Skip to content

FY 2015 Budget - Congressional Justification


Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Mental Health

Organization Chart

Organization chart for NIMH. The chart shows 8 boxes. At the top of the chart is a box depicting the NIMH Office of the Director; below this are seven boxes corresponding to the NIMH Divisions. The Director of NIMH is Dr. Thomas Insel. Directors of Divisions are: Dr. Linda Brady, Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science; Dr. Dianne Rausch, Division of AIDS Research; Dr. Robert Heinssen Jr., Division of Services and Intervention Research; Dr. Bruce Cuthbert, Division of Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development; Dr. Kathleen Anderson, Division of Developmental Translational Research (acting); Dr. Jane Steinberg, Division of Extramural Activities; and Dr. Susan Amara, Division of Intramural Research Programs.

[Top]

Appropriation Language

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute of Mental Health

For carrying out section 301 and title IV of the PHS Act with respect to mental health, [$1,446,172,000] 1,440,076,000.

[Top]

Amounts Available for Obligation

Amounts Available for Obligation [ 1]
(Dollars in Thousands)
Source of Funding FY 2013
Actual
FY 2014
Enacted
FY 2015
President's Budget
Appropriation $1,480,265 $1,486,172 $1,440,076
Type 1 Diabetes 0 0 0
Rescission -2,961 0 0
Sequestration -74,299 0 0
Subtotal, adjusted appropriation $1,403,005 $1,446,172 $1,440,076
FY 2013 Secretary's Transfer -8,184 0 0
OAR HIV/AIDS Transfers 0 -27,357 0
Comparative transfers to NLM for NCBI and Public Access -1,657 -1,990 0
National Children's Study Transfers 1,190 0 0
Subtotal, adjusted budget authority $1,394,354 $1,416,825 $1,440,076
Unobligated balance, start of year 0 0 0
Unobligated balance, end of year -5 0 0
Subtotal, adjusted budget authority $1,394,349 $1,416,825 $1,440,076
Unobligated balance lapsing -5 0 0
Total obligations $1,394,354 $1,416,825 $1,440,076
1 Excludes the following amounts for reimbursable activities carried out by this account:
FY 2013 - $14,859 FY 2014 - $10,000 FY 2015 - $10,000

[Top]

Budget Mechanism

Budget Mechanism — Total [1]
(Dollars in Thousands)
MECHANISM FY 2013
Actual
FY 2014
Enacted
FY 2015
PB
FY 2015
+/-
FY 2014
No. Amount No. Amount No. Amount No. Amount
Research Projects        
Noncompeting 1,549 $632,092 1,436 $627,451 1,359 $596,078 -77 -$31,373
Administrative Supplements (63) 14,990 (63) 14,990 (63) 14,990 (0) 0
Competing:        
Renewal 81 42,354 83 43,391 101 53,006 18 9,615
New 428 162,643 430 163,410 525 199,597 95 36,187
Supplements 3 702 4 865 5 1,014 1 149
Subtotal, Competing: 512 $205,700 517 $207,666 631 $253,617 114 $45,951
Subtotal, RPGs 2,061 $852,781 1,953 $850,107 1,990 $864,685 37 $14,578
SBIR/STTR 83 34,478 91 37,612 94 38,928 3 1,316
Research Project Grants 2,144 $887,259 2,044 $887,719 2,084 $903,613 40 $15,894
Research Centers        
Specialized/Comprehensive 47 $81,341 42 $71,375 42 $71,375 0 $0
Clinical Research 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Biotechnology 0 297 0 360 0 360 0 0
Comparative Medicine 0 476 0 480 0 480 0 0
Research Centers in Minority Institutions 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Research Centers 47 $82,113 42 $72,215 42 $72,215 0 $0
Other Research        
Research Careers 350 55,660 362 57,553 362 $57,553 0 $0
Cancer Education 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cooperative Clinical Research 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Biomedical Research Support 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Minority Biomedical Research Support 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 69 25,519 71 26,387 71 26,387 0 0
Other Research 419 $81,180 433 $83,940 433 $83,940 0 $0
Total Research Grants 2,610 $1,050,552 2,519 $1,043,874 2,559 $1,059,768 40 $15,894
Ruth L. Kirschstein Training Awards FTTPs FTTPs FTTPs FTTPs
Individual Awards 263 10,544 266 10,902 271 11,120 5 $218
Institutional Awards 567 28,708 573 29,684 584 30,278 11 594
Total Research Training 830 $39,252 839 $40,586 855 $41,398 16 $812
Research & Development Contracts 146 $73,886 150 $93,459 150 $101,281 0 $7,822
SBIR/STTR (non-add) (1) (231) (1) (398) (1) (0) (0) (-398)
FTEs FTEs FTEs FTEs FTEs
Intramural Research 296 159,812 296 163,008 296 164,638 0 1,630
Research Management and Support 279 70,851 279 72,268 279 72,991 0 723
Research Management and Support
(SBIR Admin) (non-add)
(0) (626) (0) (150) (0) (0) (0) (-150)
Construction 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Buildings and Facilities 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total, NIMH 575 $1,394,354 575 $1,416,825 575 $1,440,076 32 $23,251
1 All items in italics and brackets are non-add entries. FY 2013 and FY 2014 levels are shown on a comparable basis to FY 2015.
2 The amounts in the FY 2014 column take into account funding reallocations, and therefore may not add to the total budget authority reflected herein. The FY 2014 enacted level also reflects a transfer of $27 million to NIAID for mental health research on HIV.

