Skip to content

NAMHC Concept Clearances

Approved Concepts for Requests for Applications (RFAs), Program Announcements (PAs), and Requests for Proposals (RFPs)

Specific information on each initiative, including receipt date, will be available once the RFA, PA, or RFP has been published. This page provides links to recently cleared concepts for upcoming solicitations and presents key information, including the objectives and descriptions of future solicitations and a direct link to NIMH staff contacts. The NIMH staff contacts can provide additional information on specific concepts, where available and appropriate.

This listing of potential future initiatives is meant to provide the earliest possible alert to potential applicants in order to maximize application preparation time. While the NIMH plans to proceed with these initiatives, their publication and timing is not certain and depends on sufficient funds being available. The titles and brief descriptions are consistent with the information available at the time of concept clearance. The resultant RFAs, PAs, RFPs may differ from the concepts in the final wording of the titles or other aspects.

The NAMHC conducts most, but not all, NIMH concept clearances. Concepts may also be cleared through other public venues.

For more information, see the NIH Guide’s list of published  RFAs and  PAs and NIMH Contracts.

Submit comments to NIMHreferral@mail.nih.gov.

To obtain a copy of Concept Clearances prior to 2013, please contact the nimhwebmaster@mail.nih.gov.

Concepts

Renewal of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

The primary goal is to create a diverse and well characterized cohort to understand how experiences in childhood interact with each other and a child’s changing biology to affect brain development and social, behavioral, mental and physical health outcomes.

Continue Reading…

Computational Methods for Integrative Analysis of Multi-omic and Single-cell Data to Elucidate Cell Type-specific Gene Regulatory Architecture for Mental Disorders

The goal of this initiative is to encourage research that will advance our understanding of brain cell type-specific gene regulation to elucidate the pathogenesis of mental disorders.

Continue Reading…

NIH NeuroBioBank

The NIH-funded NeuroBioBank (NBB) was established in September 2013 as a national resource for investigators utilizing human post-mortem brain tissue and related biospecimens for their research to understand conditions of the nervous system. We seek to begin a recompetition for fiscal year 2019 to continue this largely successful program. The envisioned NBB 2.0 would benefit from lessons learned in the first iteration and would aim to increase the number of brains collected and distributed.

Continue Reading…

Secondary Data Analysis to Examine Long-Term and Cross-Over Effects of Prevention Interventions

The goal of this initiative is to encourage research to integrate/harmonize existing data sets from preventive intervention trials implemented early in life to: 1) examine risk and protective factors relevant to later mental health outcomes in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood; and 2) determine whether preventive interventions delivered earlier in life have long-term effects, and cross-over effects (e.g., unanticipated beneficial effects), on important mental health outcomes, including serious mental illness (e.g., depression, anxiety, suicide ideation and behaviors, psychosis behaviors).

Continue Reading…

Understanding the Mechanisms of Neuropsychiatric Side Effects and Neurological Toxicities of HIV Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART)

The goal of this initiative is to encourage innovative research to identify risk-factors and understand mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric side effects and neurological toxicities associated with HIV treatment, and to identify modifiable targets or individuals at high risk for timely interventions.

Continue Reading…

The Trans-NIH baby Brain Cognitive Development (bBCD) Study

The goal of this project is to understand the long-term impacts of pre- and perinatal drug and adverse environmental (e.g., parental neglect, physical abuse) exposures on brain development and social/behavioral/academic achievement and how these in turn impact risk for substance use and mental illness.

Continue Reading…

Implementation Research to Inform and Enhance President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Delivery

The goal of this initiative is to support implementation science research that will inform delivery and scale-up of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) at President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) sites.

Continue Reading…

Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation Clinical Trials to Optimize the Collaborative Care Model for Patients with Opioid Use Disorders and Mental Health Conditions

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), in partnership with other NIH Institutes, proposes research to adapt collaborative care – a specific service delivery model for treating mental/behavioral health conditions in primary care settings – to meet the needs of individuals with opioid use disorders (OUDs) and co-occurring mental health conditions.

Continue Reading…

Novel Imaging Approaches for Detection of Persistent HIV in the CNS, HIV-Associated Inflammation, and Molecular Pathology

The goal of this initiative is to encourage the use of current and novel imaging technologies to detect persistent, latent, and/or reactivated HIV, HIV viral products and associated pathology/inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS) in virally suppressed individuals on ART.

Continue Reading…

Applying Computationally-Defined Behaviors for Back-Translation in Psychiatry

The objective of this clearance is to apply computational approaches to develop parametrically detailed and back-translatable behavioral assays across mental-health relevant domains of function.

