Skip to main content

Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

NIMH Biobehavioral Research Awards for Innovative New Scientists (NIMH BRAINS)


Eric Murphy, Ph.D.
Division of Translational Research


This initiative aims to continue the successful NIMH Biobehavioral Research Awards for Innovative New Scientists (NIMH BRAINS) program. This initiative is intended to encourage potentially transformative research from exceptional early-stage scientists. The NIMH BRAINS program plans to focus on research priorities and gap areas identified in the NIMH Strategic Plan for Research.


The NIMH BRAINS award is intended to support the research and career advancement of outstanding, exceptionally productive scientists in the early, formative stages of their careers. This award seeks to assist these individuals in launching an innovative basic, translational, clinical, or services research program that holds the potential to profoundly transform the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of mental illness.

The NIMH BRAINS initiative can be distinguished from most other research grants in that the NIMH BRAINS projects emphasize career goals relevant to the mission of the NIMH, active participation of an external advisory committee, and a commitment from the institution to actively support research program development. Research projects proposed in response to this initiative will be expected to directly address the goals and objectives of the NIMH Strategic Plan for Research and to have a defined impact on the understanding of the pathophysiology, trajectories, effective treatment, and/or prevention of mental illnesses.

By supporting unusually creative investigators with highly innovative research ideas, and by incorporating structural mechanisms that improve the likelihood of successfully completing these ambitious projects, the NIMH BRAINS awards seek to propel the early careers of promising mental health researchers towards becoming leaders in the field.