[Top]

Major Changes in the Fiscal Year 2015 President's Budget Request

Major changes by budget mechanism and/or budget activity detail are briefly described below. Note that there may be overlap between budget mechanism and activity details and these highlights will not sum to the total change for FY 2015 President’s Budget request for NIMH, which is $23.251 million more than the FY 2014 Enacted level, for a total of $1,440.076 million.

In FY 2014, NIH will invest a total of $40 million to launch its part of the BRAIN Initiative, and is requesting a total of $100 million in FY 2015 to advance the high priority research areas of the BRAIN Initiative, as outlined in its interim strategic plan. As one of the leaders of the BRAIN Initiative at NIH, NIMH is requesting an increase of $25.150 million, for a total of $38.000 million, in its FY 2015 budget to support these research priorities.

Research Project Grants (RPGs) (+$15.894 million; total $903.613 million):
NIMH will fund 631 competing RPGs in FY 2015, an increase of 114 over FY 2014 Enacted level. About 1,359 noncompeting RPG awards, totaling $596.078 million, also will be made in FY 2015.

[Top]

Summary of Changes1

(Dollars in Thousands)
FY 2014 Enacted $1,416,825
FY 2015 President’s Budget $1,440,076
Net Change $23,251
(Dollars in Thousands)
Changes FY 2015
President’s Budget
Change from FY 2014
FTEs Budget Authority FTEs Budget Authority
A. Built-in:  
1. Intramural research:  
a. Annualization of January 2014 pay increase & benefits   $56,174   $412
b. January FY 2015 pay increase & benefits   56,174   553
c. Zero more days of pay (n/a for 2015)   56,174   0
d. Differences attributable to change in FTE   56,174   0
e. Payment for centrally furnished services   29,412   492
f. Increased cost of laboratory supplies, materials, other expenses, and non-recurring costs   79,051   171
Subtotal     $1,628
2. Research management and support:  
a. Annualization of January 2014 pay increase & benefits   $36,112   $264
b. January FY 2015 pay increase & benefits   36,112   356
c. Zero more days of pay (n/a for 2015)   36,112   0
d. Differences attributable to change in FTE   36,112   0
e. Payment for centrally furnished services   7,789   130
f. Increased cost of laboratory supplies, materials, other expenses, and non-recurring costs   29,090   -28
Subtotal     $722
Subtotal, Built-in     $2,350
Summary of Changes- continued
Changes FY 2015
President’s Budget
Change from FY 2014
No. Amount No. Amount
B. Program:  
1. Research Project Grants:  
a. Noncompeting 1,359 $611,068 -77 -$31,373
b. Competing 631 253,617 114 45,951
c. SBIR/STTR 94 38,928 3 1,316
Subtotal, RPGs 2,084 $903,613 40 $15,894
2. Research Centers 42 $72,215 0 $0
3. Other Research 433 83,940 0 0
4. Research Training 855 41,398 16 812
5. Research and Development Contracts 150 101,281 0 7,822
Subtotal, Extramural   $1,202,447   $24,528
  FTEs   FTEs  
6. Intramural research 296 $164,638 0 $2
7. Research Management and Support 279 72,991 0 1
8. Construction   0   0
9. Buildings and Facilities   0   0
Subtotal, program 575 $1,440,076 0 $24,531
Total changes       $23,251

1 The amounts in the Change from FY 2014 column take into account funding reallocations, and therefore may not add to the net change reflected herein.

[Top]

Budget Graphs

History of Budget Authority and FTEs:

Bar chart showing funding levels (dollars in millions) for NIMH from 2011 through 2015. The chart has 5 bars. The pattern of the following data is: the year, a | character, and then the funding levels. 2011 | $1,476.3; 2012 | $1,477.5; 2013 | $1,394.4; 2014 | $1,416.8; 2015 | $1,440.1.

Distribution by Mechanism:

Pie chart showing funding for fiscal year 2015 budget mechanisms. The chart has 7 slices. From largest to smallest the amounts are: research project grants (63%); intramural research (11%); research and development contracts (7%); other research (6%); research management and support (5%); research centers (5%); research training (3%).

Change by Selected Mechanisms:

Bar chart showing estimates of the percent change from FY 2014 to FY 2015 of funding for budget mechanisms. The chart has 7 bars. The pattern of the following data is: the budget mechanism, a | character, and then the percent change. Research Project Grants | -1.79; Research Centers | 0.0; Other Research | 0.0; Research Training | 2.0; Research and Development Contracts | 8.37; Intramural Research | 1.0; Research Management and Support | 1.0

[Top]

Budget Authority by Activity

Budget Authority by Activity 1
(Dollars in Thousands)
  FY 2013
Actual
FY 2014
Enacted2
FY 2015
PB
FY 2015
+/-
FY 2014
FTEs Amount FTEs Amount FTEs Amount FTEs Amount
Extramural Research
Detail:
 
Neuroscience & Basic Behavioral Science   $458,824   $475,833   496,215   $20,382
Developmental Translational Research   156,058   161,843   163,104   $1,261
Adult Translational Research & Treatment Development   220,715   228,898   230,632   $1,734
Services & Intervention Research   133,074   138,007   139,032   $1,025
AIDS Research3   168,688   146,030   145,920   -110
Office of the Director   26,332   27,308   27,544   236
Subtotal, Extramural   $1,163,691   $1,177,919   $1,202,447   $24,528
Intramural research 296 $159,812 296 $163,008 296 $164,638 0 $1,630
Research Management & Support 279 $70,851 279 $72,268 279 $72,991 0 $723
TOTAL 575 $1,394,354 575 $1,416,825 575 $1,440,076 0 $23,251

1 Includes FTEs whose payroll obligations are supported by the NIH Common Fund.
2 The amounts in the FY 2014 column take into account funding reallocations, and therefore may not add to the total budget authority reflected herein.
3 Total $179,449M Actual in FY 2013; Estimated $157,005M; Estimate $157,005M in FY 2015 for HIV/AIDS.

