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NIMH Support for Conference Grants (R13) to Promote Inclusion in the Research Workforce

Through its support for mission-relevant scientific conferences, the NIMH seeks to promote inclusion within the neuroscience and mental health research workforce, with a particular focus  on advancing the participation of women and individuals from underrepresented minority (URM) groups. Beginning January 2020, NIMH will accept applications for partial support for conferences and workshops that are relevant to its scientific mission and aligned with the NIMH Strategic Plan. Since the specific goal is to promote inclusion, meeting organizers should propose to use the funds for the following activities:

  • Support conference attendance for students, post-docs, and recently hired junior faculty within two years of their academic appointment.


  • Along with conference expenses for trainees and junior faculty, meeting organizers should include formal networking sessions or specific programming events that employ approaches to enhance trainee learning, mentorship, inclusion, and professional development.

Submission information:

Since advanced permission is required to submit an R13 application, potential applicants are urged to initiate contact with NIMH staff (see NIH Contact list ) well in advance of the application receipt date. In order to use NIMH funding, R13 conference grants must be awarded prior to the meeting date. Consequently, the applicant must target an application receipt date that allows for an award to be made prior to the conference start date. See the table below for key deadlines and due dates.

Support for conferences is contingent on programmatic alignment with the scientific priorities of the NIMH and the availability of funds. Advanced permission to submit an application is required for all conference grant applications including new, resubmission, and revision applications. Once permission is secured from NIMH, a signed Permission-to-Submit letter will be forwarded to the principal investigator (PI).

As part of the NIMH submission request, applicants should provide a completed R13 Request letter at least six weeks before the application receipt date (see table below).  Download R13 Request Letter (Word doc).

Typically, a decision by NIMH to accept primary assignment for an R13 conference grant can be expected 3-4 weeks after submission of the R13 Request letter. Please note that agreement to accept an application and the provision of a Permission-to-Submit letter is not a guarantee of funding. At time of application submission, the signed Permission-to-Submit letter from the NIMH must be attached to the cover letter of the R13 application, which should also identify all other NIH Institutes and Centers that may have interest in providing co-funding support. Applicants must follow the submission instructions as noted in the R13 funding opportunity announcement (see PA-24-141 ).

R13/U13 ApplicationsCycle ICycle IICycle III
R13 Request letter Due DateMarch 1July 1November 1
Application Due DateApril 12August 12December 12
Scientific Merit ReviewJune - JulyOctober - NovemberFebruary - March
Advisory Council ReviewSeptemberJanuaryMay
Earliest Conference Start DateDecember 1April 1July 1

Funding decisions

Applications approved for funding will receive a Notice of Award following Council review. Other NIH Institutes and Centers interested in contributing funds to conference grant applications with NIMH primary assignment must have: 1) a dual assignment on the application and 2) completed their respective funding approval processes prior to submitting co-funding agreements to the NIMH. In order for the NIMH to consider co-funding another NIH Institute or Center’s application, the proposed activities must be consistent with the guidance provided here and the NIMH must have a dual assignment on the application.

NIMH will prioritize applications that advance inclusive practices and promote diversity by supporting the attendance of women and individuals from underrepresented minority (URM) groups as noted by NOT-OD-20-031 . NIMH requires awardees to report meeting outcomes in their annual and final progress reports. For multiyear conference awards, future year’s funding is contingent on meeting the objectives outlined in the awarded grant.

Additional information

For important information on the conference grant (R13) mechanism, prospective applicants should review: