing to the trajectories of brain development and behavior; and, to characterize the emergence and progression of mental illnesses, and identifying sensitive periods for optimal intervention. To determine early risk and protective factors, and related mechanisms, to serve as novel intervention groups; and, to develop reliable and robust biomarkers and assessment tools to predict illness onset, course, and across diverse populations. To develop novel interventions using a mechanism-informed, experimental therapeutics approach; and, to develop and implement measurement strategies to facilitate mechanism-based intervention development and testing. To investigate personalized intervention strategies across disease progression and development; and, to develop and refine computational approaches and research designs that can be used to inform and test personalized interventions. To develop and test approaches for adapting, combining, and sequencing interventions to achieve the greatest impact on the lives and functioning of persons seeking care; to conduct efficient pragmatic trials that employ new tools to rapidly identify, engage, assess, and follow participants in the context of routine care; and, to enhance the practical relevance of effectiveness research via deployment-focused, hybrid, effectiveness-implementation studies. To employ assessment platforms within healthcare systems to accurately assess the distribution and determinants of mental illnesses and to inform strategies for improved services; to optimize real-world data collection systems to identify strategies for improving access, quality, effectiveness, and continuity of mental health services; and, to compare alternative financing models to promote effective and efficient care for individuals with serious emotional disturbances and serious mental illnesses. To strengthen partnerships with key stakeholders to develop and validate strategies for implementing, sustaining, and continuously improve evidence-based practices; to build models to scale-up evidence-based practices for use in public and private primary care, specialty care and other settings; and, to develop decision-support tools and technologies that increase the effectiveness and continuous improvement of mental health interventions in public and private primary care, specialty care, and other settings. To adapt, validate, and scale-up programs currently in use that improve mental health services for underserved populations; to develop and validate service delivery models that provide evidence-based care for individuals throughout the course of mental illness; to develop and validate systems-level strategies using technology and other approaches, to identify, support, and monitor the effectiveness of evidence-based care throughout the course of illness; and, to develop and validate decision-making models that bridge mental health, medical, and other care settings to integrate the appropriate care for people with serious mental illnesses and comorbid medical conditions.
Type of Assistance
B - Project Grants
Public, private, -profit, or nonprofit agencies (including State and local government agencies), eligible Federal agencies, universities, colleges, hospitals, and academic or research institutions may apply for research grants. SBIR grants can be awarded only to domestic small businesses, and STTR grants can be awarded only to domestic small businesses which partner with a research institution in cooperative research and development. An applicant for individual predoctoral fellowship support must be enrolled in a research doctoral degree program by the proposed activation date of the fellowship. A postdoctoral applicant must have received a Ph.D., Psy.D., M.D., D.D.S., Sc.D., D.N.S., D.O., D.S.W., or equivalent degree from an accredited institution to be eligible for an individual postdoctoral fellowship. All research training awards are made to appropriate domestic research centers, medical schools, departments of psychiatry, non-medical academic departments, psychiatric hospitals or hospitals with psychiatric services, community mental health centers, and biomedical research institutes on behalf of individuals who need the opportunity to realize research potential. Except for the NIH Pathway to Independence (PI) Award (K99/R00), the individuals must be citizens or nationals of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence. The NIH Pathway to Independence (PI) Award (K99/R00) is open to both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens. Individuals must qualify by scholastic degree and previous training and/or experience.
Individuals and public, private, profit, or nonprofit organizations.