[Top]

Authorizing Legislation

  PHS Act/Other Citation U.S. Code Citation 2014 Amount Authorized FY 2014 Enacted 2015 Amount Authorized

FY 2015
President's
Budget

Research and Investigation Section 301 42§241 Indefinite $1,416,825,000 Indefinite $1,440,076,000
National Institute of Mental Health Section 401(a) 42§281 Indefinite Indefinite
Total, Budget Authority       $1,416,825,000   $1,440,076,000

[Top]

Appropriations History

Fiscal Year Budget Estimate to Congress House Allowance Senate Allowance Appropriation
2005 $1,420,609,000 $1,420,609,000 $1,436,800,000 $1,423,609,000
Rescission       ($11,676,000)
2006 $1,417,692,000 $1,417,692,000 $1,460,393,000 $1,417,692,000
Rescission       ($14,177,000)
2007 $1,394,806,000 $1,394,806,000 $1,403,551,000 $1,404,494,000
Rescission       $0
2008 $1,405,421,000 $1,425,531,000 $1,436,001,000 $1,429,466,000
Rescission       ($24,973,000)
Supplemental       $7,475,000
2009 $1,406,841,000 $1,455,145,000 $1,445,987,000 $1,450,491,000
Rescission       $0
2010 $1,474,676,000 $1,502,266,000 $1,475,190,000 $1,489,372,000
Rescission       -
2011 $1,540,345,000   $1,537,942,000 $1,489,372,000
Rescission       ($13,078,800)
2012 $1,517,006,000 $1,517,006,000 $1,460,671,000 $1,483,068,000
Rescission       ($2,802,999)
2013 $1,479,204,000   $1,483,687,000 $1,480,265,001
Rescission       ($2,960,530)
Sequestration       ($74,299,124)
2014 $1,465,782,000    $1,456,041,000  $1,446,172,000
Rescission       $0
2015 $1,440,076,000      

[Top]

Justification of Budget Request

Authorizing Legislation:

Section 301 and title IV of the Public Health Service Act, as amended.

Budget Authority (BA):

  FY 2013
Actual
FY 2014
Enacted
FY 2015
President's Budget
FY 2015 +/- FY 2014
BA $1,394,353,584 $1,416,825,000 $1,440,076,000 +$23,251,000
FTE 575 575 575 +0

Program funds are allocated as follows: Competitive Grants/Cooperative Agreements;
Contracts; Direct Federal/Intramural and Other.

Director’s Overview

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead Federal agency for research on mental and behavioral disorders, with a mission to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.

In the United States, an estimated 11.5 million adults suffer from a seriously disabling mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression.1 Based on estimates for 2010, mental disorders accounted for 21.3 percent of all years lived with disability in the United States. Among the top 20 causes of years lived with disability, five were mental disorders: major depressive disorder (8.3 percent of the total), anxiety disorders (5.1 percent), schizophrenia (2.2 percent), bipolar disorder (1.6 percent) and dysthymia (1.5 percent).2 Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for the loss of more than 38,000 American lives each year, more than double the number of lives lost to homicide.3 The social and economic costs associated with these disorders are tremendous. A cautious estimate places the direct and indirect financial costs associated with mental illness in the U.S. at well over $300 billion annually, and it ranks as the third most costly medical condition in terms of overall health care expenditure, behind only heart conditions and traumatic injury.4,5

Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorder, eating disorders, borderline personality disorder, and other disorders are significantly impairing, life-threatening illnesses. NIMH’s Strategic Plan provides direction for harnessing rigorous scientific research to develop new diagnostic tests, more effective interventions, and better prevention strategies to address the public health burden of these disorders. NIMH will support research initiatives in FY 2015 that build upon and expand basic brain and behavioral research; translate basic research into innovative, personalized treatments; and, capitalize on the growing opportunities in big data and data sharing.

1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings, NSDUH Series H-45, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 12-4725. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2012.

2 Analysis based on: US Burden of Disease Collaborators, Murray CL, Abraham J, et al. The State of US Health, 1990-2010: Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors. JAMA. 2013;310(6):591-608. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.13805.

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS): www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars  accessed October 2013.

4 Insel TR. Assessing the economic cost of serious mental illness. Am J Psychiatry. 2008 Jun;165(6):663-5.

5 Soni A. The Five Most Costly Conditions, 1996 and 2006: Estimates for the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population. Statistical Brief #248. July 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

Unlocking the Mysteries of the Brain through Basic Research

The BRAIN Initiative  (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies), which includes $40 million in funding from NIH in FY 2014, as well as funding from several Federal and private partners, will support the development of new technologies for understanding how neural circuits link to behavior. NIMH is contributing $12.85 million to the BRAIN initiative in FY 2014, and plans to provide $38.0 million in FY 2015.

Recent NIMH investments in basic neuroscience research have already built a foundation for this new initiative. For example, NIMH-funded researchers have developed a technology that can rapidly start or stop the expression of a gene of interest. Based on “optogenetics” (which uses proteins that change their function in response to light), the technique allows researchers to control precisely the timing and duration of gene expression.6 Another group of NIMH-funded researchers has developed a method they call CLARITY (Clear Lipid-exchanged Anatomically Rigid Imaging/immunostaining-compatible Tissue hYdrogel), which makes the brain transparent.7 This method enables, for the first time, investigation of the whole intact brain, as well as high-resolution analysis of its proteins, neurotransmitters, and genes. These two projects not only exemplify the types of research that NIMH hopes to cultivate through the BRAIN Initiative in FY 2015 and beyond, but also highlight the importance NIMH places on nurturing innovative up-and-coming scientists. The lead investigators of both studies received funding via the NIH Transformative Research Award Program , which was created specifically to support exceptionally innovative and/or unconventional research projects that have the potential to create or overturn fundamental paradigms.