Continue Reading…

Promoting Reductions in Intersectional StigMa (PRISM) to Improve the HIV Prevention Continuum

The goals of this initiative are twofold: 1) to advance measurements of intersectional stigma (multiple stigmatized identities) and examine the mechanisms and pathways by which it is a barrier to HIV testing and linkage to prevention; and 2) to develop and test interventions to reduce intersectional stigma and improve the uptake of HIV testing and linkage to ongoing HIV prevention among key populations at substantial risk for HIV infection.

Continue Reading…

Building in vivo Preclinical Measures of Circuit Engagement for Therapeutic Development

The primary goal of this initiative is to develop non-invasive measures of brain activity in preclinical species for assessing functional domains that may be impaired in mental illnesses.

Continue Reading…

Addressing the Role of Violence on HIV Care and Viral Suppression

The goals of this initiative are to (1) advance understanding of the role of violence on engagement and retention in HIV care, HIV medication adherence, and viral suppression, and (2) develop and test novel interventions to improve HIV outcomes for individuals who have experienced violence.

Continue Reading…

Early Screening for Autism Spectrum

The primary goal of this initiative is to encourage research that would develop and validate new screening methods for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that can be used in infancy (0-12 months of age).

Continue Reading…

Research to Inform Stepped-Care Interventions for Persons at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis

The goals of this concept are to encourage research to test the feasibility and effectiveness of a stepped-care intervention model; to improve symptoms and functioning for individuals at “clinical high risk” (CHR) for psychosis; and to reduce rates of transition to a psychotic disorder.

Continue Reading…

Computational Models for Validating Dimensional Approaches to Psychopathology

The primary goal of this initiative is to apply sophisticated computational (theory- and data-driven) approaches to research on the etiology and pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders that utilizes a dimensional framework (e.g., Research Domain Criteria (RDoC)).

Continue Reading…

Development and Validation of Technologies for Rapid Isolation and Characterization of Extracellular Vesicles of Central Nervous System Origin

This concept was developed by the NIMH to contribute to the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, a framework to enhance cooperative activities among NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices that jointly support neuroscience-related research.

Continue Reading…

Leveraging Electronic Medical Records for Psychiatric Genetic Research

The purpose of this initiative is to support projects that implement creative and robust molecular epidemiologic approaches that leverage existing electronic medical records (EMR) from large, population-based cohorts.

Continue Reading…

Novel Approaches to Understanding the Mechanisms of the Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Alzheimer’s and Advancing Therapy Development

The goal of this initiative is to encourage research that will enhance knowledge of mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in dementia so as to develop novel treatments.

Continue Reading…

The NIMH Psychoactive Drug Screening Program (PDSP)

The goal of the NIMH PDSP is to provide the research community with access to broad screening capabilities in the form of pharmacological and functional assays.

Continue Reading…

Paving the Way for Assessing Novel Pediatric Interventions

Pediatric clinical trials that investigate drug candidates in psychiatry are rare. Yet these trials are critical for evaluating safety, tolerance, efficacy, and optimal dosing in developing children. Molecular targets most relevant to the developing central nervous system (CNS) may be very different from ones appropriate in treating psychiatric disorders in adults. It is important to establish a pediatric trial model where drug candidates can be tested safely, even if the drug candidate has not received formal approval for any psychiatric indication in adults.

Continue Reading…

Rare Genetic Syndromes as a Window into the Genetic Architecture of Mental Disorders

This initiative would foster collaborative and coordinated efforts to characterize the underlying genetic architecture of diverse neuropsychiatric phenotypes within and across rare genetic syndromes and identify the shared genetic risk with idiopathic neuropsychiatric disorders.

Continue Reading…

A Practice-Based Research Network to Transform Mental Health Care: Science, Service Delivery & Sustainability

The goal of this initiative is to support a practice-based research network to transform the development, delivery, and sustainability of evidence-based mental health practices and services.

Continue Reading…

NIMH Career Enhancement Award to Advance Autism Services for Adults and Transition-Age Youth

The goal of this initiative is to rapidly increase the capacity of the NIMH investigator workforce to develop and test the effectiveness of a broad range of services that address the needs of adults and transition-age youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Continue Reading…

Dysregulation and Proximal Risk for Suicide

The goal of this initiative is to encourage research to understand the mechanisms by which dysregulation dynamically interacts with cognition and mood to confer imminent risk for suicide, and to identify modifiable targets for timely interventions during high risk periods.

Continue Reading…

Explainable Artificial Intelligence for Decoding and Modulating Behaviorally-Activated Brain Circuits

The goal of this initiative is to solicit applications in the area of eXplainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) applied to NIMH’s mental health priorities. Current machine learning approaches focus on classifying and predicting brain and behavioral signals but their solutions still remain uninterpretable. XAI would retain prediction accuracy while endowing these models with explanatory features.

