Mental Health Research Grants

To increase knowledge of basic brain and behavioral processes that underlie mental and behavioral disorders; to support epidemiological studies of biological and environmental risk factors; to translate basic and epidemiological research into the development of new diagnostics and interventions for preventing

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and treating mental disorders; to conduct clinical trials for testing the efficacy and effectiveness of interventions in controlled and real-world settings; and to conduct research to improve mental health service delivery and use.

Research supported by the National Institute of Mental Health may employ theoretical, laboratory, clinical, epidemiological, and field studies.

Studies may involve individuals with a mental disorder diagnosis, individuals with symptom levels that do not meet diagnostic thresholds, and healthy individuals of all ages.

Research also may involve animal, computational, and mathematical models appropriate to the system being investigated and the state of the field.

Areas eligible for research support are: basic and clinical neuroscience; genetics; geriatrics research; adult psychopathology; experimental therapeutics; developmental, behavioral, clinical, and epidemiological research relevant to mental disorders, behavioral disorders, and HIV/AIDS, in terms of the causes, prevention, treatment, and service delivery; basic (brain and behavior), clinical, and services research on the mental health problems of women, minorities, and rural populations; and research designed to eliminate mental health disparities.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

(1) Basic and clinical neuroscience approaches to normal and disordered behavior; (2) genetic studies of psychiatric disorders; (3) neural bases of major psychiatric disorders; (4) genomic control of CNS development; (5) basic behavioral studies of cognition, emotion, and social behaviors; (6) epidemiological studies of risk and protective factors; (7) prevention of high-risk AIDS behaviors; (8) treatment studies of mental disorders; and (9) mental health services research for the seriously mentally ill.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

In fiscal year 2007, NIMH made 94 SBIR/STTR awards totaling $28,655,126; no instrumentation awards were made in fiscal year 2007. NIMH funded 2,489 grants in fiscal year 2007, and an estimated 2,430 grants will be funded in fiscal year 2008. An estimated 2,371 grants will be funded in fiscal year 2009.

Uses and Use Restrictions

(1) Research project grants provide support for clearly defined projects by a named investigator in an area representing his/her specific interests and competencies.

(2) Exploratory/Development and Clinical Exploratory/Developmental Grants encourage the development of new research activities in categorical program areas; (3) Small Research Grants provide research support specifically limited in time and amount for studies in categorical program areas; (4) Collaborative Clinical Research Grants support evaluations of various methods of therapy and/or prevention; (5) Program Project and Center grants support large-scale, broad-based programs of research, usually interdisciplinary, consisting of several projects with a common focus; and (6) Cooperative Agreements support single or a group of related research activities with greater involvement of federal staff.

Standard small grants are limited to $50,000 direct costs for a period of 2 years or less, while other small grants are for less time and funds.

SBIR and STTR grants are awarded in two stages: Phase I grants are awarded to establish the technical merit and feasibility of a proposed research and development effort; only Phase I awardees are eligible to receive Phase II support.