6 Konermann S, et al. Optical control of mammalian endogenous transcription and epigenetic states. Nature. 2013 Aug 22;500(7463):472-6.

7 Chung K, et al. Structural and molecular interrogation of intact biological systems. Nature. 2013 May 16;497(7449):332-7.

Precision Medicine

NIMH continues to strive to translate basic research findings on brain function into more person-centered and multifaceted diagnoses and treatments for mental disorders. The Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project is one important step toward such precision medicine. By building a classification system based more on underlying biological and basic behavioral mechanisms than on symptoms, RDoC should begin to give us the precision currently lacking with traditional diagnostic approaches to mental disorders. By way of example, the Cross Disorders Group of the NIMH-funded Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC)—the largest genome-wide study of its kind—recently determined how much five major mental illnesses are traceable to the same common inherited genetic variations.8 These findings of shared genetic risk among traditional psychiatric diagnoses will inform the RDoC project. Moreover, in FY 2013, NIMH announced an RDoC-oriented initiative to promote research to validate and refine contemporary views of specific functional aspects of motivation, cognition, and social behavior.9 NIMH anticipates that awarded grants will initiate funding in mid-FY 2014 and continue through FY 2019.

Another study illustrating NIMH’s ongoing focus on precision medicine involves utilizing brain imaging—currently primarily a research tool—as an aid for clinical decision-making. Using positron emission tomography (PET), NIMH-funded researchers have identified activity patterns in particular brain regions that can predict which type of treatment (cognitive behavioral therapy and/or antidepressant medication) would be of most benefit to an individual with depression.10 Should follow-up replication studies confirm the findings, this type of brain imaging may lead to more personalized—and less trial-and-error–based—treatment for depression.

8 http://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2013/new-data-reveal-extent-of-genetic-overlap-between-major-mental-disorders.shtml

9 http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-MH-14-050.html 

10 McGrath CL, et al. Toward a neuroimaging treatment selection biomarker for major depressive disorder. JAMA Psychiatry. June 12, 2013.

Big Opportunities in Big Data

Brain imaging studies now regularly generate massive data sets of brain structure and function; so too genome-wide studies of genetic risk for brain disorders.11 NIMH is poised to take full advantage of the ‘big data’ revolution, through efforts to promote common data elements in neuroscience research and broad data sharing. For example, the NIH National Database for Autism Research (NDAR), a repository of clinical, genetic, and imaging data from autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research involving human subjects, integrates the computational resources developed by institutions, private foundations, and other Federal and state agencies supporting ASD research. Data within NDAR are categorized using standardized formats to enable secondary analysis by other qualified researchers. NDAR provides scientists with the tools to validate research results and to conduct rigorous studies using data from multiple sources to create larger sample populations. At NIH, approximately 80 percent of all ongoing ASD grants involving human participants have data sharing with NDAR as a term of award; by 2015, virtually all such NIH ASD research is expected to include these terms.

Overall Budget Policy: The FY 2015 President’s Budget request is $1,440.076 million, an increase of $23.251 million, or 1.6 percent above the FY 2014 Enacted level. Funds are included in competing RPGs to support the trans-NIH BRAIN Initiative.

11 http://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2013/five-major-mental-disorders-share-genetic-roots.shtml

Program Descriptions

Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development

The Division of Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development (DATR) plans, supports, and implements programs of research, research training, and resource development aimed at understanding the biological, psychological, and functional changes that are involved in the causes and course of mental illness, and accelerating the translation of scientific advances into innovations in clinical care for adults. The Division supports a broad research portfolio including studies of the risk factors for major psychiatric disorders; clinical neuroscience to elucidate causes and functional effects of these disorders; and, development of new psychosocial, pharmacological, and somatic treatments.

In FY 2013, DATR launched new clinical trials contracts aimed at streamlined testing of promising candidate treatments for disorders of the psychotic spectrum, the mood and anxiety spectrum, and treatment resistant depression. These novel trials will follow a rigorous experimental medicine paradigm to both inform treatment development and provide a better understanding of the underlying causes of these disorders. In FY 2014, DATR plans to begin to refocus its investigator-initiated clinical trials portfolio with the release of new funding opportunity announcements. These announcements will invite proposals for high quality experimental medicine trials, with the goal of providing the best information possible to advance the field and allow “go/no-go” decisions about pursuing a given approach.

Budget Policy: The FY 2015 President’s Budget estimate is $230.632 million, an increase of $1.734 million, or 0.8 percent above the FY 2014 Enacted level.

Program Portrait: Accelerating the Pace of Psychiatric Drug Discovery

FY 2014 Level: $35.900
FY 2015 Level: $37.400
Difference: +$1.5

There is an urgent need for new medications to treat mental disorders. Existing medications can be helpful, but they often have significant limitations; in some cases requiring weeks to take effect; failing to relieve symptoms in a significant proportion of patients; or, resulting in debilitating side effects. However, developing new medications is a lengthy and expensive process. Many promising compounds fail to prove effective in clinical testing after years of preliminary research.

