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Strategic Research Priorities

The NIMH Strategic Plan provides a framework to focus and accelerate mental health research so that breakthroughs in science become breakthroughs that can tangibly improve mental healthcare and the lives of people living with and affected by mental illness. The four objectives of the Plan describe the continuum of mental health research, ranging from understanding basic pathophysiology, to defining the trajectories of mental illness, to developing innovative treatment and prevention strategies, to ensuring public health impact.

For the Institute to most effectively pursue its mission of transforming the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses, we request that all new and competing applications be targeted to the research priority areas within the four objectives of the Strategic Plan. We invite the scientific community to apply for funding in these priority areas using the NIH Parent Announcements for Investigator-Initiated Applications , NIMH-Sponsored Program Announcements and NIMH-Participating Program Announcements, and NIMH-Sponsored Requests for Applications and NIMH-Participating Requests for Applications. By using the Plan to guide funding decisions, we hope to accelerate the translation of research findings into public health impact.

NIMH is also committed to supporting research that will address the public health challenge presented by HIV/AIDS. The Institute’s HIV/AIDS program will continue to be guided by the Trans-NIH Plan for HIV-Related Research  coordinated by the NIH Office of AIDS Research .


Research Priorities are further guided by workgroup reports of the National Advisory Mental Health Council and the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research .

Questions? Please contact us.