Continue Reading…

HIV Healthcare Systems Approaches to Improve Viral Suppression (HH-SAIVS)

The purpose of this initiative is to identify, develop, and test healthcare system interventions, or healthcare delivery changes, that could improve human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) viral suppression.

Continue Reading…

Mobile and Connected Health Interventions to Improve Care Continuum and Health Outcomes among Youth with HIV

The goal of this initiative is to develop and test the next generation of interventions delivered through mobile health (mHealth) technology to improve testing, linkage to care, retention in care, and antiretroviral therapy (ART) medication adherence among youth living with human immunodeficiency virus (YLWH).

Continue Reading…

Altered Neural Pathways, Receptors and Networks in HIV-induced CNS Dysfunction

The goal of this initiative is to encourage research on understanding altered neuronal networks and pathways in HIV-1 induced central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction in the context of viral suppression and antiretroviral therapy (ART), by utilizing novel research models and diagnostic tools to bridge the gap between pathogenesis research and observed clinical outcomes.

Continue Reading…

Transdisciplinary Research Centers to Advance Clinical Practice in Mental Health

The goal of this initiative is to support transdisciplinary teams of clinical and mental health services researchers, behavioral and social scientists, health information and communications technologists, health systems engineers, decision scientists, and mental health stakeholders (e.g., service users, family members, clinicians, payers) to engage in high-impact studies that will significantly advance clinical practice and generate knowledge to fuel transformation of mental health care in the United States.

Continue Reading…

Limited Competition for Renewal of the National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium

This initiative aims to support the continuation of the National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium (NNTC).

Continue Reading…

Personalized Mental Health Navigator to Promote Early Engagement, Linkage and Coordination of Needed Mental Health Services for Children and Adolescents

This initiative proposes to develop and test the effectiveness of a navigator model designed to promote early engagement, linkage and coordination of mental health treatment and services for children and adolescents who are identified with early onset mental illness symptoms, or are at high risk for developing mental illnesses.

Continue Reading…

NIMH Center for Genomic Research Resources for Advancing Psychiatric Genetics

The objective of this initiative is to sustain a centralized national biorepository which, under the rubric of the NIMH Human Genetics Initiative (HGI), will serve as the principal biorepository for genetic studies of psychiatric disorders.

Continue Reading…

Research to Support the Reduction and Elimination of Mental Health Disparities

The goal of this initiative is to foster research across the NIMH Strategic Objectives that targets the reduction and elimination of mental health disparities among racial and ethnic groups in the United States.

Continue Reading…

NIMH Biobehavioral Research Awards for Innovative New Scientists (BRAINS)

The goal of the NIMH Biobehavioral Research Awards for Innovative New Scientists (BRAINS) program is to support the research and research career development of outstanding, exceptionally productive scientists who are in the early, formative stages of their careers and who plan to make a long term career commitment to research in specific mission areas of the NIMH.

Continue Reading…

Applied Research towards Zero Suicide Healthcare Systems

The goal of this initiative is to reduce the burden of suicide events in healthcare systems through intervention effectiveness and implementation research. Specifically, this initiative aims to expand the evidence base for the Zero Suicide project’s practice-to-research efforts, creating a stronger basis for dissemination and large-scale implementation of effective risk detection, intervention, and service delivery strategies for suicide prevention.

Continue Reading…

Role of Myeloid Cells in Persistence and Eradication of HIV-1 Reservoirs from the Brain

The goal of this initiative is to stimulate research on mechanisms of HIV persistence in myeloid cells and develop strategies to target this reservoir in the central nervous system (CNS).

Continue Reading…

The Neural Mechanisms of Integrated Social and Emotional Representation

This initiative aims to stimulate and support research investigating the neural circuits and dynamic patterns of brain activity involved in the perception, interpretation, and representation of multi-dimensional social and emotional cues.

Continue Reading…

Reducing the Burden of Suicide among American Indian and Alaska Native Youth

The overall goal of this initiative is to stimulate research focused on preventing suicide and promoting resilience in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth.

Continue Reading…

Adult Maturational Changes and Dysfunctions in Emotion Regulation

This initiative aims to stimulate mechanistic research on how age- and sex-related changes in emotion processing over the adult life course interact with and may inform the understanding of affective dysregulation in adult mental disorders.

Continue Reading…

Pragmatic Strategies for Assessing Psychotherapy Quality in Practice

This initiative is intended to support the development and testing of pragmatic tools and strategies for measuring the quality of psychotherapy delivered in practice settings.