To address this urgent issue, NIMH is working to accelerate the pace of drug discovery through an ‘experimental medicine’ approach to evaluating novel interventions for mental illnesses. This fast-fail strategy is designed not only to identify quickly those compounds that merit more extensive testing, but also to identify targets in the brain for the development of additional candidate compounds. The strategy calls for small trials focused on proof-of-concept experimental medicine paradigms to demonstrate target engagement, safety, and early signs of efficacy. In FY 2013, NIMH launched new contracts for Fast-Fail Trials (FAST) in Autism Spectrum Disorders (FAST-AS), Mood and Anxiety Spectrum Disorders (FAST-MAS), and Psychotic Spectrum Disorders (FAST-PS), as well as Rapidly-Acting Treatments for Treatment-Resistant Depression (RAPID).

Moreover, NIMH intends to issue funding opportunity announcement (FOAs) to support the efficient identification and testing of novel interventions for mental disorders. Trials supported under these FOAs will be designed so that results, whether positive or negative, provide information critical to deciding whether to conduct further development or testing of the intervention. NIMH will encourage studies of novel interventions with a rigorous empirical basis for testing in humans and clinical populations, which include behavioral, biologics-based, cognitive, device-based, interpersonal, pharmacological, physiological, or combined approaches. Trials funded via this initiative are anticipated to commence in FY 2015. NIMH anticipates that the results from these studies will speed the translation of emerging basic science findings of mechanisms and processes underlying mental disorders into novel interventions that can be efficiently tested for their promise in restoring function and reducing symptoms for those living with mental disorders.

Developmental Translational Research

The Division of Developmental Translational Research (DDTR) stimulates and promotes an integrated program of research across basic behavioral and psychological processes, environmental processes, brain development, genetics, developmental psychopathology, and therapeutic interventions. The Division’s mission is to translate findings from basic research into an improved understanding of the neurodevelopmental origins and trajectories of mental disorders, with the ultimate goal of preventing and curing mental disorders that begin in childhood and adolescence.

In FY 2013, NIMH awarded funding to a new Autism Center of Excellence (ACE). The researchers are conducting a multi-site trial to provide information on what effects different styles of early intervention for young children with autism, and the intensity of treatment, have on children's development. The researchers will also investigate whether toddlers who received early intervention in a previous clinical trial show long-term benefits from the intervention. Another area of focus for DDTR is eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating), which are associated with significant morbidity and mortality, as well as frequent relapse after treatment. In FY 2014, DDTR is supporting an initiative to increase integrative, hypothesis-driven studies of brain circuits and other biological mechanisms underlying eating disorders. Research supported by this initiative will lead to innovations in identifying the causes of and novel treatment targets for eating disorders. Finally, DDTR continues to lead the NIMH Biobehavioral Research Awards for Innovative New Scientists initiative (BRAINS), which supports innovative and ambitious research proposals from early stage investigators with the potential for significantly advancing the understanding of the causes, functional mechanisms, and treatment of mental disorders. The most promising new investigators are supported to develop independent, high risk/high payoff research programs that address the highest priorities for NIMH.

Budget Policy: The FY 2015 President’s Budget estimate is $163.104 million, an increase of $1.261 million, or 0.8 percent above the FY 2014 Enacted level.

Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science

The Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science (DNBBS) provides support for research in the areas of basic neuroscience, genetics, basic behavioral science, research training, resource development, and drug discovery. In cooperation with other NIMH programs and the wider research community, this program ensures that relevant basic scientific knowledge is generated and used in pursuit of improved methods to the diagnose, treat, and prevent mental and behavioral disorders.

NIMH funds grants across a range of research topics to facilitate understanding of the basic neurobiology that underlies mental disorders. Recent studies have emphasized the exciting role of the microbiome—the microbial ecosystems that inhabit the gut—in human health and behavior. In FY 2015, DNBBS will support basic neuroscience studies to elucidate mechanisms through which gut microbes influence brain development, neurotransmitter signaling, and animal behavior. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop a clearer understanding of how environmental factors influence brain function and individual susceptibility to mental disorders. Similarly, NIMH will support genetic studies aimed at describing the functional elements of the human genome that do not code for proteins, with the aim of understanding their role(s) in the biological mechanisms underlying mental disorders. Finally, NIMH will fund multidisciplinary research groups to use patient-derived reprogrammed cells, such as induced pluripotent stem cells, to develop platforms for identifying novel targets for drug development and developing new treatments for mental disorders.

Budget Policy: The FY 2015 President’s Budget estimate is $496.215 million, an increase of $20.382 million, or 4.3 percent above the FY 2014 Enacted level.

Services and Intervention Research

The Division of Services and Intervention Research supports research that evaluates the effectiveness of psychosocial, pharmacological, somatic, rehabilitative, and combined interventions to prevent or treat mental and behavioral disorders. The Division evaluates interventions for children, adolescents, and adults, focusing on acute and long-term symptom reduction, remission, and improved community functioning. The Division also supports mental health services research, including interventions to improve the quality and outcomes of care; organization and system-level interventions to enhance service delivery; and, strategies for widespread dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatments into routine care settings.

