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Research Priorities for Strategic Objective 1

Updated: January 2019

Define the Mechanisms of Complex Behaviors

NIMH encourages research that seeks to define the neural bases of complex behaviors and mental illnesses. Because it is often difficult to foresee where significant, high-impact scientific advances are likely to emerge, NIMH will continue to support a wide range of research, including discovery-based and hypothesis-driven studies. The Institute encourages applications that propose to advance scientific discovery through novel methods and approaches; interdisciplinary scientific collaborations; a global perspective inclusive of diverse populations and contexts; and, integration of multi-dimensional data to discover the complex neurobiological architecture of the processes underlying typical brain function. The use of novel approaches to investigate the human brain is also stimulated through the BRAIN Initiative.

Research priority areas are identified within each of the following three strategies:
1.1: Describe the molecules, cells, and neural circuits associated with complex behaviors
1.2: Identify the genomic and non-genomic factors associated with mental illnesses
1.3: Map the connectomes for mental illnesses

These research topics are not intended to be exhaustive. Prior to submitting an application, investigators are encouraged to contact NIMH program staff to discuss proposed aims and relevance to these objectives. Please reference the relevant strategic objective and research priority in the project summary section of your application. Investigators are also encouraged to take advantage of existing NIMH and NIH resources where appropriate.