Continue Reading…

Improving Outcomes Associated with Mental Health First Aid

The goal of this initiative is to further the evidence base for Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), a widely disseminated mental health course in which non-mental health professionals are trained to identify the signs and symptoms of mental illness, in order to facilitate early detection and intervention. Despite wide dissemination, there is little evidence of the program’s impact on referral to and receipt of mental health services or a reduction in mental health symptoms.

Continue Reading…

Preventing Suicide in the Juvenile Justice System

The goal of this initiative is to support research on how to use the structure and legal leverage of the juvenile justice system to detect and prevent suicidality in youth who come in contact with that system.

Continue Reading…

Understanding and Addressing the Multi-Level Influences on the Use of HIV Prevention Strategies among Young Women in Sub-Saharan Africa

This initiative aims to: (1) enhance our understanding of the multiple factors that influence HIV prevention strategy use among adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa, by looking at the multiple levels of influence on adolescent girls and young women’s behavior (i.e., individual, peer, partner, family, and community, as well as cultural and social norms) that may influence uptake and adherence; and, (2) develop and test novel interventions to address these factors and enhance the uptake and adherence to HIV prevention strategies among adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Continue Reading…

Improving the HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Cascade

The objective of this initiative is to develop and test interventions to improve the screening, engagement, and retention of high-risk populations in HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) clinical care, and to support both adherence to PrEP drug regimens and persistence on PrEP drug regimens among persons at high-risk for HIV infection in the United States.

Continue Reading…

First-Generation RDoC Measurement Elements

This initiative aims to develop and implement an operational template for including standard data elements in Research Domain Criteria (RDoC)-themed research, and to produce an initial, provisional set of recommended standard measures for each Domain and Construct within the RDoC Matrix, with the goal of facilitating data sharing. Where standard measures do not current exist, this initiative aims to support research to develop new measures.

Continue Reading…

Early Psychosis Intervention Network (EPINET): A Learning Healthcare System for Early Serious Mental Illness

This initiative aims to create a national Early Psychosis Intervention Network (EPINET) among treatment centers that offer evidence-based specialty care to persons experiencing subthreshold psychotic symptoms or a first episode of psychosis.

Continue Reading…

Adaptation/Optimization of Technology (ADOPTech) to Support Social Functioning

This initiative aims to support the development and testing of new, cutting-edge technologies to enhance functioning in individuals with social impairments. Projects funded under this mechanism would create “social prosthetics”, or devices that would augment performance in this domain.

Continue Reading…

Lifespan Human Connectome Project: Children and Adolescents

The goal of this initiative is to extend the experimental protocols developed through the Human Connectome Project (HCP) to children and adolescents to investigate the structural and functional changes that occur in the brain during typical development. Expansion of the HCP to include a broad range of subjects has the potential to significantly enhance the clinical relevance of the data and provide developmental benchmarks for understanding pathological processes in the etiology of human brain disorders.

Continue Reading…

Going to Scale with Mental Health Innovations in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

This initiative aims to (a) support research on scaling up delivery of science-based mental health interventions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs); and (b) enhance regional capacity to conduct mental health research. Support will be provided for teams composed of research institutions, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations, providers, and mental health advocates to conduct state-of-the-science mental health services implementation research. Studies will evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of strategies for large-scale, sustainable delivery of science-based mental health interventions with demonstrated effectiveness.

Continue Reading…

Connectome Coordination Facility

The goal of this initiative is to: (1) maintain a central data repository for Human Connectome data; (2) create a helpdesk service to answer questions from investigators who are trying to collect data that are compatible with the existing Human Connectome data; and, (3) to serve, in a limited capacity, as a quality control for new data that are being deposited.

Continue Reading…

Biomarker Development and Validation: Establishing Standards of Evidence for their Context of Use in Clinical Trials

This initiative is intended to encourage the necessary later stages of development and validation of biomarkers with putative value for use in clinical trials, including multi-sites testing and validation for regulatory ‘context of use’ (e.g., diagnostic, enrichment, stratification).

Continue Reading…

Psychiatric Gene Networks: Solving the Molecular Puzzle of Psychiatric Disorders

This initiative will support the application of cutting-edge computational, bioinformatics, network, predictive modeling, systems biology, and experimental approaches to identify and validate novel genetic factors and molecular networks underlying susceptibility to serious mental illnesses, through leveraging existing diverse multi-scale datasets.

