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Accomplishing the Mission

NIMH developed the Strategic Plan for Research to advance the Institute’s mission and guide research over a five-year period. The sections of this plan specifically address areas of crucial importance as NIMH strives to accomplish its mission. First, Challenges and Opportunities confronts the challenges that may lie ahead and describes some of the unique opportunities for scientific exploration to overcome these challenges and advance the understanding of mental illnesses. Second, Cross-Cutting Research Themes are topics that are integral to the Goals of the Strategic Plan for Research and will influence the direction of mental health research as we move forward. Finally, the four Goals of the Strategic Plan for Research form a broad roadmap for the Institute’s research priorities, beginning with the fundamental science of the brain and behavior, and extending through evidence-based services that improve public health outcomes. Each of the four Goals include Objectives, followed by Strategies, which include research areas of specific interest that will help drive progress toward achieving our mission. The topics throughout the plan are not exhaustive. Prior to submitting an application, investigators are encouraged to contact NIMH program staff to discuss proposed aims and relevance to the overall Goals.

NIMH will assess and monitor its performance in achieving the Goals presented in this Plan by gathering and analyzing metrics associated with its core mission. Findings will be integrated to inform and refine the direction of the Plan over time. The Institute will share these findings and updates to the Plan with stakeholders regularly.

In the context of prioritizing excellent science, the overall strategy for funding science is to support a broad spectrum of both investigator-initiated and institute-solicited research across the NIMH portfolio. Full implementation of the NIMH Strategic Plan for Research will help to transform the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illnesses.

NIMH envisions a world in which mental illnesses are prevented and cured.

To transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.