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Setting Priorities for Basic Brain and Behavioral Science Research at NIMH

NIMH is committed to maintaining the progress and support of the basic sciences related to mental disorders. However, in an era of slowed budgetary growth, it becomes necessary to set clear priorities to ensure maximal impact of the Institute's investments. To assist in this effort, in December of 2003 the NAMHC established the Workgroup on the Basic Sciences of Mental Health, comprised of highly respected researchers and leaders in the field, to review the existing extramural research portfolio in molecular, cellular, and behavioral neuroscience, basic behavioral, and basic cognitive science. The group was charged with considering the impact of the portfolio in terms of: relevance to the mission of NIMH; the potential traction of areas of science (those that are ripe for making progress); and the innovative nature of the research areas in question.

The Workgroup's report, "Setting Priorities for Basic Brain and Behavioral Science Research at NIMH," (PDF file, 15 pages) reflects the deliberative process and consensus of the Workgroup, aimed at providing the NAMHC with advice concerning priority-setting in the NIMH basic research enterprise.

A slide show (PDF file, 6 pages) summarizing this final report was presented to the NAMHC on May 14 by the Workgroup chair, Alan Leshner, Ph.D.