Continue Reading…

Novel Assays to Address Translational Gaps in Treatment Development

This initiative addresses a translational gap in therapeutic discovery and development that exists between the preclinical screening pipeline and early experimental medicine studies in humans. Support would be provided for collaborative teams focused on developing, evaluating, and optimizing clinically meaningful and biologically-based measures that tap into functional domains to inform therapeutic development. Studies would evaluate the alignment or divergence of measures across preclinical screening and into healthy humans. Ideally, the initiative would illuminate the types of preclinical data and approaches that may be useful (or not useful) in predicting effects in humans based on biological conservation of signaling pathways and circuits, and provide tools needed to test novel therapeutic targets or mechanisms in animals and in humans.

Continue Reading…

For a More Targeted and Safer Use of Antipsychotics in Youth

The goal of this initiative is to develop and test for effectiveness a treatment algorithm to manage severe mood and behavior dysregulation in non-psychotic children and adolescents for whom antipsychotics are commonly prescribed in the community.

Continue Reading…

Improving Mental Health of Populations with Access to Cutting-edge Technologies (IMPACT)

This initiative aims to support the research, development, and testing of technology-based solutions focused on the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.

Continue Reading…

Exosomes and HIV Neuropathogenesis

The goal of this initiative is to stimulate further research on the central role of exosomes in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Specifically, this initiative encourages studies addressing the contribution of exosomes in modulating chronic inflammation in HAND, in addition to studies exploring the potential use of exosomes in the delivery of central nervous system (CNS)-targeted therapeutics.

Continue Reading…

Monitoring Antiretroviral Adherence to Improve HIV Treatment and Prevention

The aims of this initiative are to improve treatment for HIV/AIDS and HIV prevention by advancing: (i) Methods for real-time or prospective monitoring of oral ARV adherence (antiretroviral therapy [ART], pre-exposure prophylaxis [PrEP]); (ii) Timely and targeted delivery of interventions when adherence monitoring reveals deficits; and, (iii) Predictive models that estimate current risk of viral breakthrough or HIV infection for a given individual based on ART adherence monitoring and related data.

Continue Reading…

Methodologies to Enhance Understanding of HIV-Associated Social Determinants

This initiative aims to support formative work and methodological innovations to build effective interventions that will address or mitigate the impact of social determinants that drive negative HIV-related outcomes. Mechanisms that may underlie these social determinants include factors at individual, social, and cultural levels.

Continue Reading…

Phenotypic Manifestations of Rare Variations Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders

The goal of this initiative is to estimate population prevalence of rare variants associated with neurodevelopmental disorders using very large, unselected populations (epidemiologic cohorts), and conduct in-depth clinical assessments of variant carriers to determine penetrance, range of associated phenotypes, and genotype-by-environment interactions.

Continue Reading…

First-Generation RDoC Standard Data Elements

This initiative aims to develop and implement an operational template for including standard data elements in Research Domain Criteria (RDoC)-themed research, and produce an initial set of recommended, provisional standard data elements.

Continue Reading…

Development of a BrainSpan RNA-seq Browser

This initiative aims to create an RNA-seq web browser for the data contained in the BrainSpan Atlas, an NIMH-funded project that provides a comprehensive atlas of human brain development including high resolution images and RNA sequence data.

Continue Reading…

Toward Early Prediction of Psychosis: Collaborative Research on Developmental Risk in 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome

This initiative aims to support a collaborative, multi-site, prospective longitudinal study to track neurodevelopmental trajectories and to collect biomarkers in children and adolescents at high risk for psychosis by virtue of having 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (DS).

Continue Reading…

Secondary Data Analyses to Explore RDoC Domains

This initiative aims to support secondary analyses of existing datasets, by leveraging clinical research data to investigate specific domains within the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project or test novel hypotheses that are consistent with RDoC.

Continue Reading…

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Heterogeneity and Translation

NIMH is proposing multiple efforts to address the challenges of heterogeneity and translation in post-traumatic stress conditions. This initiative involves two related but distinct components: to interrogate mechanisms responsible for subtypes of impairment in small scale translational experiments; and to acquire longitudinal and dimensional data on emergence and course of post-traumatic clinical phenomena to enhance early prediction and classification of conditions and identify targets for prevention.

Continue Reading…

Imaging Data and Biomarkers

The key goal of this initiative is to find imaging biomarkers related to mental illness or the heterogeneity within diagnostic groups. Two different approaches are proposed: add data from subjects with mental illness to the Human Connectome Project and explore the most effective ways to use existing images and image repositories.

Continue Reading…

Services Research for Autism Spectrum Disorder across the Lifespan (ServASD)

The goal of this initiative is to support research to develop and test the effectiveness of services strategies to improve functional outcomes and quality of life for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at three key life stages: early childhood, transition from youth to adulthood, and adulthood.

Continue Reading…