NIMH supports the Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) Project, which aims to prevent the long-term disability associated with schizophrenia by intervening at the earliest stages of illness. The RAISE Project comprises two separate, but complementary, research programs. The RAISE Early Treatment Program (RAISE ETP), which has enrolled 400 patients with early psychosis in a trial comparing two treatment approaches for schizophrenia and related disorders, will conclude in FY 2014. The RAISE Connection Program has successfully integrated a comprehensive early intervention program for schizophrenia and related disorders into an existing medical care system. This implementation study is now evaluating strategies for reducing duration of untreated psychosis among persons with early-stage psychotic illness. When individuals with serious mental illnesses (SMI) such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder progress to later stages of SMI, they become more likely to develop—and die prematurely—from medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and pulmonary disease than members of the general population. NIMH funded three projects in FY 2013 to advance the health of people with SMI, and anticipates funding several large-scale clinical trials aimed at reducing premature mortality with people with SMI in FY 2014. Finally, the Division launched three initiatives in FY 2013 to stimulate services research to improve functional and health outcomes for people with autism spectrum disorder at three life stages:
early childhood, transition to adulthood, and adulthood; funding is anticipated to begin in FY 2014 and continue through FY 2015 and beyond.

Budget Policy: The FY 2015 President’s Budget estimate is $139.032 million, an increase of $1.025 million, or 0.7 percent above the FY 2014 Enacted level.

Program Portrait: Early Psychosis Prediction and Prevention (EP3)

FY 2014 Level: $25.000
FY 2015 Level: $30.000
Change +$5.000

As many as 100,000 young Americans experience a first episode of psychosis (FEP) each year.1 The early phase of psychotic illness is a critical opportunity to alter the downward trajectory and social, academic, and vocational challenges associated with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. The timing of treatment is critical; short- and long-term outcomes are better when individuals begin treatment close to the onset of psychosis. Early identification, rapid referral to specialty FEP care, and engagement in phase-specific treatment are essential to shortening the duration of untreated psychosis and pre-empting functional deterioration. However, the majority of people with mental illness experience significant delays to seeking care—up to two years in some cases. Such delays result in periods of increased risk for violence, especially suicide.

For more than a decade, NIMH-funded research has focused on the prodrome, the high-risk period preceding the onset of the first psychotic episode of schizophrenia. Based on the success of the multi-site North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS) and many related studies that focused on early prediction and prevention of psychosis, NIMH has launched Early Psychosis Prediction and Prevention (EP3) initiative. EP3 aims to accelerate research on detecting risk states for psychotic disorders, preventing the onset of psychosis in high risk individuals, and reducing the duration of untreated psychosis in people who have experienced FEP.

The first two EP3 funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) have been released: Research to Improve the Care of Persons at Clinical High Risk for Psychotic Disorders (RFA-MH-14-210, RFA-MH-14-211, and RFA-MH-14-212) and Reducing the Duration of Untreated Psychosis in the United States (PAR-13-187 and PAR-13-188). Through these FOAs, NIMH aims to support research in FY 2015 and beyond on: effective interventions targeting symptoms and functional difficulties associated with risk for psychosis; mediators and mechanisms of action of interventions; stepped-care models of early psychosis intervention; the feasibility of implementing such approaches in community-based treatment settings; and, reproducible strategies for substantially reducing the duration of untreated psychosis among persons with FEP by removing significant bottlenecks in the pathway to specialty FEP care.

1 Calculated from McGrath J, Saha S, Chant D, Welham J. (2008). Schizophrenia: a concise overview of incidence, prevalence, and mortality. Epidemiologic Reviews, 30:67-76.

Program Portrait: Research Strategies for Suicide Prevention

FY 2014 Level: $21.163
FY 2015 Level: $26.163
Difference +$ 5.000

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for the loss of more than 38,000 American lives each year.1 In contrast to the rates of homicides and traffic fatalities in this country, the rate of suicides has not declined. To transform the suicide prevention research landscape and accelerate progress, NIMH has undertaken several initiatives to enhance suicide prevention efforts research strategies.

NIMH took a lead role in a public-private partnership with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Research Prioritization Task Force to develop the Nation’s first suicide research agenda, A Prioritized Research Agenda for Suicide Prevention: An Action Plan to Save Lives. The Research Agenda includes an overarching goal to advance suicide prevention research more rapidly, seeking ways to reduce suicide deaths and attempts by 20 percent in five years and by 40 percent or greater in 10 years, if multiple actions, informed by research, were fully implemented. The Research Agenda includes 30 scientific objectives that span basic, clinical, and services and interventional research, as well as address a number of research infrastructure needs.

A second major suicide prevention effort focuses on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and on suicide in the military. The National Research Action Plan (NRAP), a coordinated effort by the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, and Education, was created in response to the President’s 2012 Executive Order calling for improved access to mental health services for veterans, service members, and military families.2 In the NRAP, the Departments outlined coordinated research efforts to accelerate discovery of the causes and mechanisms underlying PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and other co-occurring outcomes like suicide, depression, and substance abuse disorders. The plan describes research to translate rapidly what is learned into new effective prevention strategies and clinical innovations; biomarkers to detect disorders early and accurately; and efficacious and safe treatments to improve function and quality of life and to promote community participation and reintegration. The NRAP also describes research to accelerate the implementation of proven means of preventing and treating these devastating conditions. Many collaborative efforts across Departments are already under way; NIMH will use the NRAP to inform research priorities for reducing morbidity and mortality associated with PTSD.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS): www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars  accessed October 2013.

2 Full text of the Executive Order may be found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/31/executive-order-improving-access-mental-health-services-veterans-service 

AIDS Research

The Division of AIDS Research (DAR) supports research and research training to develop and disseminate behavioral interventions that prevent HIV/AIDS transmission; understand the factors that affect adherence to therapeutic or preventive regimens; clarify the biological, psychological, and functional mental health effects of HIV/AIDS infection; understand the neurological manifestations and complications of HIV; and, alleviate those effects among infected and affected individuals.

