Mental Health Research Career/Scientist Development Awards

To provide support for research career development relating to causes, risk, diagnosis, genetics, development, epidemiology, prevention, treatment, and services use for mental illness, behavioral disorders, and HIV/AIDS; and relating to basic neuroscience and basic behavioral science research addressing
basic and clinical research pertinent to mental disorders; in order to increase the number of individuals who are competing to advance research supported by the National Institute of Mental Health support, including women, individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups, and individuals with disabilities.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

(1) Cortical processes in perception and memory, (2) regulatory mechanisms in brain maturation, (3) chemical factors in abnormal behavior, (4) hemispheric specialization of higher functions in humans, (5) theory and measurement of personality development, (6) biological substrate and correlates of schizophrenia, (7) biochemistry and behavioral recovery after post-traumatic stress, and (8) children's mental health services research.

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.

Program Accomplishments

In fiscal year 2007, 461 awards were funded. In fiscal year 2008, 470 awards are estimated to be funded; and fiscal year 2009, 470 awards are expected to be made.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01, MRSDA), Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08, MCSDA), Mentored Scientist Development Award for New Minority Faculty (K01, MSDA NMF), and Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award (K25) provide support for individuals with research potential who need additional mentored development and/or experience in a productive research environment.

Awards are available for up to 5 years of salary support (up to $90,000 per year) for the individual candidate, fringe benefits, and 8 percent indirect costs.

Specialized training costs and limited research costs are allowable under justified circumstances.

Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) supports the career development of individuals who have made commitment to focus their research endeavors on patient-oriented research.

Awards are available for three to five years (ranging from $75,000 to $180,100) to help offset the full time salary requirement of the candidate.

The NIH Pathway to Independence (PI) Award (K99/R00) provides up to 2 years of mentored support (K99) for a postdoctoral individual followed by up to 3 years of support after the awardee transitions to research independence (R00).

K99/R00 awards are awards for up to 5 years of support.

During the K99 phase, awards provide up to $50,000 per year for the salary of the individual candidate as well as fringe benefits, and 8 percent indirect costs.

Specialized training costs and limited research costs are allowable under justified circumstances.

Salary support for all mentored awards may be supplemented by the sponsoring institution from nonfederal funds.

The Independent Scientist Award (K02, ISA) is for independent scientists whose careers are developing rapidly; the Mid-career Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24) is for outstanding clinical scientists engaged in patient-oriented research.

No specialized training costs are available; limited research costs for K24s and K02s in theoretical areas are available.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

All awards in these series 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.


Individuals must qualify by scholastic degree and previous training and/or experience.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Public and private profit or nonprofit organizations will benefit.


Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments. For other grantees, costs will be determined in accordance with HHS Regulation 45 CFR Part 74, Subpart Q.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (revised 11/2007). The PHS 398 is available at in an interactive format. Applications will be converting to electronic submission in the future.. For further assistance, contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: Information and instructions may be obtained from the program officials at the National Institute of Mental Health. Forms are completed by the applicant and sponsor. Completed paper PHS 398 applications should be submitted to the Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710, Bethesda, MD 20892-7710 or Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service). Applications are reviewed by nonfederal consultants and recommended for support on the basis of merit. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-21 for educational organizations and 45 CFR, Part 52.

Award Procedures

All "K" Series awards are recommended for approval by the National Advisory Mental Health Council and those approved are awarded directly by NIMH to the applicant institution.


New "K" applications: February 12, June 12, and October 12. Renewal, Resubmission and Revision "K" applications: March 12, July 12, November 12. AIDS-related "K" applications: January 7, May 7, September 7.


Public Health Service Act, Title III, Section 301, Public Law 78-410, 42 U.S.C. 241, as amended.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 240 to 270 days from submission of the application. Review of AIDS-related applications is expedited.


A principal investigator may question the substantive or procedural aspects of the review of his/her application by communicating with the staff of the Institute. A description of the NIH Peer Review Appeals procedure is available on the NIH home page at


K01, K08, K23, K25 awards are made for up to 5-year periods with no renewal. K02 and K24 awards are made for a 5-year period, renewable once (unless holder has held a previous mentored "K" award). K99 awards are made for up to 2-year periods with no renewal.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Varies, with a project periods ranging from 1 to 5 years. Funding commitments are made annually.

Post Assistance Requirements


Reports must be submitted as follows: (1) Interim progress reports annually as part of a non-competing application for previously recommended support; (2) terminal progress report within 90 days after end of project support; (3) annual financial status report within 90 days after termination of annual grant for some programs.

In addition, immediate and full reporting of any inventions is required.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend $500,000 or more in its fiscal year in Federal awards shall have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year in accordance with the provisions of this circular. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. In addition, grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspection and audits by DHHS and other Federal government officials. Per the regulations, a for-profit (commercial) organization is subject to audit requirements for a non-Federal audit if, during its fiscal year, it expended $500,000 or more under HHS awards and at least one award is a HHS grant. For-profit organizations have two options regarding the type of audit that will satisfy the audit requirements either: 1. a financial related audit (as defined in the Government Auditing Standards, GPO Stock #020-000-00-265-4, of the HHS awards in accordance with Government Auditing Standards, or 2. an audit that meets the requirements contained in OMB Circular No. A-133(


Records must be retained at least 3 years; records shall be retained beyond the 3-year period if audit findings have not been resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $70,378,962; FY 08 est $70,480,000; and FY 09 est $70,480,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$9,825 to $450,967; $152,666.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

42 CFR 52. NIH Grants Policy Statement (Revised 12/2003).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Dr. Ellen Stover, Director, Division of AIDS and Health and Behavior Research; Telephone: (301) 443-9700. Dr. Donna Mayo, Research Training and Career Development; Telephone: (301) 443-1829; and Dr. David Stoff, AIDS Research Training and Career Development; Telephone: (301) 443-4625, both from the Division of AIDS and Health and Behavior Research. Dr. Wayne Goodman, Director, Division of Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development; Telephone: (301) 435-8031. Dr. Mark Chavez, Associate Director, Research Training and Career Development, Division of Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development; Telephone: (301) 443-9700. Dr. Linda Brady, Director, Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science; Telephone (301) 443-3563. Dr. Nancy Desmond, Director, Research Training and Career Development Office, Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science; Telephone: (301) 443-3107. Dr. Mary Ellen Oliveri, Director, Division of Developmental Translational Research; Telephone (301) 443-5944. Dr. Cheryl Boyce, Research Training and Career Development, Division of Pediatric Translational Research; Telephone (301) 443-5944. Dr. Philip Wang, Director, Division of Services and Intervention Research; Telephone (301) 443-6233. Dr. Lauren Hill, Research Training and Career Development, Division of Services and Intervention Research; Telephone (301) 443-2638. Training Coordinators, Dr. Mark Chavez; Telephone: (301) 443-9700 and Dr. Nancy Desmond; Telephone: (301) 443-3107. Grants Management Contact: Ms. Rebecca Claycamp, Grants Management Officer, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services; 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 6122, MSC 9605, Bethesda, MD 20892-9605; Telephone (301) 443-2811. Use the same numbers for FTS.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The following considerations are used in determining projects to be funded: (1) priority score and recommendation of the Initial Review Committee; (2) program priorities of the Institute; and (3) the availability of funds.

Social Entrepreneurship

Establishing a Social Enterprise Curriculum

Several British colleges and universities have embraced social entrepreneurship in their curriculum. Pathik Pathak at Southampton have introduced n interdisciplinary module in Social Enterprise, which is open to students of all year groups and across all disciplines.

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