Recent research advances in HIV prevention using combined biomedical and behavioral approaches have generated tremendous optimism that a significant decrease in HIV incidence is achievable. NIMH fosters the effective integration of evidence-based behavioral science and combination biomedical strategies to achieve this goal. DAR continues to target scientifically sound behavioral research on testing and implementing novel interventions to prevent further spread of HIV and optimize outcomes in HIV-infected individuals. DAR is currently supporting research on components of the HIV treatment cascade and to foster the development of new and improved methods to monitor adherence to treatment and care. The Division has also released a funding opportunity announcement to stimulate research on methods to eliminate HIV in infected individuals by eradicating the virus from biological reservoirs in the central nervous system, thereby leading toward a cure. Through its commitment to bringing multidisciplinary expertise to agency-wide strategic planning efforts, DAR is working to ensure that effective integration of biomedical and behavioral approaches is accomplished, thereby advancing the march towards an AIDS-free generation.

Budget Policy: The FY 2015 President’s Budget estimate is $145.920 million, a decrease of $0.110 million, or 0.1 percent below the FY 2014 Enacted level.

Intramural Research Programs (IRP)

The Division of Intramural Research Programs (DIRP) is the internal research component of NIMH, complementing the Institute’s extramural grant funding program to the research community outside of NIH. DIRP scientists investigate basic, clinical, and translational aspects of brain function and behavior; conduct state-of-the-art research, through the use of unique NIH resources; and, provide an environment conducive to the training of the next generation of clinical and basic scientists.

In FY 2013, DIRP researchers continued to employ cutting-edge technologies to explore the relationship between genes, brain, and behavior in healthy development and in childhood-onset mental disorders. DIRP is currently conducting the largest pediatric imaging project of its kind, with over 3,000 brain imaging scans completed at the start of FY 2014. In addition, DIRP researchers continue to explore novel medications for treatment-resistant depression, including ketamine and other experimental fast-acting antidepressant medications, and to identify biomarkers for predicting how well an individual with depression will respond to such rapid-acting antidepressants.

Budget Policy: The FY 2015 President’s Budget estimate is $164.638 million, an increase of $1.630 million or 1.0 percent over the FY 2014 Enacted level.

Research Management and Support (RMS)

The RMS program provides administrative, budgetary, logistical, and scientific support in the review, award, and monitoring of research grants, training awards, and research and development contracts. RMS functions include: strategic planning, coordination, and evaluation of the Institute’s programs; regulatory compliance; international coordination; and, liaison with other federal agencies, Congress, and the public.

In FY 2013, the Institute oversaw 2,610 research grants, 374 training grants, and 146 research and development contracts. Moreover, in FY 2013, NIMH proactively completed six large-scale internal risk management reviews and implemented one ongoing review to examine and assess the effectiveness of management controls in four major areas of responsibility. The purpose of the Risk Management Program is to identify any weaknesses and detect potential fraud, waste, or abuse, and take necessary actions to minimize the risk of recurrence. The NIMH Risk Management Program implements new guidelines, updates current guidelines, and tracks corrective action plans in an on-going effort to improve internal policies and procedures.

Budget Policy: The FY 2015 President’s Budget estimate is $72.991 million, an increase of $0.723 million or 1.0 percent over the FY 2014 Enacted level.

Budget Authority by Object Class

(Dollars in Thousands)
  FY 2014
Enacted
FY 2015
President's Budget
FY 2015 +/- FY 2014
Total compensable workyears:      
Full-time employment 575 0 -575
Full-time equivalent of overtime and holiday hours 0 0 0
Average ES salary $175 $177 $2
Average GM/GS grade 12.1 12.1 0.0
Average GM/GS salary $102 $103 $1
Average salary, grade established by act of July 1, 1944 (42 U.S.C. 207) $127 $129 $1
Average salary of ungraded positions $0 $0 $0
OBJECT CLASSES FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2015
Personnel Compensation:      
11.1 Full-time Permanent $39,882 $40,281 $399
11.3 Other Than Full-Time Permanent 23,113 23,344 231
11.5 Other Personnel Compensation 512 517 5
11.7 Military Personnel 252 254 2
11.8 Special Personnel Services Payments 8,292 8,375 83
11.9 Subtotal, Personnel Compensation $72,050 $72,771 $721
12.1 Civilian Personnel Benefits $18,755 $19,411 $656
12.2 Military Personnel Benefits 103 104 1
13.0 Benefits for Former Personnel 0 0 0
Subtotal, Pay Costs $90,908 $92,286 $1,378
21.0 Travel and Transportation of Persons $2,054 $2,089 $35
22.0 Transportation of Things 76 77 1
23.1 Rental Payments to GSA 0 0 0
23.2 Rental Payments to Others 0 0 0
23.3 Communications, Utilities and Miscellaneous Charges 1,548 1,574 26
24.0 Printing and Reproduction 139 141 2
25.1 Consulting Services $3,611 $3,671 $60
25.2 Other Services 21,046 20,819 -228
25.3 Purchase of Goods and Services from Government Accounts $139,464 $143,480 $4,016
25.4 Operation and Maintenance of Facilities $1,212 $1,232 $21
25.5 Research and Development Contracts 54,935 55,868 934
25.6 Medical Care 220 228 8
25.7 Operation and Maintenance of Equipment 2,757 2,804 47
25.8 Subsistence and Support of Persons 0 0 0
25.0 Subtotal, Other Contractual Services $223,244 $228,102 $4,857
26.0 Supplies and Materials $5,208 $5,297 $89
31.0 Equipment 9,187 9,344 156
32.0 Land and Structures 0 0 0
33.0 Investments and Loans 0 0 0
41.0 Grants, Subsidies and Contributions 1,084,460 1,101,166 16,706
42.0 Insurance Claims and Indemnities 0 0 0
43.0 Interest and Dividends 0 0 (0)
44.0 Refunds 0 0 0
Subtotal, Non-Pay Costs $1,325,917 $1,347,790 $21,873
Total Budget Authority by Object $1,416,825 $1,440,076 $23,251

Includes FTEs whose payroll obligations are supported by the NIH Common Fund.

[Top]

Salaries and Expenses

(Dollars in Thousands)
Object Classes FY 2014 Enacted FY 2015 President's Budget FY 2015 +/- FY 2014
Personnel Compensation:      
Full-time permanent (11.1) $39,882 $40,281 $399
Other than full-time permanent (11.3) 23,113 23,344 231
Other personnel compensation (11.5) 512 517 5
Military personnel (11.7) 252 254 2
Special personnel services payments (11.8) 8,292 8,375 83
Total Personnel Compensation (11.9) $72,050 $72,771 $721
Civilian personnel benefits (12.1) $18,755 $19,411 $656
Military personnel benefits (12.2) 103 104 1
Benefits to former personnel (13.0) 0 0 0
Subtotal, Pay Costs $90,908 $92,286 $1,378
Travel (21.0) $2,054 $2,089 $35
Transportation of things (22.0) 76 77 1
Rental payments to others (23.2) 0 0 0
Communications, utilities and miscellaneous charges (23.3) 1,548 1,574 26
Printing and reproduction (24.0) 139 141 2
Other Contractual Services:      
Consulting services (25.1) 2,904 2,953 49
Other services (25.2) 21,046 20,819 -228
Purchases from government accounts (25.3) 101,934 98,664 -3,270
Operation and maintenance of facilities (25.4) 1,212 1,232 21
Operation and maintenance of equipment (25.7) 2,757 2,804 47
Subsistence and support of persons (25.8) 0 0 0
Subtotal Other Contractual Services $129,853 $126,472 -$3,381
Supplies and materials (26.0) $5,208 $5,297 $89
Subtotal, Non-Pay Costs $138,878 $135,651 -$3,227
Total, Administrative Costs $229,786 $227,937 -$1,849

[Top]

Detail of Full-Time Equivalent Employment (FTE)

Office/Division FY 2013
Actual
FY 2014
Est.
FY 2015
Est.
Civilian Military Total Civilian Military Total Civilian Military Total
Office of the Director                  
Direct: 133     133   133 133   133
Reimbursable: - - - - - - - - -
Total: 133     133   133 133   133
Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science                  
Direct: 26   26 26   26 26   26
Reimbursable: - - - - - - - - -
Total: 26   26 26   26 26   26
Division of AIDS Research                  
Direct: 15   15 15   15 15   15
Reimbursable: - - - - - - - - -
Total: 15   15 15   15 15   15
Division of Services and Intervention Research                  
Direct: 20 1 21 20 1 21 20 1 21
Reimbursable: - - - - - - - - -
Total: 20 1 21 20 1 21 20 1 21
Division of Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development                  
Direct: 20   20 20   20 20   20
Reimbursable: - - - - - - - - -
Total: 20   20 20   20 20   20
Division of Developmental Translational Research                  
Direct: 17   17 17   17 17   17
Reimbursable: - - - - - - - - -
Total: 17   17 17   17 17   17
Division of Extramural Activities                  
Direct: 47   47 47   47 47   47
Reimbursable: - - - - - - - - -
Total: 47   47 47   47 47   47
Division of Intramural Research Programs                  
Direct: 295 1 296 295 1 296 295 1 296
Reimbursable: - - - - - - - - -
Total: 295 1 296 295 1 296 295 1 296
Total 573 2 575 573 2 575 573 2 575
Includes FTEs whose payroll obligations are supported by NIH Common Fund.
Office/Division FY 2013
Actual
FY 2014
Est.
FY 2015
Est.
Civilian Military Total Civilian Military Total Civilian Military Total
FTEs supported by funds from Cooperative Research and Development Agreements. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Fiscal Year Average GM/GS Grade
2011 12.1
2012 12.3
2013 12.1
2014 12.1
2015 12.1

[Top]

Detail of Positions

Grade FY 2013
Actual
FY 2014
Enacted
FY 2015
President's Budget
Total, ES Positions 1 1 1
Total, ES Salary 172,832 174,560 176,829
GM/GS-15 57 57 57
GM/GS-14 74 74 74
GM/GS-13 93 93 93
GM/GS-12 61 61 61
GM/GS-11 49 49 49
GM/GS-10 1 1 1
GM/GS-9 29 29 29
GM/GS-8 21 21 21
GM/GS-7 18 18 18
GM/GS-6 4 4 4
GM/GS-5 2 2 2
GM/GS-4 0 0 0
GM/GS-3 2 2 2
GM/GS-2 0 0 0
GM/GS-1 0 0 0
Subtotal (GM/GS Grades) 411 411 411
Grades established by Act of July 1, 1944 (42 U.S.C. 207): 0 0 0
Assistant Surgeon General 2 2 2
Director Grade 0 0 0
Senior Grade 0 0 0
Full Grade 0 0 0
Senior Assistant Grade 0 0 0
Assistant Grade 0 0 0
Subtotal 2 2 2
Ungraded 0 0 0
Total permanent positions 412 412 0
Total positions, end of year 595 595 0
Total full-time equivalent (FTE) employment, end of year 575 575 0
Average ES salary 172,832 174,560 176,829
Average GM/GS grade 12.1 12.1 12.1
Average GM/GS salary 100,752 101,760 103,083

Includes FTEs whose payroll obligations are supported by the NIH Common Fund.

[Top]